There's been a lot of talk lately, about how advertising is dying, or how creatives wish things were more like how they were years ago. It's so...familiar? No, that's not the word.
Fucking stupid. That's it.
Because I've always looked at creatives as being the most progressive group of people on the planet. It's in our DNA to constantly innovate, look forward, and bring others in that direction with us, through stories and art.
But when I hear such nostalgia out of these same people, it's confusing. And definitely frustrating.
Because right now is the golden age of creative.
The More Mediums, the Better
We used to have three mediums. That was it: TV, print, and radio. You wanted to bring a marketing idea to life, you had to live somewhere in that trifecta.
Then, the internet came along.
Now, in the past decade or so, there's been an explosion of mediums: facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Spotify, Instagram, etc. etc. etc. And over that time, those mediums have reached the scale and maturity of TV, print, and radio. We literally have hundreds of different places and ways to express our idea.
No longer does our idea have to be a :30 or :60 TV spot. We don't have to stick our visual in a magazine or on a billboard. Our idea's voice can be heard on so many other places than a radio.
Our idea is finally free to be whatever it is we want it to be.
Can You Think Outside of 30-Seconds?
But now there's a challenge. Are you able to create outside of a TV spot or a print ad? Are you able to develop ideas that might actually work better in a different format altogether?
Can you make the message appropriate for the medium?
It's true: a great idea can live on any medium. But we all know that ideas are a dime a dozen. Great ideas...maybe a couple dimes. But ideas live and die based upon their execution. And executions are based upon the medium.
Creatives Have Gotten Lazy
Honestly, we've gotten lazy, as creatives. We've lost our innovative spirit. We're complacent, satisfied with our ideas living in a restrictive, formulaic medium.
Because it's easy. But easy isn't what we're about.
If you think digital and social creative sucks, make it better.
It's not easy to try new mediums. It's scary. There's way less history to it. Way less people trying to create for it. Way more room for error. But there's so much white space. So much opportunity.
Don't Knock it 'Til You Try It
If you see digital or social mediums and think that the creative there sucks, well guess what: make it better! Use those amazing creative powers you've been gifted and sharpened for so long. Put that innovative spirit to work and jump into unfamiliar territory.
Don't be afraid to fail. Don't be afraid of the unknown. Take your expertise and conquer that world.
The Golden Age is Quickly Changing
This era won't be long-lived. We go back and forth between waves of the wild west, chaotic opportunity. And then back to centralized control. We're in a transition as we speak.
Consider television: it started as a raw medium, with only a few stations. Then, cable TV came around and more channels appeared. From there, only a few cable stations became the key players. And now, streaming mediums like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Amazon are shipping out loads of content. Soon, only a few will rise to the top, and then something new will open up the floodgates again.
The internet, social, whatever we call it right now: it's changing. At this moment, there's loads of mediums. But at the same time, they're somewhat matured. We're in a sweet spot of opportunity and focus.
Take the opportunity. Bring your ideas to life. Look to new and exciting mediums as a way to challenge your thinking, not stifle it.
And when you do, then you can really call yourself creative.