Feb 25, 2008

Creativity Is Relative

I’m convinced that one of the main stumbling blocks agencies have in regards to new media is that the best use of these media rarely involves anything we currently consider the domain of the creative department.

Most—like the Twitter example in the previous post--- are promotional in nature. (Unless you’re a Prom King brand™, you’ve got to do something to get people to engage with you, especially in a brand new medium.) And they rely on consumers or celebrities or other third parties to create them. They’re clever in a different way—they provide functionality for the consumer and give them something they can use or utilize, as opposed to traditional advertising which provides news for the consumer in an entertaining manner.

Faced with this unfamiliar paradigm, traditional agencies are shying away, since they have no way of judging whether this is “good” or not, no way of gauging whether they’re doing it “better” than anyone else.

Which is the wrong way to look at it. Right now, the main thing is to be doing it before anyone else and doing it right, which is in fact, very creative. As users become familiar with the media and the novelty wears off, traditional creativity will indeed become a factor. But right now, it’s all about being the first one to get people to actually engage with the technology in a way that actually provides value.

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