By Ikram Boukhari, Serial Content Strategist at PUB Magazine. Interview with Jason Romeyko.
Being creative can help us build a new reality, other than the current one from which many would like to escape. More quality, less ROI, more emotional proximity… What is more to add to the creativity process in 2021? We don’t have an instruction manual, but certain things have to change. Jason Romeyko, Executive Creative Director Worldwide at Serviceplan is convinced about it.
In your opinion, what place holds creativity in our society and what place will it hold in 2021?
Jason Romeyko: Creativity always had a major role. It is part of our daily life. Creating something is not starting from nothing and arrive at a certain result. It is really exploiting creativity. In an era where creativity has been democratised and has lived a revolution, particularly thanks to technology and social media, people can more easily use it to express themselves. But it is not always qualitative. In 2021 we must think about quality. In the future, we will have to think about high-end creativity, work differently and better.
In business, especially in the advertising sector, there is a lot of talk about “talent”. What do you think it takes for a creative to be one?
J.R: When I’m looking to recruit a “talent”, she/he doesn’t have to do the same thing as I do, but must have a way of thinking that inspires me and that will push me out of my usual way of thinking. This person must also be an inspiration for the team because there are talents, but there is no star in my opinion. Everything is always a team effort. This inspiration is a good engine to feed and amplify creativity within projects. Talents are also important because in the past, creativity was in the center of conversion, but now it is not the case anymore. It has to be mixed with other elements such as diversity, culture, specialities. When we succeed, I call that ÜberCreativity: it is a higher form of creativity, where different disciplines, talents, cultures, media and technologies meet and interact. If you get the right people together at the right time, so much good can be done. In 2021 it’s this collaboration and this kind of energy that is needed.
Even though the essence of creativity has no boundaries, do you think that some countries in Europe are willingly limiting themselves and are not fully exploiting it?
J.R: It is not the countries that limit themselves but rather the people. I think that the reason behind this limitation is the ROI that measures your audience’s answer in front of your investment. Some brands are less adventurous because ROI is essential to them and they still trust most traditional models. But we must evolve, and some brands are brave and intelligent enough to do so. Little or big, for those brands, the Return of Investment now goes hand in hand with the Return of Involvement. It is about getting feedback on people’s involvement with your message. Through advertising, you can do this by getting people to participate with emotion for example. You can really create a movement that will stick to your brand from its receptivity to your creativity. People love you even more when you’re interesting. The return on implication amplifies your media and is proving to be a more efficient model.
Is creativity enough to keep more traditional advertising formats alive?
J.R: Traditional advertising formats will never disappear, on the contrary, they will always be relevant. Some formats such as print may not be as popular anymore but the mediums will continue to last and blend naturally into our lives, by continually adapting to humans and their lifestyles. We said that radio was dying and then the podcast was born. In a few years’ time, we will perhaps see audio-vertising, smell-vertising and touch-vertising in the form of billboards, for example.
What impact did the coronavirus have on creativity?
J.R: Many brands had the reflex to put everything on hold. This is not the best thing to do. Consumers want to continue listening to what brands have to say, and this even during a crisis. If we are all in this situation, we might as well communicate even more creatively and have fun. It took us some time before thinking about entertaining people and trying to bring something positive in their life. Adopting this mindset in your creative process is important for the future. It’s a beautiful harmony if, on top of that, you manage to sell a client’s products. The creative process in itself has also been affected by this crisis, but I am grateful to have been able to witness this adaptation to digital. It wasn’t easy. The creative thinking that used to be done over coffee or on the corner of a table staring at the wall or picking one’s nose has given way to a creativity that is less natural behind the screen.
Creativity in the House of Communication is not only coming out of the brains of the stereotypical creative Mad Men. Instead, creativity and innovation are multidisciplinary and come also from strategists, media experts, and accounts. ÜberCreativity is, therefore, also reflected in our Wigwams since this variety of profiles are also all present to guide the ideas from their raw form to the polished diamonds, they turn out to be. A Wigwam is a real team effort. Take a look.