When I first received the invite for this year’s AdAsia - Bali, there were three things that ran through my mind, after keeping the obvious excitement in quarantine:
- Intrigue, considering this would be my first time there
- Excitement, considering I’d be in the homeland of ‘The Raid’ and ‘Raid 2’ (Whaaaaaat)
- But most importantly, doubt: since AdAsia, as a holistic advertising and marketing festival, was set to be different (read: distant) to me as a creative person.
For starters, unlike Cannes Lions, Spikes Asia, the ABBYs back home or other creative festivals, AdAsia seems to be more rounded viz. its purpose. Its sessions, speakers and attendees aren’t the usual suspects I’d imagine to see at an advertising conference: right from Kofi Annan to Martin Lindstorm. Its highlight topics of discussion aren’t just on creativity, data or diversity, as it was in Cannes or Spikes, but those that attempt to trend-map and forecast what’s next in the business-side of this ‘creative business’.
“So, how’s that relevant to me as a creative person,” you ask?
Simply put, this is the gold standard in perspective. Sometimes (maybe because we creatives are glorified as the ‘face’ of the advertising industry), we fail to realize that technically, we’re also the last step in the entire advertising process. There are umpteen decisions that get made before that brief lands in our inboxes, which courtesy our ignorance and dismissiveness, we don’t bother involving ourselves in. Decisions that involve words we don’t like: market opportunity, audience segmentation, growth potential and excel sheets.
These are the decisions our brand managers & brand directors have already made before coming to pick our brains. And the more we know what the world of advertising outside creativity looks like, the more we will understand how to use creativity to shape it better. And learn to fight for our best work with more than one weapon.
The next three days is my attempt to remove the creative hat, learn and share what those decisions look like. Hopefully, by the end of it, I’d be able to put it back on. Join in.
- Guy Kawasaki (Ex chief evangelist @ Apple and current chief evangelist @ Canva) on the Art of Innovation
- David Coulthard (Grand Prix Wizard) on the Business of Winning
- Piotr Jakubowski (CMO of Go-Jek) on Local Insights to Reach Mass Markets (my bet’s on this one)
And many more. Let’s get started.
(The author is a senior creative director at Dentsu Webchutney, Bangalore)