Rachit Vats

GoaFest 2008: ‘Create, do not recycle,’ Craig Davis

Craig Davis used a philosophical approach to talk about the need to bring creativity back in advertising

When Craig Davis, worldwide creative chief of JWT, came to Cavelossim Beach as a speaker on Day 2 of the GoaFest, he stressed the importance of bringing creativity back into the trade.

What does advertising offer today that is new, he wondered aloud. According to Davis, today’s advertising seems content with offering recycled stuff. The focus should always be on churning out something bigger, better and newer, he said.

Generosity as a virtue has been on a decline in advertising. In the last few years, advertising has taken too much and given too little. Davis said creative people have limited themselves, and gotten comfortable with limiting themselves, to just interrupting entertainment, rather than engaging the consumer within the entertainment itself. Instead of engaging the audience, recycling and sneaking on other people’s audiences seems to have become the mantra for many. In an increasingly changing media environment, the creative mind that explores new media and creates better content will be the one that escapes the trap of bad karma. According to Davis, today, almost everything is media. The possibilities of creating interactive engagement are endless.

Davis talked about the importance of good content. But then no matter how good content is, everyone wants it for free. He cited the example of the music industry. All over the world, youngsters download pirated music knowing well they’re committing a crime. No one wants to buy the music. Keeping in mind the fact that content is king, creative people need to create even better content for their clients on newer business models. Davis prophesied that while content is expected to be free, the time is not far away when almost all content, in any form, will be free and part of a newer business model.

Davis talked of how good creative content can turn around a brand and help it immensely. He cited the example of an animated advertisement for Quattro, a Wilkinson razor brand. It was run on the Internet and tempted more than 10,000 people to download a game related to its content.

The ad talked about the woes of a father who finds his biggest rival for his wife’s kisses is his baby son. The wife prefers the baby’s soft skin. Then one day, he discovers the Wilkinson Quattro razor. Now the baby is perturbed and starts exercising and learning martial arts to win back his mother’s kisses. The father-son duel was developed into a game.

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