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Creativity in a Technology Enabled World

By Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategist, Publicis Groupe

Creativity is the lifeblood of Brands.

Yes technology and data increasingly matter but people are carbon based life forms and not silicon avatars. We have emotions and moods and feelings.

We move people with relevant stories.

And the best stories are driven by creativity.

While there are many definitions of creativity, I define creativity as connecting dots in new ways that resonate with consumers, culture and brands.

Blaise Pascal the French philosopher stated it best when he said:

people choose with their hearts and they then use numbers to justify what they did.

New Technology, New Dots

Traditionally the “dots” that Brands have used to deliver creative messages have combined audio, videos, images and words. These essential elements still matter a great deal, but due to advances in technology, we now have three new dots.

These new dots are those of:

  1. Mobility
  2. Participation
  3. API – the ability to create and build messages utilizing application protocol interface, such as linking to Instagram photos or Google trend data

The key change that these new dots bring about in Creativity is that they leverage movement and motion on the part of the consumer.


Mobility allows for place-based relevance. Where we are is as important as whom we are for ensuring relevant messages and conversations. New companies that Publicis Groupe has invested in, like Place IQ, can reveal where people are before and after a sale.


Similarly, due to the “People’s Network” that social platforms make possible, we can now be part of a Brand’s story in that we can contribute to it, adapt it and pass it along. Today Facebook is the largest distributor of not just people’s stories but professional content driving more traffic to global content owners all around the world. Increasingly, our Brand Stories are both influenced by and distributed by people across social platforms. More and more brands integrate consumer responses such as tweets into our marketing materials.


Finally, APIs (Application Protocol Interfaces) allow for continuous access to relevant data within our stories. Today we can tell a story about Jazz and link to historic videos on YouTube or poems about Jazz at and much more. There are layers within layers within layers in story telling made possible by links and APIs.

Connecting the Dots

A data-driven approach to social content: All Things Hair by Razorfish The challenge for Brands, Marketers, Agencies and Media companies is how to best leverage this new fast moving or “Kinetic” creativity in ways that can scale and be cost effective. How can a marketing team and its message become agile? How can they better leverage the data that comes from these social and mobile and API platforms?

A data-driven approach to social content: All Things Hair by Razorfish

The solution is likely a combination of organizational and process re-design in a company, new talent and training, and finally utilization of new tools, technologies and platforms. The future of creativity, story telling and Brand building has been put into motion. All of us need to transform ourselves and the ways we think about creativity, if we are to truly facilitate the next generation of story telling.

The Future of Creativity – People’s Insights by MSLGROUP

Watch the video highlights of our report: The Future of Creativity. Download the ebook here:

Rishad T



Rishad has 33 years of marketing experience across several industries with an emphasis on next generation marketing enabled by new technologies and changing expectations of people. He is a board member and advisor to a range of start-ups and venture capital firms. Follow him on Twitter: @rishad



bands and brands

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