We asked thought leaders what "creativity" means to them these days and what role innovation plays in their business. See what some of them had to say on video.
Director of Marketing Excellence
On creativity: "Creativity is surprise and delight. It's interesting, invites you in. It's storytelling. It's breakthrough. I think that when you invite a consumer in and you have something interesting to say, they're going to pay attention. If it's not interesting and not creative, there's too many messages—I think the average consumer sees 2,000 advertising messages a day. So if you're not relevant and breakthrough and creative, you'll not be noticed."
On innovation: "Innovation's important because you want to look at solving a problem for consumers. There are so many options out there. Unless it's innovative and different and helpful, people aren't really going to pay attention. And I agree the word is overused, is the 45th flavor of Hamburger Helper innovative? It's innovative maybe to us internally, but what is really innovative to the consumer is what we focus on."
Director, Trade Marketing
On creativity: "For me, creativity means tapping into what inspires you and leveraging your resources to make a memorable impact. As USA TODAY is the official U.S. representative to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, I get to be inspired by the world's most creative work every June."
On innovation: "It seems now more than ever, staying innovative is really the 'cost of entry' in any business. As marketers, we need to continue to push our way of thinking and look for new ideas to stay top of mind and engaged with our audiences in positive ways."
The Jim Stengel Co.
On creativity: "Creativity is all about something that hasn't been done before—you know, a creative way to really solve a problem or unveil or unleash a new opportunity. So to me, true creative is original, which is a very high standard."
On innovation: "Innovation is a buzzword, like storytelling. You hear it all the time, but people don't stop, take a deep breath and think about what that means. To innovate is to constantly improve, right? To try to change things for the better, to make a more positive impact. And it has to be about culture, because true cultures that are risk-taking, that are free, that are open, that aren't afraid of failure, will step forward, will innovate, will change things. So it's so important today.
"Everything, every category in the world is being disrupted. Think about one that isn't. Hospitality is being disrupted, media is being disrupted, automobiles are being disrupted. So you have to be constantly innovating, and that's all about the culture."
Ogilvy & Mather
On creativity: "Creativity has really become about emotion; [it's] the idea of a brand really trying to emotionally connect with a consumer, make them feel something that they wouldn't necessarily expect to feel from that brand. … So many different types of advertisers [are] really understanding that the best way to a consumer's mind is through his or her heart."
On innovation: "As an agency CMO, I get to experiment with innovation in ways that aren't necessarily defined by the construct of our client roster. For example, Ogilvy was the first agency to do a true content partnership with a publisher. We were also the first Agency in Asia to become publishers when we developed and launched Ogilvydo.com, a now global platform. David Ogilvy was a pioneer in advertising from the first direct-mail piece he wrote to when he first spoke of creatives sourcing inspiration from magazine editors back in the '70s, so of course innovation has to be top of mind for me when caring [for], nurturing and evolving the Ogilvy brand."
On creativity: "In advertising terms, creativity has, at least for the past 50 or 60 years, stood for the notion of an energizing idea that links a brand and its products or services to consumers. More broadly, the definition of creativity would be that which stirs the soul and elevates the mind. And come to think about it, that's a pretty good definition for creativity in advertising these days, as the definition of advertising itself has lost its boundaries."
On innovation: "As CEO of the IAB, innovation is the life's blood of what I and the team do every day. I think most of the people here know that we're the technical standard-setting body for the digital advertising industry, we're the consensus convener for best practices, market researchers or public policy representative in Washington and so on. And so the technical innovation, in particular, in advertising and media business affects everything we do. From a public policy perspective, we're always trying to stay ahead of what's happening in technical innovation so we can represent the interests of the industry in Washington and state capitols.
"You know, from the standpoint of helping the industry develop technical standards, that's almost always a response to technical innovations and often business process innovations that are happening in the industry. So, I'd say for better and for worse, innovation and reacting to innovation and trying to stay ahead of innovation is really what the job of the IAB is."
On creativity: "Creativity is innovation—creating new solutions with existing information and connecting things in new ways. As someone said it beautifully this year at Cannes Lions, 'Creativity is leaving an old belief behind.'"
On innovation: "I am sure most people would agree that innovation is key, and the good thing about innovation is it is not the same as invention, it can simply be doing the same thing in a slightly better way. It is nothing new—humans have innovated for millennia. What is new is the speed of change, how quickly we now need to react. That's what people and businesses find so hard to do."
Chief Creative Officer, The Martin Agency
2014 Cyber Lions Juror
"Creativity is a big, catch-all word. It means doing something that's never been done before. … Doing something that scares you is kind of a good way to talk about it, for me—and that's when you know you're out of your comfort zone and you're trying things that are innovative and courageous, and pushing yourself to extend your creativity."
Executive Creative Director, Pereira & O'
2014 Mobile Lions Jury President
"Creativity is taking existing things and recombining them in ways that are completely new and fresh, but I can only tell you what creativity is when … the hair stands up on the back of the neck, and you just know it, you just know that you've come up with something that is deeply creative. And God, I love those times when it happens."
North American President, IPG Mediabrands
2014 Direct Lions Juror
"For me, personally, creativity is about a human connection. In marketing, we … are forgetting that we're talking to other people sometimes; we're not talking to robots, we're not talking to Google algorithms, we're talking to human beings. And so, for me, creativity has to have that human notion. … It's that connection, and certainly the perspective of what is creativity, even from a global standpoint, it's still human if it's in Japan or Columbia, or anywhere around the world."
Global CEO, UM
2014 Media Lions Juror
"To me, creativity is something that sparks the imagination about a brand in an ingenious way. And I like the idea of ingenuity, because it captures some of the excitement about technology, but it always puts it in the context of an idea. … Sometimes it involves great technology, and sometimes it involves putting a lovely insert into a newspaper and sending it to all the people in the nation."
For additional videos on creativity from the following 2014 Cannes Lions jurors, click below or go to canneslions.usatoday.com.