If your understanding of creativity is not updated, it will be dangerous

What is the biggest change in the creative field?
Creativity is changing from artwork to fast-moving consumer goods.

For many years in the past, we have regarded advertising creativity as art. Movies have Oscars, and advertisements also have Cannes Advertising Festival. Advertisers refer to creativity as “works” rather than “products”, which shows the status of creativity in the hearts of advertisers.

In the past two years, although the advertising industry has continued to devote more vivid ideas, the artistry of creativity is gradually moving away from this industry.

What’s different from what you think is that creativity is no longer a work of art. It is not that the market does not need creativity anymore. On the contrary, the demand for creativity is rapidly expanding.

According to statistics, in the one-year period from 2019 to 2020, the life cycle of video ads has been reduced from 30 days to 15 days, which is a 50% reduction in life expectancy! In other words, the user’s “resistance” to an advertisement is getting lower and lower. The advertisements that used to be used for 30 days can now only be used for 15 days.

What will be the result of this? Advertisers have to speed up the production of more commercials, constantly stimulating the nerves of consumers. All media platforms are becoming more and more like a black hole, constantly devouring more advertising materials to fill the appetite of the market.

Why is this so?

The surge in demand for materials in the market is actually a “by-product” of media algorithms. Because of the algorithm, the advertisement can achieve “a thousand people with a thousand faces”, so that the right information can find the right people. In fact, the term “thousands of people and thousands of faces” is not accurate, and a more accurate term is “thousands of people, thousands of hours and thousands of faces.”

In the past, 1,000 people = 1 to 3 sets of materials. Now, 1000 people = 1000×1000 sets of materials (note! “thousand hours” only refers to a large number, the actual number is much greater than 1000)

Moreover, don’t think that the new 1000+/day material has reached the limit. I think there will be 10,000 items/day or even 100,000 items/day in the future.

Why am I so sure about this? Because of the power of algorithms, most of them still only stay on mobile apps, and there are still many user contacts that have not been “algorithmicized.”

For example, outdoor billboards. We are now launching focus and trendy, most of the advertising positions are sold on a weekly basis, instead of accurately distributing advertisements according to algorithms.

After the Internet of Things, outdoor billboards will also rely on big data and thermal technology to realize offline advertising with thousands of people.

If an elderly shoe brand casts an elevator advertisement, if an elderly person enters the elevator, the advertisement will talk about the function of the elderly shoe; if a pair of young people come in, the advertisement tells how to honor their parents; if a group of people come in, it will broadcast the generic brand positioning. advertising.

Facing the increasingly explosive demand for creativity, 90% of companies do not need a 100-point idea, but they may need 10,000 70-point ideas.

In the future of advertising, creativity can only meet market demands if it becomes a standardized product.

Therefore, when creativity becomes “fast-moving consumer goods”, I think the biggest change is: when creativity becomes more and more mediocre, the function of creativity will completely change.

What is the use of creativity?
From demand-driven creativity to creativity-driven demand. What is the use of creativity?

Maybe you deal with creativity every day, but you probably can’t answer this question. Let’s give a simple example to help you understand this problem.

Suppose there is a group of people selling oranges from the same orchard, but the oranges of the grandmother, because of the sentence “sweet than first love”, are probably better than others.

This is the function of creativity: creativity can quickly capture the attention of consumers and reduce the cost of advertising.

Now, let’s use this idea in another way.

The old grandma ran all over the street, putting up a billboard at every intersection, telling passers-by to go under the big willow tree to buy “sweet first love” oranges. Then, if the grandmother hangs one more billboard, it may attract one more customer.

After a while, the grandmother discovered that some people at intersections would not come to buy oranges even if they saw their billboards. For example, there have been no customers in the alley next to the third intersection.

The old grandmother went there to take a look, and found that the people living here were all grandparents who were the same age as her. These grandparents were different from young people and were not interested in saying “sweet first love” at all.

That day, the old lady wrote a new copy for this intersection: “Under the big willow tree, sweeter than first love oranges, every day from 5 to 7 o’clock, buy one catty and get half a catty free.”

Since changing this copy, many grandparents come to buy oranges from 5 to 7 o’clock.

As a result, the grandmother found that it is easier to attract customers by customizing different styles of ideas for neighborhoods at different intersections.

After a while, the old grandmother found that the number of people buying oranges had decreased a little, and everyone seemed to be accustomed to the billboards on the wall and turned a blind eye.

As a result, the grandmother made another innovation. She hired a few children to listen to the characteristics of pedestrians at each intersection and new things in each family, and report to her at any time. The grandmother then revises the advertising creative at any time based on these “grass”.

For example, Mr. Li recently coughed, and the copywriting at his door became “Orange peels boil water to relieve coughs, and orange meat will give the baby a tooth sacrifice. Come and buy oranges under the big willow tree”!

Above, I used the story of an old grandmother selling oranges “sweet than first love” to explain the true function of the current advertising creativity.

In the first half of this story, the main purpose of creativity is to help consumers better recognize the brand. The four words “sweet than first love” vividly convey the selling point of grandma oranges-sweetness.

In the second half of this story, the grandmother is using creativity to drive user needs. The creative function has changed from an advertising amplifier to a business booster!

Simply put: The main function of current creativity is not to serve advertising, but to serve business growth. This is the opposite of the previous market.

From demand-driven creativity to creativity-driven demand, the function of creativity has undergone a reversal. The function of creativity has changed because the information environment has changed.

So if the old woman wants to rely on creativity to sell more oranges, she must master several abilities.

First, she must be able to produce a lot of ideas. Because she could not win more types of customers by relying only on the idea of ​​”Sweet the first love”.

Second, the spread of creativity must be large and wide. Because how many intersections her advertisement can penetrate, in theory, how many intersection customers can be transformed.

Third, there must be timely information feedback and information processing capabilities. Because it is necessary to produce copywriting according to the situation of different times, different places, and different groups of people, the grandmother must have the ability to get the news and make the correct response.

The above three conditions, if we correspond to the current communication environment, are: content productivity, media penetration, and big data applications.

Therefore, the creativity that represents humanism will inevitably coexist and prosper with the technical vocabulary of algorithms, big data, and AI that represents scientism, and technology will become the new soil for creativity.

Where is technology leading to creativity?
What will the future of advertising look like? The answer given by many advertisers is: content + technology.

For example, the overseas creative company FCB Brazil once made some “high-tech” dolls for Nivea. The skins of these dolls use ultraviolet light sensitive materials, which will turn red when exposed to sunlight.

But what’s amazing is that with a touch of sunscreen, the skin of the dolls will return to normal. Now, the bear children dare not to wear sunscreen anymore.

Integrating technology into creativity is the future that many advertising companies firmly believe in, and many digital creative teams that believe in this approach are emerging.

But this “technologically creative advertising” is only the tip of the iceberg. For the creative industry, what will be disrupted in the future is not creative content, but creative production methods.

In the circle of friends, we often see articles like this: “Occupations That Will Not Be Replaced by AI in the Future” and “Career Choices in the Era of Artificial Intelligence”.

This type of article generally believes that all mechanical labor is easily replaced by AI, such as accountants and couriers; and all creative skills, such as artists and designers, are difficult to be replaced by AI.

But I think humans underestimate AI. For content-based and creative work, AI can also be conquered, but it’s a bit slower. For an advertising creative, humans rely on intuition, but AI never believes in pure intuition. AI’s intuition also comes from the quantitative calculation of facts.

Let us give an example.

In the 1980s, Princeton University produced an economist named Orley Ashenfelter. After studying the meteorological data of Bordeaux from 1952 to 1980, he compared the price fluctuations of Bordeaux wines at auction houses, and then used economic principles to derive a wine quality formula: wine quality=12.145+0.00117×winter precipitation+ 0.0614×average temperature during growth period -0.00386×precipitation during harvest period.

Using this formula, Orley Ashenfelter predicts: Bordeaux wines in 1989 will be of better quality than 1986. Later data showed that the selling price of the 1989 vintage was more than twice that of the 1986 vintage.

The creativity of the content is very similar to the quality of wine. In the eyes of ordinary people, it seems that they can only rely on intuition and are difficult to calculate with mathematics. But in fact, creative production can also be “algorithmized”, but this algorithm contains more dynamic and random elements.

The most important thing is: once AI learns to be creative, its creativity is not a one-off, but can be iterated and evolve continuously.

AI will grab hot words from the entire network to determine the trend of popularity, and combine with past audience feedback data to continuously generate new and large amounts of ideas.

In the vast amount of creativity, the right ideas are retained and the wrong ideas are eliminated, constantly approaching the best creative level, and always maintaining the best creative talent.

Although the current program advertising platform can only make simple graphic material ideas, simple video content editing, and modular landing pages, the algorithm after a few years can open a creative black box just like deciphering the quality of wine.

Technology is not solving creative expressiveness, but trying to improve creative productivity. The core technology to solve is how to meet the demand for 100,000 pieces of material a day, not just to create an immersive interactive idea.

Therefore, algorithms will push the creative industry into the era of mass production. What kind of evolution will happen in this era?

How will the creative “historical history” be written?
In the future, the main contradiction of the advertising industry must be the contradiction between the growing demand for creativity and the backward creative production methods.

Therefore, the “chronological history” of future creativity will be written like this.

1. Industrialization of creative production

We say: creativity is changing from art to fast-moving consumer goods. For art, this industry needs more creative craftsmen; for fast-moving consumer goods, this industry needs more creative factories.

At present, there are more than 100 creative workers such as designing, shooting, editing, and directing in advertising companies that do information flow in the advertising market.

In the past, we had to toss about an advertisement TVC for 2 months. Now they produce 8 video advertisements of more than 40 seconds per day on average.

Are these advertising practitioners still creative people? No, they can only be regarded as “creative migrant workers.” The nature of their work is not much different from Foxconn workers.

2. Diversification of creative industries

More and more people participate in creative production to meet more and more creative needs.

In the past, creativity was dominated by 4A and creative hot stores. Now the “supply side” of creativity is very complicated.

Creative producer: There are a party in house team, a large number of self-media internet celebrities, and a lot of freelancers. There will be more “slash youths” in the future.

Creative supply and demand platform: such as special praise, star map, new list, etc.

Creative tool services: quick editing tools, landing page service providers, free font libraries, etc.

In the creative business, there will be many new business opportunities in the future, far more than just a link in creative production.

3. Tooling of creative production

When a client produces 10,000 pieces of material a day, the advertising team of hundreds of people will also be stretched.

What to do then? Build another video team of tens of thousands of people? Will not. When manpower is insufficient, the human solution is not to recruit more people, but to replace manpower with tools.

For example, it is impossible for a company like SF Express to recruit customer service indefinitely as its business develops. The correct approach is to find a way to replace part of the human customer service with a machine. The same goes for creative businesses.

Creative tool service providers are still a blue ocean of entrepreneurship. Inspiration, scripting, hand-painting, editing, actor library, music copyright library, font library, etc., will give birth to corresponding tool applications.

We apply tools to solve 70% of the problems first. The remaining 30% of the more complicated things are corrected manually.

4. Centralization of creative management

Five years ago, when we filmed a brand TVC, the marketing department had to toss about a month or two to focus on creativity and execution; now, during a “Double 11” promotion, the e-commerce department has to focus on hundreds of creative materials every day.

In the future, when we need 10,000 sets of creative materials a day, just reviewing one item cannot be done by humans, let alone analyzing the performance of creativity.

Batch creativity can only be managed by software. In the future, the creative content of each company will be “centralized” like big data and business sectors. By setting fine KPIs, it will manage massive amounts of creative content.

In the era of creative mass production, good creativity ≠ quality, good creativity = quality × quantity.

At present, the creative industry is still in a state of ignorance about the surging changes.

Traditional creatives also regard a large number of growth creatives as traffic garbage, but they don’t know that these rough creatives are the lifeblood of advertisers; well-known industry media still stop at promoting the Cannes Awards and screen-scrolling cases. Turn a blind eye to logic

In classrooms on college campuses, the teachers only talked about the creative laws of the David Ogilvy era. When advertising graduates enter society, they will find that what they have learned in four years is already “non-mainstream” knowledge.

Your understanding of creativity must be updated.