Industry snapshot: Lora van Hooff, Impact BBDO

By Lora van Hooff, strategy director, Impact BBDO.

My personal understanding of creativity is pretty single-minded. It’s the secret sauce that sets us apart from other species. Technology, though, can mean many different things: everything from the transistor radio to the metaverse fall under the blanket of ‘technology’. Of course, it’s the latter that is the latest avenue of industry obsession. So how is creativity (our other industry obsession) affected by the meta-lives we lead?

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Something we increasingly must acknowledge is the democratising effect that the meta-life has on creativity and monetising creative output. There used to be a time when making a viable living with creativity was limited to a select few industries, but the times have certainly changed. Individual creators now call spaces like TikTok, OpenSea, GitHub and countless others ‘home’. So, as agency people, what do we do with this knowledge? Have we suddenly become dinosaurs?

In actual fact, we find ourselves at a point of unprecedented opportunity; on one hand, an opportunity to harness the power of a pool of creative talent of the likes we have never seen. Rather than look at creators in spaces like the metaverse as fringe, bring them in and make them the voices of our brands. On the other, there’s a chance to reinvent ourselves and grow our offering into something that goes beyond creativity.

When we’re at our best, we’re powerful creative consultants; but an area I think we should invest in more is becoming culture consultants. We currently don’t put enough emphasis on gaining a deeper understanding of the times and communities we live in. Instead, we too often limit the creative process with questions like ‘How can a piece of digital art help my destination brand gain visitors?’ or ‘How can a TikTok challenge help me get more bank account openings?’ We should take a step back and take more time to uncover interesting truths and provocations, which will get ideas flowing naturally. Understanding and creating culture moves the dial on business, makes brands famous, sparks creative magic and, most importantly, makes us invaluable to clients.