The year ahead in creativity

Droga5's executive creative director prepares a creativity wishlist with more fun and no mo' FOMO

No amount of educated guessing or informed thinking could have helped me predict some of the trends that defined 2014. Millions of people dousing themselves in freezing water for charity? A Twitter-breaking-celebrity-selfie-moment? Hollywood cloud-hacking? I never would have predicted Too Many Cooks or clickbait overload or the listicle revolution or a million pop songs about butts. But they were part of an eclectic list of things that captured our attention this year.

So this is more of a wish list than a predictions list.

In the spirit of New Year's resolutions, here are some things I’d like to see happen in 2015 …

That breakthrough wearable tech moment. Podcasting is finally having its breakthrough moment as legitimately compelling, high profile, narrative-based entertainment. We now have more ways than ever to interact with technology — our hands, our feet, our eyes, our wrists, our faces  and we are poised for a wearable tech moment that is as moving as any movie, tweet or Buzzfeed list. 

No mo’ FOMO. There are a gazillion things any of us could be doing at any minute. It’s overwhelming. It’s incredible. It’s incredibly overwhelming. And I’m starting to notice an unnecessary technology backlash happening. I hope in the New Year we’ll be able to interact with our technology guilt-free, in a way that doesn’t disconnect us from real life, but rather enhances it and helps us appreciate even the smallest experiences. You will always be missing out on something, so just accept it and enjoy what you chose to do.

More collaboration with more diverse talents. The challenge for any creative company is keeping things fresh. At Droga5, one of the best ways to do this is by collaborating with people who have different points of view. As an industry, we need to work more with people who have never worked in advertising — even people who hate advertising. We need to talk to coders, psychologists, artists, statisticians, filmmakers, comedians, scientists, product designers and craftspeople from all disciplines. 

Making the right stuff the right way. We want to be creating more great work, but we also want to understand and embrace the nature of the work we’re making. There’s a lot of talk about agencies becoming more "nimble" and "scrappy" and working faster and cheaper, and I totally agree that sometimes that is absolutely necessary. One of our biggest successes this year was our Newcastle work — light, fun, high-volume, time-sensitive, multi-channel work that was largely done in-house. 

But sometimes that approach isn’t the answer. There is still a need for big, beautiful, high-polished work. For every Newcastle, there’s a Hennessy. And as much as we love the pace and instant impact of quick, responsive work, we’re just as proud of a powerful, single piece of film where we sweated every frame for months. Sometimes the most difficult part is recognizing what type of campaign is best for your message.

Getting better at getting better. I’m fortunate to work at a place that’s always pushing to create work that has a positive impact on culture. No matter what the client or the cause or the tone we use to do it, we always endeavor to create work that makes things better. Or changes a mind. Or makes something even moderately more bearable for someone for a moment. 

But one of the things I love most about working at Droga5 is that there is a genuine spirit of generosity. Of course we are all fiercely ambitious, competitive people, who always strive to do the best work of our careers, but I honestly believe we do that while looking out for each other. We know that if the people around us are doing better, the work is better. When the work is better everyone — from our bosses to our clients to our audience — is happier.

Every creative professional who loves what they do invests all they have in making their work great. From my experience that leads to more happiness and more fun, something we can all use. So for my final wish: More fun.

And a Happy 2015. 

#nonpredictions #NoMoFOMO #MoreFun #butts 

Neil Heymann is executive creative director at Droga5.

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