Last night I attended an event hosted by PR Moment and Fever PR on “Who’s responsible for creativity” with a special emphasis on how to work on integrated campaigns.
How Paddy Power is set up to encourage creativity – Feilim Mac An Iomaire, Head of PR, Paddy Power
Feilim started things off with an incredibly engaging talk on how Paddy Power encourages creativity. He started by talking about how Paddy Power focuses on its people before job titles and is interested in anyone who is the brand rather than understands the brand. With this, Feilim reflected on his own career path where he struggled for months to find work. This led him to using his last savings to take out a billboard highlighting his plight supported by a social media campaign. Of course he generated tonnes of publicity resulting in a position at Paddy Power.
He then continued to talk about how Paddy Power is different from other bookies by bringing the fun back into gambling rather than selling the dream of winning big like other betting firms.
When discussing creativity, Feilim mentioned that they had several areas that had to be ticked before it became worthy of a Paddy Power stunt:
- At the heart of the action – has to be relevant to a game or event going on at the time (World Cup, Ascot etc)
- Innovative – Always embracing new technologies, new trends within social media and continuously taking risks
- Audacious – Confusing people by going beyond in terms of imagination. For example using Stephen Hawking to invent a mathematical formula to help England win the World Cup
- Make a great picture – Funny images and results that people will want to share for entertainment
- Stick it to the man / controversy – To stick it to the ridiculous advertising guidelines by London 2012 Olympics. PP sponsored their own games in London France
Feilim then shared his favourite campaign that PP have done which certainly ticked all the boxes above as well as raised awareness for deforestation (check out the video below). He then finished by saying that PP’s best stunts always involve completely destroying the brand for 24 hours in order to get people talking.
Overall – incredibly inspiring talk from Jobless Paddy and I’m excited to see what Paddy Power have up their sleeve over the coming months.
Why creativity is rooted in Ikea’s dna Lewis Marshall, UK and Ireland Country Communications Manager, IKEA Group
Next up we had Lewis Marshall, the UK&I Country Communications Manager at IKEA. He had a tough job following on from Paddy Power and their crazy stunts but successfully managed to make us think about creativity in a different way.
He started by telling us the story on how IKEA and it’s flat pack furniture innovation began when Mr Gillis Lundgren, a Swedish draughtsman bought a table, and had to unscrew its legs to be able to fit it into his car, which gave him the idea of manufacturing furniture in kit form. This alone made IKEA the most innovative and creative furniture company in the market.
As time went on, IKEA has continually evolved it’s business in order to keep up with user demand. One recent example was providing a collection point service within the stores so that people didn’t have to go on the epic IKEA journey to pick up a couple of bits. Lewis did mention however that they have two types of shoppers – ones who love the long walk around the store and meatball lunch and ones who hate it! (Basically me and my husband!) Providing this service now compliments both shoppers.
So whilst Lewis didn’t have any stories of epic stunts, he did highlight how creativity lies within the IKEA offering – listening to customers and innovating within the business. This has successfully enabled them to hotfoot up the brand rankings other the years.
How to stop creativity sitting in a silo – Jo Chappel, Creative Director, Fever PR
Finally, we had a great talk from Fever PR’s very own Jo Chappel who described the Fever PR creative process. Interestingly, they have forgone the traditional brainstorm session and aim to work in smaller groups to generate ideas for campaigns. She mentioned that there was nothing worse than creatives arriving to brainstorms DOA (see the video below) and creativity can come to people at any time.
Fever PR also invest in creativity by running their Culture Vulture programme which sends out staff to quirky and unusual events/activities in London to help get their creative juices flowing.
Jo also highlighted how important it was to have a process when being creative. She provided a couple of great examples of famous creatives’ processes. Salvador Dali slept with keys in his hand in order to remain in a state of consciousness and Stephen King famously said, ““I have a glass of water or a cup of tea. There’s a certain time I sit down, from 8:00 to 8:30, somewhere within that half hour every morning,” he explained. “I have my vitamin pill and my music, sit in the same seat, and the papers are all arranged in the same places. The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon.” Creatives shouldn’t be afraid of process.
Jo finished with highlighting how difficult it now is to be creative in a highly digital world where people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Before when you had to sell an idea with a sentence, that has now been reduced to a hashtag! That’s why its important to continually improve the creative process and invest in making people think beyond what they know.
In conclusion, it became apparent that creativity is collaborative so no single person owns the process. In a world where campaigns are becoming more integrated across agencies, it is important to always be coming up with ideas and continually take risks to discover the best innovation for the brand.