Brands should “treasure” the genuine talent within their organisations because most creative work is “terrible”, according to a senior executive at Unilever.
Dan Izbicki, creative excellence director at the FMCG giant, warned against slipping standards in marketing during a discussion at the Effectiveness Week conference yesterday (2 November). He suggested that the explosion of digital media had lowered the bar for truly creative and effective work.
“There’s an assumption [in our industry] at the moment that just because everybody has got a camera and access to a YouTube channel, suddenly everybody is a creative director – that’s clearly not true,” he said.
“That’s why most advertising is terrible and most films are not very good. [Creativity] is a precious skill.”
He added that because Unilever’s products are “not high interest categories” for consumers, “we need great creativity and great work to cut through that”.
Izbicki was joined on stage by Sport England’s director of partnerships Tanya Joseph, who suggested that fear of taking risks within organisations is one of the biggest barriers to creativity.
Joseph oversaw last year’s hugely successful This Girl Can campaign, which she said was driven by the desire to be bold and impactful.
“The whole campaign is based on fantastic insight – that’s given us the platform to be creative,” she said.
“Far too often we [as an industry] get scared and go back to the easier thing to do because it’s not going to be terribly damaging – but we can do something bigger and better and braver.”