I'm going to tell you how to make a lot of money

20140102-220541.jpgA regular blog by Damon Stapleton, chief creative officer of DDB New Zealand

Right now we are an industry that is in flux. There are many people who are trying to figure out where things are going. What to do next. We constantly read articles about what advertising will look like in the next 5 years.

There are many who claim they know.

Well, to quote Dan Weiden, nobody knows what's going to happen next.

And I am with Dan on that one.
The problem with that is it creates a vacuum of uncertainty. And when you get uncertainty you get snake oil salesman.

And what are they selling? The future. Selling the future is the best business to be in because you are never wrong.

Workshops, masterclasses, weekends, ideation, brainstorms and talks. There are loads of them every day. All about the future of advertising. And in the next five years it's only going to get worse. If you want to make millions this is the business to be in.

To start off, use words like storytelling and content. After that, add meaningless words like digital and future to make it sound important. The digital future of storytelling.

Shit, just writing it down I feel like I should go on that course.

I have been on a few of these courses. Some of them have been very good. Some have been terrible.

They are terrible because they are vague. A couple of post-its on the wall and some buzz words. Maybe an interesting speaker. Some good food, entertainment and a high dosage of motivation. The problem is they don't show you how to make anything. That's because many that speak have never had to make anything. They have the luxury of never having to apply their theories. The future for creatives is going to be about learning how to make stuff. This is what we need to learn.

Strangely, most courses don't focus on making stuff. They focus on thinking conceptually.

The thing creatives do every day.

The thing that still has to be done no matter what crowd sourced think tank jargon you wrap around it. All these new words and labels that are about old things. A couple of people in a room saying what if. In the end, you need what happens when you get those brains that have the rhythm to get you to the algorithm.You still need to begin with an idea.

So, here is what I find odd.

While a fearful industry overdoses on workshops. While many creatives try and figure a way forward by learning everything they can. A strange thing is happening.

Creatives are getting hired by all sorts of future facing companies. And companies that have never hired creatives before.

Media companies. Google. Apple. Facebook. Tech companies. PR and experiential companies and all sorts of new hybrid models.

Why would that be?

Perhaps, we should replace the word uncertain with the word exciting. It would seem the one thing everybody still needs is creativity and ideas. These days a lot of people have the ending but not many have the beginning. This is what we can do. And, if you add making and distribution to that you have something very strong. Something very valuable.

Being a creative in the future could be something beyond our collective imaginations. The broadest canvas. No line on the horizon. Unlimited.

And if I am completely wrong?

Well, I am sure we could run a few workshops on how to think creatively.


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