The Case for Creativity

June 29, 2017 - 10:12am
Ashley Landers

It’s June, which means the 2017 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is underway. This is the time of year I always find a renewed sense of creative inspiration from reviewing all the great collective work the world is producing. It’s too early to call out key themes or trends from the winner’s circle that we can all admire and learn from; so instead, I’ve curated a list of some of my favorites this year, as well as some classics worth paying homage to that continually craft the case for creativity.

Nike, Unlimited Stadium

No one has more consistently stayed true over the years to their core belief and purpose – to honor great athletes and great athletics – than Nike.

They are the epitome of brands that DO vs just say what they are about.

The thing that is most remarkable is that they sell a commodity yet they don’t spend their time communicating what’s different about their products. Instead, they make people feel something about their brand. Whether it is by honoring amazing soccer talent Ronaldinho, building a giant tech-powered stadium, or honoring an unknown overweight boy on a jog, Nike never loses sight of its purpose — grounded in the truth that an athlete’s greatest opponent is one’s self.

Amnesty International, The Refugee Nation

When who you are is rooted in activism, you don’t shy away from taking action. Another example of brands that DO vs say, Amnesty International’s purpose is to fight injustice and help create a world where human rights are enjoyed by all.

In the same year that half the Super Bowl commercials were saying something about politics, immigration and adversity.

Amnesty International didn’t just make an ad about their purpose, they acted on it.

Transport Accident Commission, Meet Graham

After looking at the above two examples, you might be thinking, “Yeah but those are global companies, my brand could never pull that off.” This next example blows that mindset out of the water. When someone says Transport Accident Commission, the first word that comes to mind most likely isn’t creativity. You probably don’t think anything at all. Well the TAC in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia decided they were going to DO something about being easily ignored. Meet Graham.

It just so happens that same city won best of show at Cannes in 2013 with another public safety campaign from Metro Trains promoting rail safety, called Dumb Ways to Die

Ultimately, these three very different brands can teach us two simple principles of successful marketing: First, know your core purpose. Then, don’t talk about it, act on it. If you follow these two rules, you’ll make people FEEL something. And that makes people DO something.

If you find these or other brands inspiring, we’d love to read your comments below.

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