It appears that there is some despair in the industry currently about the value of the Brits contribution to creative culture at Cannes.
If not despair - a lot of head scratching. Claire Beale summed it up nicely recently:
1) Lack of creative leadership due to churn (this also raises another question)
2) Client leadership
The outake is that we have become too 'safe' to do really creative work – both agencies and clients.
Safe is a euphemism for ‘poor’.
And ‘poor’ feels a long way below ‘good’.
The excuse of ‘recession’ has been bandied around as justification.
But human beings are resourceful. Creativity thrives not on abundance but on scarcity.
The noughties taught us that. Flaccid lazy thinking. No ideas – just executions. The era of image over substance. The prog rock era of advertising until HHCL came along and re-wrote the rules. The cultural context supported that type of work.
But the recession has changed the cultural context again.
Scarcity forces us to think about things in a different way. It stops us being lazy. We should have used this to our advantage.
But then in a different context - perhaps we did. Perhaps we will have a record number of entries and awards at the IPA Effectiveness and Marketing Excellence awards.
And then we will have the debate about the type of creativity that works. And we will be happy again that our prime directive – to sell stuff – has been vindicated.
Because the context of those awards supports what advertising does – not what it looks like.
Let's hope so.