Most people say they’re in favour of creativity – in much the same way that they’re in favour of motherhood.
Well, we’re committed to it – not least because our business depends on it.
Creativity in our trade comes in two broad and often overlapping categories.
There’s the creativity that supercharges communication; that uses words, images and sound in a way that both speeds up the comprehension of a message by its audience and strengthens its impact. This form of creativity is not just artistically pleasing: it delivers a direct commercial benefit. It takes much less money to get your message across. It makes a media budget go further.
And then there’s a second form of creativity: one that can make an inanimate object a great deal more desirable; that can help an excellent product become a favoured brand; that can differentiate a brand from its closest competitors; that can justify a premium price; that can resist a competitor’s price promotions; and that, assuming the brand’s intrinsic qualities are meticulously maintained, can offer a brand something close to immortality.
I’m extremely happy to note that both these categories of creativity are abundantly present in this year’s WPPed Cream awards – and I congratulate all those talented professionals within WPP who were their creators. They make it look easy – that’s part of the art of being creative. But it’s not.
My declared intention to invest further in creativity should surprise no-one. It will entail more than the recruitment of talented individuals. It will entail management encouragement, internal awards and the systematic sharing across groups and companies of some of the timeless ways to create and maintain those working cultures where creativity most healthily thrives.
The result, I confidently predict, will be an even more impressive gallery of WPPed Cream winners in the future.