Welcome to the Era of Collective Creativity

Alot of people have been talking about how social media has effected creativity in terms of how brands communicate with people. It’s fair to say over the past few years we’ve seen a real democratisation of creativity through social media platforms, whereby anyone can be an author (blogger), photographer (Flickr), social commentator, DJ, artist etc. We’ve also seen the explosion of crowdsourcing as a tactic used by brands, particularly youth brands to get their communities involved in co-creating the communications.

For me, ‘collaboration’ is and will continue to be the key theme impacting creative output of all communication agencies in 2010. As Mike Aruz correctly points out ‘It’s not the stories we (as brands tell) , it’s the stories we get others to tell for us“.

We have definitely arrived in the era of ‘Collectivite Creativity’, where creativity is an evolving process, it isn’t something that really starts an ends. In the past creativity was solid and stagnant, you created it and people reacted to it. Now you create it and it can evolve, continue, be built upon, torn down, remixed.

 Brands/agencies have to create SHARE VALUE for people (and I don’t mean in the stockmarket sense). It’s about makingme want to share your idea as it reflects positively on my status within the tribe eg: Being the first person to find out about a new uber cool collaboration between two fashion designers.

1. Talk value is not enough, ideas have to enable ‘particpation’ at some level so people feel involved in the brands story.

2. Ideas also have to be easily ‘passed on’ or shared, there’s no use in creating interesting engaging content or utility unless it can be shared easily.

3.  Most importantly, to drive share value, people have to be able to ‘play’ with your ideas and co-create. It’s about thinking of about your marketing programs as SOCIAL GAMES with lots of players. The role of the brand is to spike the ball in to play (by igniting an interesting conversation) and then the players (your community of advocates) run with the ball and play with it.

4. Share Value has to be instantaneous, it’s all about real time conversational currency. No one wants to share news from last week, so the speed in which ideas are diffused in social networks are critically important to the success of an idea. This is where your ‘beach head’ works, getting your brand fans to tell your story for you.

I’ll end this post with a comment from a mate of mine and a guy who really understands how brands are having to adapt to the modern communication environment:

In the age of social media, creativity has both an acid test and genuine advocate in one place. Good work is embraced and gathers momentum and the bad stuff dies on the vine very quickly. The important thing to understand is that the brand, creative director or client’s voice is just one of many now and all have an equal share in the destiny of great work!” Sudeep Gohil, Partner/Exec Planning Director, DROGA 5 Sydney.