"It may well be that creativity is the last unfair advantage we're legally allowed to take over our competitors."
The above was said by Bill Bernbach.
He said it long ago, at a time when
creativity was what distinguished one brand from another.
Since then, where have the discussions and
conversations about creativity gone?
Today all anyone talks about is data and
media and platforms. And, God help us,
native advertising, which is, in many ways, the complete absence of creativity.
The big word today is engagement, which most
people assume is the responsibility of the media.
If Bernbach were alive today, he would skewer
those people on their own petard (look it up).
What first steals someone’s attention and
then engages them in the content of the ad or commercial is the creativity of
the message itself.
Not the media it runs in.
And I think "steal" is an apt word in this instance. Great creative people today need to
act like creative criminals, stealing
someone’s attention through words and pictures, wit and whimsy.
Which is what I think Bernbach was hinting at long ago.
Sometimes, things don’t change as much as we
claim they do.