“We move at the speed of business.” A cliché that may come to life and kill us in the end. Quite frankly business seems to be moving at the speed of light – thank you very much Silicon Valley for hi-speed everything. So what does that mean for us creative types? Maybe it means that we have to get faster, you know, adapt or become obsolete. Actually, I can’t wait to be replaced by an AI unit with the creative computing capacity of 10,000 versions of me – I needed a vacation anyway.
The advent of society’s insta-everything mentality, eternal sense of immediacy and everything in between has put a serious crunch on staying relative. We can take the rise of citizen journalism as an example. Technology has given us the gift, or burden if you will, of having the ability to report the news as it’s happening with our digital devices anywhere at anytime. This has put real pressure on news outlets to stay current and be first to market with a story, regardless of fact-checking and consequences. My guess is this happens more often than is reported, pun intended.
I believe that professional creatives are facing some of the same pressures that technology has burdened the media with. Technology provides an opportunity to tell a story and spread a message quickly and relatively cheap. On the other hand, it has pressured creatives to move at lightening quick speed to deliver a message that is both relevant and engaging to an audience with an average attention span of seven seconds. An attention span that the technology itself helped to create. This can sometimes put us in a position to deliver ideas faster, and possibly with less polish and consideration. It’s a fine line to straddle, but if approached and executed properly “hi-speed creative” can be very rewarding for a brand and its consumers alike, not to mention award winning for an agency.
Whether it’s the proliferation of websites that will deliver 99 logo designs almost over night, or projects where we seem to measure time via the minute hand instead of the hour hand, it can feel as though proper respect for the creative process is often pushed to the sideline for the misguided “benefit” to the bottom line. So, how fast is too fast? It doesn’t matter because we will adapt, we will create more and create faster, but one can’t help but wonder if we are really creating better.
All we can really do is pledge, within our own agencies, to protect and nurture the process that goes into developing great creative in whatever form – even it has to be “instant”. My fear is that “creativity” in its truest sense will become commoditized to the benefit of no one but the robots.
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