Spikes Asia 2018: 'We need to tear down barriers to get genuine creativity': Scott Donaton

The chief creative and content officer of Digitas spoke about how agencies need to evolve

Sep 26, 2018 05:04:00 PM | Article | Campaign India Team

‘Tear down the wall between creative and content’ was the message Digitas’ global chief creative and content officer Scott Donaton delivered on day one at Spikes Asia 2018.
“Sixty years ago Bill Bernbach’s concept of elevating art directors alongside copywriters sparked a creative revolution,” said Donaton before showcasing results of that partnership.

He elaborated, “It came about in 1959. 59 years ago. It was also the year when Barbie Doll was created and Dalai Lama fled Tibet. Singapore became self governing too. A lot has changed in the last 59 years, except for advertising. When a brief comes in an ECD sends two-three teams to work on it. It’s time for change.”
He then explained what he believed is the next revolution on creativity. “The future belongs to agencies that think of themselves as creative agencies and not agencies with a creative department. Going back in time, brands produced shows. They then stopped doing that and created 60-second spots within them. Then came in-show product placements. Audiences don’t like advertising, but they do like stories.”
He spoke about how media agencies are entering the space of content which does make some creative agencies angry. At creative agencies too, there are specialist units created for content which ends up competing with the ‘creative agency’.
Defining content, he said, “It is telling stories that people choose to spend time with. The greatest ads are stories that people want to spend time with. Great ads were great stories. Brands need to tell stories like those. Whether it’s said in a 60-second film or a 90-minute documentary, using AR/VR or whatever, it’s about stories.”
He surmised, “At Digitas and other agencies, we have different teams, and in theory they work together. But, it was only in theory. The world has changed. We need to change as well. We need to tear down barriers to get genuine creativity. We have to be dynamic and agile. The world is changing rapidly and we have to keep pace with consumers. When we tear down walls, it’s about creating powerful connections with consumers.”