Constraint Creates Creativity

Posted 13.05.20

This insight comes from ‘The Adobe Summit’ that happened a few weeks ago during the early stages of the COVID-19 global lockdown. The forum, previously held in an over-the-top conference centre in Las Vegas, was this year pivoted online giving everyone not just access to the key talks but also all the notes and addendums available to download. So,Constraint Creates Creativity’ comes from Sarah Kennedy, V.P of Global Marketing at Adobe, and her headline stuck out to me, as it not only conveyed exactly what Adobe had done, in pivoting the summit, but also what millions of other brands are striving to do, to not only survive but also thrive during this pandemic. 


A way that brands have found to keep themselves relevant to their audiences, in a time where reach is extremely limited, is on social media is by examining your brand and exploring how you can create topical and relevant content. A recent example of a brand doing this would be Ogilvy. As lockdown came into effect, Ogivily kicked into gear and began to produce content on their social pages that acknowledged their audience and offered up solutions to how their brand could help.


This came in the form of richly coloured typography, laying out tips and tricks on how to manage working from home and handling running a business in a pandemic. All the tips shared were sourced from an article written by them entitled, ‘Leadership in the Time of Covid-19: How Executives Should Communicate Through the Crisis’. This kind of quick thinking and adaptation of their brand to social was a brilliant move. Not only did they then convey themselves as insightful, but they also painted themselves as creative leaders in a turbulent time.


Brands not only need to adapt, but to also consider roads less traveled. This global lockdown has forced brands into thinking unconventionally on how to reach their audiences. Live events have turned into mass streamings, lecture halls have been swapped out for zoom meetings and pub quizzes now no longer take place in pubs.


This reinvention can seem terrifying, but should rather be looked at as an opportunity. Global Citizen took on this challenge amazingly and created a historic, cross-platform global event, which focused on celebrating healthcare workers during COVID-19. The event ‘One World: Together at Home’ included talks from major leading health experts, as well as at home performances by some of the world’s best entertainers. 20.7 million people tuned in to the event, and there were almost 5 million interactions made through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These kinds of stats not only show that reinventing the platform of your brand is possible, but also that it can be massively effective. 


From restructuring a marketing conference, to creating insightful social media content, to creating a successful global event, social media is presenting itself to brands as a great tool for innovation. It is allowing brands to connect with their audiences and creatively grow in ways previously unseen. However uncertain these times may be, one thing is clear. Brands need to remain agile and relevant, and their most important commodity will be innovation. 


Emma Schilperoort – Designer, Wilderness Agency