How to end a creativity drought by embracing new tech and fresh talent

How to end a creativity drought by embracing new tech and fresh talent

It’s been something of a relief to realise that I haven’t been suffering from chronic déjà vu—it turns out that the majority of ads really do all look the same.

It’s hardly surprising—the same people from the same backgrounds with the same ideas on an endless repeat. There is so little diversity and so little break from conventions that have existed seemingly forever.

Despite pressures to employ more diverse creatives and the fact there is an abundance of talent out there, agencies are stuck in a rut of looking in the same places to recruit. Not just the same places, but for people with the same backgrounds, the same profile and living in the same areas geographically. It might be quicker for agencies to post what your CV should look like, rather than give you the choice.

This lack of diversity would barely have raised an eyebrow 30 years ago and probably not even a stifled cough 10 years ago, but to still be persevering with a narrow recruitment model that doesn’t even produce memorable work is madness. The world has (thankfully) moved on; technology has moved on; people have moved on.

The role of technology

Working from home is now the norm for countless people not just in the UK but beyond. This, in itself, has opened doors to communicating more effectively online and can allow collaboration in meaningful, imaginative ways.

If you think Zoom was a game-changer, real-time 3D and platforms like Nvidia’s Omniverse will floor you. Don’t confuse this with standard 3D and its clumsy walled gardens of files and life-sapping rendering times. Having made seismic advances in the last two years, real-time 3D, and a new universal file - USD - which even Apple has supported, can alleviate the drought, so long as we also welcome those willing and able to use it into our world.

Platforms like Omniverse are revolutionising how we collaborate creatively. 

These technologies enable real-time collaboration in a shared 3D space, allowing creatives from different backgrounds and locations to work together seamlessly. Imagine art directors, graphic designers, animators, and developers from around the world contributing to a project simultaneously, seeing each other's changes in real-time, and refining ideas collaboratively. This level of interaction is a game-changer in the creative process.

Traditional methods of producing work have also revealed themselves to be clumsy, expensive and draining. 

Why take two bottles into the shower when you can take dozens, creating the same advert time and time again to accommodate different territories, packaging changes, and seasonal campaigns? It’s still considered perfectly sensible to throw money, carbon and months at shoots when technology can allow you to do it once in half the time (or less).

Digital twins and real-time 3D engines offer fantastic opportunities for both new recruits and existing staff in advertising. 

Workflows can now be simplified beyond recognition, not only making huge savings in terms of time and cash (not to mention eradicating up to 100% of the carbon) but opening the door to new, fresh creatives, graphic designers and programmers to whom the industry had previously been for ‘someone else’. Talent from the gaming industry, artists, writers and from working-class backgrounds around the world are now the future dream engineers the ad industry has been crying out for.

Talent diversity

Sadly, many of these emerging talents haven’t even thought of Adland as a career opportunity. But advances in the use of digital twins - photo-realistic counterparts of real-world objects that obey the same physics and dynamics are heralding a new age - one where a young designer, animator or 3D graphic expert can shine brighter than any number of London-based clones.

Opportunities to multi-skill also allow existing creatives to recapture their passion for their work, and give them back the time they need to do it to the best of their ability. Physically and mentally exhausted creatives can never produce the work that consumers are now demanding. Campaigns that take the best part of a year to appear can never capture the zeitgeist nor the craving of an audience that now expects TV series to be binge-able at launch.

The holy grail: new talent + new technology

The immediacy of real-time 3D is not only a boon for relationships between agencies as brand partners, it fires the imaginations of both existing creatives and those entering the industry for the first time. With time shackles broken and the financial weight lifted, energies can be poured into ideas, with those from an untypical background offering fresh insight and perspective.

The need to live in a room the size of a telephone box in London will soon look as bizarre as it truly is. For too long, Adland has batted itself into a corner from which it is now screaming to escape. A combination of technology and the workforce which is finding itself shunted by the gaming industry and art worlds can not just end the creative drought in the industry, it can change the language of communication forever.

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