Bruno Bertelli, Le Pub Amsterdam CEO, Global CCO Publicis WW, CCO Publicis Groupe Italy di LePub
According to WARC, Publicis Italy is the Most Creative Agency in the World. You have been nominated as “Agency of the Year” in Golden Drum. You keep winning top creative awards each year. Tell us, what is the secret of keeping long-term creativity in the agency?
- Bruno Bertelli. Fot. Miguel Schincariol
I can unfortunately confirm – this would make life so much easier –there is no secret ingredient to creativity! Surely, key factors are a vision, great teamwork, determination, and awareness that the world is an unstable and complicated place as it changes as you look at it. Creativity follows the same path: it’s a living creature, impossible to determine in shape or simple concept, as it’s always evolving. A vision transforms into an idea, and then you can build everything around it and deliver the right creative project to a client. It’s a continuous process and when it’s done effectively, you deliver values that will resonate globally.
Creativity that makes the difference, stands out for innovation, impact, and effectiveness thanks to the ability to reach consumers holistically. The same consumers who, in today's hyper-connected world, play a fundamental role in shaping what brands stand for. This means that the most successful brands are those that pay attention to the events of the world around them, integrating the creative outputs with the cultural values of the given historical moment. When brands actively participate in the culture they have built, they are much more likely to be perceived as relevant. Being present in culture therefore means embracing, strengthening, and communicating one's positioning and intent in a credible way and with a distinctive tone of voice.
I believe that the days of global first campaigns are over and that all brands - local, regional, or global - must start with identifying cultural changes at the local level. This is where to find the energy, interest and attention needed to scale ideas across borders. Publicis Italy / Le Pub has created a Data and Culture lab to develop bespoke data solutions that enable us to continuously produce and analyze our very own quantitative and qualitative data. Using a data-and-culture-first approach, we uncover the most interesting problems that inspire impactful creativity and deliver effective results - a systematic solution that creates innovative brand experiences that resonate in culture.
For marketers and communicators, it is essential to manage accurate information and insights, understand objectives, reinforce the values that define leading organizations. What is needed is a broad knowledge base and strong strategic rigor, as well as the ability to elicit empathy. Creative projects reach this milestone when they demonstrate that brands, in order to be seated at the table of culture, can improve the lives of consumers and become an integral part of their daily life.
Erick Rosa, chief creative officer Publicis Groupe Japan
You have a lot of experience working as Creative in different countries. You are currently working in Japan. What is specific in creativity in this market? How does the culture of countries or regions influence the creation of the campaigns?
- Erick Rosa
Japan is a blast of creativity, from all sides, day, and night. From the moment you step into a convenience store in the morning to get your morning coffee, you are hit with hundreds of colorful packages, sounds, posters, minimalist design meet loud color palettes to grab your attention - creativity is everywhere. And this is just a single example. The neon-lit streets at night, the impossible-to-describe flavors, fashion, past and future colliding on every corner. And in the end, this is all reflected in the work that comes from Japan in every medium.
Different cultures, countries —they all influence our work, our journey. After all, we are the sum of the experiences we have. And what we choose to put on paper, imagine or create, is always inspired, and fueled by our surroundings and those we meet. I feel very privileged to have worked with people from all over the world and lived in such different countries and regions. I am 1000% sure that I wouldn’t be writing these sentences if I hadn’t had these opportunities. If you have the chance, I highly recommend the experience abroad. I, for one, am very thankful for being able to do so.
Dennis May, chief creative officer at Publicis Groupe Germany
We are living in the times of VUCA, a pandemic, war in Ukraine, now the crisis. Considering all these factors, what advice would you give as a creative director to marketers and the ad industry in these challenging times?
- Dennis May
I wouldn’t dare to give advice to an entire industry – but more to share my point of view on what I think our role as creatives is. We need to be aware of the world we and our target groups are living in. Well, we always must do that, but now more than ever. Hence, when thinking about ideas we need to be aware of what kind of mindset the consumers are in. That doesn’t mean that we have to always be super serious or overly careful with the content we produce. Because especially in times like these, people also long for entertainment that gives them a moment of joy – and that can be a role brands play as well. So, you see, there’s no single golden rule for everything. These times call for careful choices and sensitivity from all of us.
Sann Sava, chief creative officer Publicis Montreal
You have had many successes in this year’s Cannes Lions edition. What was the biggest challenge in creating Cannes Lions-winning campaigns?
- Sann Sava
Yes, we won the first Lion for Publicis Canada with our campaign "HOME DELIVERY" for Burger King where you can recognize Ronald McDonald's’ front door with a delivery bag from BK in front of it. With the new delivery service, everyone can now shamelessly enjoy a Whopper. Burger King has always teased its competitors – but our focus was executing the brief in the clearest and most creative way we could. As the DOORS concept took shape, there was a thorough vetting process with Burger King's legal and marketing departments, who pushed the idea forward and helped it see the light of day. Finding the right balance was key: being obvious enough to let people in on the joke, but subtle enough to respect the audience's intelligence and avoid legal issues. This added a degree of complexity to the process and countless headaches.
It was a tedious job to come up with iconic “Easter eggs” which made our competitors recognizable – but not too much – while also conveying the message whether the viewer picks up on those references or not. And then there’s the age-old issue faced by any agency working on a global campaign: delivering a single creative for different countries with varying levels of market maturity, distinct cultures, and so on. But we embraced the task with pleasure.
Dani Ribeiro, executive creative director Publicis Brazil
Each year, more and more campaigns which raise social and environmental issues win Cannes Lions. Do you think advertising has the real power to influence positive change?
- Dani Ribeiro
Creativity has always had the real power to influence change. When it comes to advertising, the power is in generating reflections and creating awareness to pressure public opinion, corporations and governments and thus accelerate changes through real solutions. Until some time ago, advertising ignored socio-environmental issues. Then, it began to point them out. Now, it is expected that it will also act in solutions to these issues. Advertising and communication are efficient tools to create connections between causes, brands, and people. When these connections are built from real initiatives that are truly relevant to all those involved, genuinely inspiring action and transforming a context for the better, it is pure gold. The biggest risk is that all these power backfires on brands if they just talk and don't act. There is no more room for opportunists when it comes to environmental and social agendas, and I believe that Cannes Lions and other awards in our industry will make this more and more evident from now on.
Mihnea Gheorghiu, chief creative officer Publicis Italy & Le Pub
Le Pub and Publicis Italy have stood out in creating relevant work during the pandemic. Do you think it is easier to make creative campaigns during peaceful times? Or is it the challenging times like a pandemic or a crisis that boost creativity?
- Mihnea Gheorghiu
I just wanted to make one thing clear, I don’t think anyone should need or wait for a big and tragic event to be more creative. It’s just that historically, we’ve found the most innovative solutions during the harder times. It’s when the limits are very clear and the problems very well-defined that the human mind somehow manages to break through and find an unexpected solution. The best creativity often comes out of chaos, out of tight deadlines, out of despair, out of the last night before a presentation. I always say that “creativity hates comfort”. When there’s comfort, there’s no tension. No tension, no big creative potential. But hey, the good news is that we don’t need the world around us to fall apart to find these tensions. With the right team driven by relentless curiosity, you can find tension in anything. Even in pizza.