Why There's Never Been a Better Time for Creativity

Seeing the possibilities in a shifting world

Never before has creativity had such good conditions as now

Is "data-driven" a threat to creativity? Will exciting and challenging communication be replaced with soulless content? Is it quantity before quality that applies now?

The answer is, of course, no.

Creativity and communication have never had such good conditions as now—from the ways we shape the message, to the amount of channels we now have to express ourselves and the great reach they can provide. The battle is not between creativity and content. It's about identifying opportunities instead of threats.

Many believe the new media landscape threatens creativity. However, players such as Netflix, Vogue and Vice are proving the opposite. On platforms such as TikTok, and most recently Clubhouse, creativity is thriving.

My 11-year-old son throws himself into the digital world like there's no tomorrow. He makes songs, produces films, keeps in touch with friends, and games across continents in a way I could never have dreamed of at his age.

Creativity does not conflict with which channels are used. It's about how we choose to look at the channels, but above all how we look at ourselves—the ones using computers and mobile phones to make our lives easier. Do we view target groups as just numbers and statistics, or as real people made of flesh and blood?

Regardless of channel, you can of course make communication that does not intrude—but rather engages, arouses emotions, and creates interest. Sometimes this is so good that the recipient wonders: "Is this even advertising?"

However, the industry seems to have lost confidence in what creativity can achieve. The result is that advertising spreads wider and wider, but makes less impact. In the past, advertising lived in symbiosis with pop culture and was an obvious part of the conversation. Today, when internet culture and phenomena from niche social channels set the trends and shape today's society, this connection is notably absent.

You can choose to blame the circumstances. That measurability and algorithms have taken over. That companies prefer to focus on short-term sales instead of long-term brand building. That the amount of channels and formats makes it difficult to tell a story and have an impact.

You can also choose to embrace the change and see the possibilities. The way forward is, as it has been many times before, collaboration. The collective approach will always prevail over the lone genius when it comes to conquering new areas. Every time the game plan changes, the same debate arises, but the solution can never be to take a step back.

When the digital shift came and PR-driven communication made its entrance, the secret lay in bringing specialists into the teams. The success was based entirely on the job being done together—people learned from one another and found new ways to solve problems. Of course, the same applies now when new channels and new expertise are added. It's at the intersection between creatives and specialists that the really interesting stuff happens.

Belief in creativity does not have to change just because the media landscape does.

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Johan Eghammer
Johan Eghammer is CEO of Forsman & Bodenfors Sweden.

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