Brands of today need to group their efforts on delivering the best ‘return on creativity’ to fuel their performance. It’s impossible for a brand to rise above the noise without creative strategies to help them shine. The current renaissance of technology has created huge challenges for brands, but they have also created a playground for creativity. In a Middle East-first, the berries interviewed Terry Savage, Global Chairman of Cannes Lions, to discuss his thoughts on the current state of global creativity and how can brands leverage it.

BB: Since 1946 the Cannes festival has become the global landmark for creativity. In your opinion, what defines Creativity?

Terry Savage

TS: Creativity is thinking outside of the box , approaching solutions in a way they have not been approached before – by using insights and human truths and breaking down the barrier of conventional applications – new and different ways of doing things can be applied.

BB: In the era we live in, everything is moving with the speed of light, Brands are constantly in a battle to find and unlock creative potential. How should brands view creativity?  When can creativity be a real brand differentiator?

TS: Brands should see creativity as a solution to get a higher return on investment – to create a bigger awareness – not just marketing solutions , but real business solutions . Partnerships that are real and deep and based on trust will give the best solutions because partnerships engender real understanding of the brand and gives the confidence for bravery to happen .

BB: Pairing creativity with data will lead to unique and unforgettable brand experiences. In the information age we are living in, how can brands connect the dots between data and creativity ?

TS: They are one and the same in as much as data still requires a story to be told and engagement to occur – the platform is irrelevant – if communication is creative it engages with people in a different way than if it is not . Who watches a boring movie , who reads a boring book –likewise all communication should have as its goal to communicate in the most engaging and entertaining way .

BB: Does creativity, alone, sell ? Do you believe in the correlation between outstanding creative success and commercial success ?

TS: No, creativity still needs a platform – but it sells a lot better and a lot more than work that is not creative . There is now a large body of evidence that directly links creative success with commercial success and I don’t just mean in brand communications.

BB: The rise of the digital age has revamped how brands are leveraging creativity to drive brand growth, making the audience more intrigued. How can brands use such trends to drive sales?

TS: Continue to have creative communication  at the highest level as their goal – work with companies that share that vision.

BB: Creativity is a way of thinking not a department and every endeavor can be improved by creative thinking. Consequently, believing that creativity resides in the creative department of ad agencies and that media people, data people or CRM people can’t be creative, is questionable . Please comment

TS: I totally agree with that statement – creativity can come from anywhere – the tea lady , the accounting department , the Managing Director . The important thing is that leadership allows creativity to flourish – does not create an environment of fear that stops people putting their view forward – most ideas are born drowning because others do not listen . Listen encourage  and let it flourish and the results from all over your organization will flourish.

BB: How do you see creativity in the Middle East?

TS: If Cannes Lions is a measure it’s in good shape – the results of Lions won in the last two years has been outstanding