On the third and last day of Goafest 2019, Matt Eastwood, Global Chief Creative Officer, McCann Health, quoted Banksy who once said, “The thing I hate about advertising is that it attracts all the bright, creative and ambitious young people.” Eastwood doesn’t agree with it, and in fact loves this aspect about advertising.
“Creativity, imagination and ambition is what makes coming to work every day — inspiring. And the one thing that I found is that no matter what the challenges are and no matter how difficult the client brief is, if you give someone who is bright, ambitious and creative for solving the problem, you will be presented with at least three answers — one of which will be kind of perfect,” said Eastwood.
He said we are going through a period of uncertainty. One-third of the millennials living in the developed countries believes their country’s overall social and political situation will improve. This means two-thirds are pessimistic about their future. Only 43% of the Gen-Z, the next generation after millennials, expects to be happier than their parents.
“It’s clear that there is a lot of concern out there. Uncertainty is having an effect. The turbulence of our times is making it hard to be optimistic,” pointed out Eastwood.
But research says it’s also an ideal time for business leaders to prove themselves as agents of positive change. “So there is hope,” he said.
Stressing the ability of advertising, he said, “I think the work we do can truly shape the world we want.”
Creativity is all about trying new things, being scrappy, and creating content that may not look like advertising but actually are, according to Eastwood. Most importantly, things that do good.
Citing examples ranging from Kwality’s Noon Assembly campaign to address Vitamin D deficiency in Indian children, to the launch of MGM Resorts’ Universal love songs in favour of the LGBTQ community, he explained, “Commercials don’t always sell a product, they sell a point of view.”
Eastwood said new studies report that 91% of millennials would shift to responsible products and 81% expect brands to make public commitments to be good corporate citizens.
“You must be a company that does do good for the planet, but you also have to be authentic. If you’re not, you’ll be called out immediately. Now you can’t get away without living the promises you make,” he concluded.