Chaos = Creativity

Laura Robinson, Senior Creative for MEC UK, shares her learnings from her Advertising Week Europe 2015 experience. 

I always have a preconception that industry festivals and conferences just churn out the same themes, over exaggerated statements and will fail to tell us something we don’t already know. So when I rocked up to AWEurope on Tuesday I decided to ban all talks with ridiculously long queues, talks with the big brand names such as Facebook, Google, Mediacom, etc etc. and talks with shiny celebrity panels and big cheeses with Chief in their title. Instead, I wanted to hear from the underdogs, the independents and the unknowns, the ones that could genuinely change my perspectives, thoughts and beliefs and tell their story in a non-conventional advertising conference kind of way!

And I’m glad I did.

One stellar examples of a talk that passed my cut throat elimination process was Attack of the Killer Indies.

Keeping me captivated for almost 3 hours! Yes 3 hours – winner of the longest seminar I have ever attended at an industry event (film screenings not included).

But what I found so compelling was the ‘no b******s’ policy that these speakers and indie companies adhered to.

Attack of the Killer Indies was a session about how independent agencies are creating transformative work and making disproportionate impact in their fields.

In my mind, independents are really having the last laugh!

Sure they may not have the big fame, or power station statuses behind them, but what they do have is the most important asset of all: CHOICE!

The choice to decline client work if it’s unlikely to leave behind a legacy. The freedom to enable creative teams to have a no-fear factor, something that big agencies and giant brands so often chicken out of.

Indies are doing what all creatives entered the industry to do: disrupt convention and get paid for it.

In the words of indie creative shop Mr President, “be as nimble as f**k”. Nimble in attitude and nimble in action, while at the Sunshine Agency, they believe that the perfect conditions for creativity to flourish in is chaos.

During the session, a recurring theme was authenticity. We live in an increasingly transparent world where we strive to find a quest for truth. Only if brands are brave enough to be transparent will they be able to tell an authentic story, to help them gain trust, respect and captivate an audience for longer than the one hour memory of the Twitterspehere.

No bulls**t! People will see straight through it.

Three learnings:

1 – Let’s all be a bit more nimble!

2 – Let’s create more chaos!

3 – Let’s cut the bulls**t!

Finally, I wanted to leave you with something so out of the ordinary that I couldn’t not mention it. In a bid to do something different, Sunshine gave the stage to Mark Grist, the former English teacher now poet-rapper and YouTube phenomenon. They showed the audience that despite a rapidly evolving media landscape, everything and nothing has changed and that the art of the story and storytelling is still paramount. Behaviour is still driven by the same things – a quest for truth. We just need to find new and inspiring ways to communicate.

In an exclusive Ad Week performance, (cue laughter not needed) Grist captivated and entertained the audience with a rendition of his Mancunian MC battle rap that shot him to fame.

Heaps of humour, wizardry of words and a story worth sharing.