The CEO of M&C Saatchi, Jaimes Leggett, says the industry keeps changing at such breakneck speed that it can leave many agencies floundering in its wake. However, he argues that the one thing most agencies remain consistently good at – creativity – is often the answer to most if not all your problems.
Leggett, who is guest editor of the latest issue of B&T magazine (landing on desks today), admits that even as boss of one of Australia’s most high-flying agencies he too can be bamboozled by the pace of change confronting the industry today.
The upshot, he says, is that brands have never been in less control. “That’s the threat,” Leggett said.
“The uptick is that’s a threat swamped by the endless opportunity we now have to deliver rich and meaningful experiences to people – those emotional creatures we call ‘consumers’ – who are hungry to embrace and share when we get it right.
“But when all is said and done, it strikes me that the thing that’s always been our stock and trade, is more so now than ever – creativity,” Legget argued.
And when it comes to creativity, Leggett says it’s not just the cool copywriter dude around the office in the “sardonic T-shirt” but its the impact creativity can have on all aspects of the business.
“Creativity finds new ways to solve old problems,” he said. “Creativity that makes an impact on shareholders, board room and bottom lines.”
And, he believes, creativity and innovation go hand in hand.
“It amuses me how glib the word innovation has become. The term gets bandied about at virtually every meeting to the extent it’s in danger of being rendered meaningless.
“At its essence, creativity and innovation require changing what was, or even what wasn’t there before. They both require malleable mindsets to explain new ways of doing existing or new things,”
Leggett quotes the great American advertising creative director, Bill Bernbach, who said: “Creativity will become the last unfair advantage we’re legally allowed to take over our competitors.”
And that day is upon us, Leggett espoused. “Here’s to you ramming home that unfair advantage.”