As well as being the year of COVID-19, 2020 should be the year of pushing the boundaries creatively and trying new things.
That’s according to Adobe’s director of strategic business development, digital media enterprise Michael Stoddart.
Speaking as part of the ‘Creativity – Who Dares Wins‘ webinar hosted by B&T and Adobe on Tuesday, Stoddart discussed the current state of play when it comes to creativity and being daring.
“There’s a weariness, but there is an openness to try new things,” he said.
“Because what we’ve gone through has, in some ways, been very disruptive, but it’s also been very change driven.
“If you’re changing a little, you may as well change a lot.”
Stoddart reflected on his own experiences in 2020, going from working in an office to having “99 per cent” of his interactions now done through a screen.
This dramatic shift demonstrates how this same explorative mindset will spill over into decisions around technology.
“The belief that ‘technology is great, but it’s too hard to make the change’ is gone, because we were forced to make the change very rapidly,” he said.
“The world didn’t stop it changed. So there’s an openness now to look for [new] technology solutions.”
Selling Australia… with closed borders
Joining Stoddart on the panel was Tourism Australia’s general manager – PR, social, content, consumer marketing Anita Godbeer.
Tourism Australia has made a name for itself through bold and daring campaigns, dating as far back as Paul Hogan’s famous ‘shrimp on the barbie’ ad from the 1980s.
Godbeer explained: “it’s one of our core values internally to be bold and brave”.
But these values have taken a different meaning in 2020.
With borders still shut and the entire tourism industry more or less at a standstill, Tourism Australia has been forced to be daring in its creativity in order to keep potential customers engaged, Godbeer explained.
Whether it be the ‘Live from Aus’ virtual events series or shooting domestic campaigns under COVID-19 restrictions, the focus has been on ensuring Tourism Australia continues to put out engaging content.
“We are really looking at that immersive content whilst the borders are closed,” she said.
And while Tourism Australia has attracted headlines in recent years with big budget campaigns featuring the likes of Chris Hemsworth and Kylie Minogue, Godbeer explained how the organisation takes an ‘always on’ approach to its marketing.
“Tourism Marketing can be a bit dull sometimes to be honest… you see lots of beautiful turtles swimming under the ocean,” she said.
“So I guess we do try and cut through that noise with those big campaigns.
“But on the other side of things, I guess my department particularly are really looking at keeping that dream alive and engaging with customers in different in unique ways in between and in conjunction with those big campaigns.”
She explained how this approach has helped build Australia’s reputation as a food and wine destination.
Fear or failure
While Tourism Australia has had to deal with the reality of border closures in 2020, for Australia Post, it has been an entirely different story.
COVID-19 restrictions have meant the postal service has never been so important, with many Australians now rely on Australia Post to receive essential goods.
Joining the panel discussion, Australia Post emerging products & solutions innovation manager Tish Tambakau said 2020 has seen the organisation shift their strategic focus towards “the future of home”.
“How do we help our customers – so our businesses merchants – get to their customers quicker, smarter amd more efficiently,” she said.
“That’s really the space that we’re looking at right now.”
Although a postal service may not be the first organisation that comes to mind when discussing daring creativity, Tambakau explained how pushing the boundaries is part of Australia Post’s DNA.
“Ultimately, you’ve got to think about being okay with the possibility of failure,” she said.
“Without failure, that risk isn’t big enough. You really need to embrace that risk.
“Without that ability to accept failure, you’re just going to keep playing on the safe side.”
Missed out? Click here to register and watch the event on demand from tomorrow.
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