It’s time to get cooking up creative

By Johnny Pitt, founder, Launch

Summer is a time that gets you thinking.  You’re out and about more (cue – more creative).  You’ve more stimuli (ditto).  You’re often closer to water (makes you more creative, did you know?), you’re surrounded more by blue (and blue is the most creative colour).  People smile more too (you do more in return – again, proven to make you more creative). There you have it, eh?!

A few summers ago, I couldn’t stop thinking about how the marcomms business had the opportunity to lift the lid on creative talent in a MasterChef meets Hell’s Kitchen meets X Factor style format.

After all, creativity is a precious commodity to brand value, reputation, employee engagement and share price.  And needs its own space and platforms to shine, separate to all the other industry events that go on.

So, it’s well documented – The Creative Shootout was born (which the CIPR is actively involved in).  And it bizarrely came from my own experience of winning agency Campaign of the Year and an awards cabinet full, from twinning Swindon … with Walt Disneyworld in Florida.  We’re good at celebrating categories and disciplines in the awards calendar, but don’t always look at the incredible stuff we ‘cook up’ under pressure.  Fascinating, right?  And definitely worth celebrating in a real time, live format.  More, well, ‘rewarding’ I think. For everyone involved.

Held annually in January and done in a day, any agency can enter The Creative Shootout from September 25, 2017 with just 60 seconds of any form content (as opposed to four sides of A4 and a minimum word count).

From there, on January 25, 2018 the selected finalist agency teams (from any discipline) will receive a real charity brief from the chosen Charity of the Year (to be announced soon – first year was UNICEF, last year mental health group, Time to Change), before having just four hours to work on their creative and pitching their ideas back in 10 minutes each at BAFTA.  Judging panel, audience as standard (well, not – check out the Judging Panel this year!)

David Fraser, Founder of trailblazing agency Ready10, who finished in the top three last year, said: “Because of the limitations of time and preparation at The Creative Shootout, your idea has to jump out to everyone from the get-go, so passion and originality in how you are communicating it are vital.”

This, to me, sums up a new ‘reality’ for our business when it comes to all aspects of developing and nurturing creative talent. It isn’t just about the agency boss or creative director being Star Baker, it is about every single member of a pitch team working together and believing in the brilliant originality and authenticity of their creative – and then making it resonate with their audience. Ready10 and several others were very good at that. And Mischief are current champions (twice!).

The Creative Shootout opens for entry w/c  September 25, 2017.  The entry stage is open until 5pm on Tuesday November 28, 2017.

The Live Final will be at BAFTA on January 25, 2018.

Image courtesy of pexels

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