My friend Len Ellis pointed me to his recent contribution to Adweek, where he opines on the different “types” of creativity required by different marketing disciplines — including advertising, web design and data-based marketing. He reinvigorated one of his greatest marketing metaphors, base on gender, which I immediately fell in love with the first time he presented it to me years ago:
Unlike representation which pushes messages out, simulation pulls visitors in; unlike the “masculine” tradition of targeting, capturing and penetrating, the Web requires a “feminine” approach of attracting, listening and involving. Filling space that captures attention and creating space that enables intentions are fundamentally different types of creativity.
Beyond this analogy, Len correctly points out that codifying marketing creativity beyond the work of the stereotypical traditional creative agency is key. The Web has spawned a complex scenario where creative use of algorithms are essential to achieving meaningful marketing context and connection. Len concluded:
Part of the solution is certainly anchoring creativity in communicating “with.” That perspective crosses the disciplines precisely because it respects and leverages their differences. The result: creativity is no longer singular, but plural. It’s a typically post-modern situation: nothing is one thing any more.
At the risk of meta overload, I think the art and science of connecting creative “types” is increasingly a critical creative competency.