The Future of Creativity?

Interesting story over at BrandWeek about the commodification of creative. What's most interesting about it is that the angle of the story is exactly backwards. Creativity is precisely what is NOT being commodified. The assets and activities that are being commodified as interactive emerges are distribution (low margin, high-volume), media planning and buying, etc. These days I scratch my head at the thought of contracting with an agency to whom I'm expected to pay big bucks to cover massive overhead from which my business accrues zero incremental value. It doesn't make business sense particularly when one considers the fact that agency business models are heavily weighted in favor of creativity and against performance. Crazy. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend watching a Frontline piece titled "The Persuaders" about the Advertising industry. In particular, Bob Garfield is interviewed and he has, what I think, are some terrific insights into the confounding nature of the industry today and how it has sown the seeds of its own disruption at the hands of massive amounts of data including campaign and creative performance information (ROI). One of my favorite story lines in the piece is about Delta's Song airlines and how "creative" their branding and marketing campaign is to be. At the same time, Garfield (who I think is spot on) acknowledges the obvious that in today's world, the product and the experience consumers have with it is what matters most of all - more than sizzle, more than buzz, more than anything else. You can reach more people with fewer dollars as long as the product delivers. Exciting times if you're more about the steak than the sizzle.

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