The only event of its kind in Australia, the two-day Creative3 encompassed a series of dynamic presentations from the world’s leading creative game changers and entrepreneurs. It offer real-world insight into the mechanics of creativity, enterprise and investment.
Audience engagement through the art of digital content was championed on the first day of Creative3. pwc’s Megan Brownlow and Holition’s Jonathan Chippindale were the first keynote speakers at this year’s annual event, hosted by QUT’s Creative Enterprise Australia.
Risk taking and rejecting complacency are vital in a fluid social environment, both speakers said. According to Megan Brownlow, addictive behaviour is driving online behaviour. The executive producer shared the latest pwc trends and projections for the media and entertainment industries, with plenty of revenue forecast statistic for eleven entertainment and media sectors to make her case. She detailed the winners and losers of digital media developments, with those companies willing to invest in long-term innovation looking to reap the rewards.
Jonathan Chippindale showcased the latest digital initiatives fashion labels are playing with to attract audiences and engage directly with their fans. He showed how brands such as TopShop, Burberry and Nuji are creating or adopting apps, websites and devices every year in order to remain exciting and relevant to consumers.
But the event wasn’t just about presentations. Creative3 started with four business pitches. Finalists presented their entrepreneurial business concepts to the CEA board and a panel of experts. Many of the business focused on fostering creative communities through technology, such as Lodie‘s mobile design curation and Handkrafted‘s craftspeople connection. Project Tripod offered an innovative solution for compiling images, while Hirehive sought to tap into the filmmaker share economy.
Following the morning pitches and breakfast, the Creative3 conference began. Collaboration, scaling to market and securing capital were key messages presented during the official welcome by CEO board chair Michael Smellie. He opened the main event by outlining CEA’s goal of connecting world-class professionals and fostering business innovation.
The chairman said CEA is focused on helping businesses to prepare for investment to drive Australia’s creative economy. The organisation is providing a toolkit for tackling the challenges facing every business. He emphasised the skills and mindset of collaboration, scaling and securing capital, along with a philosophy of fostering innovation through interdisciplinary collaboration.
“Creative3 has repeatedly shown that Brisbane is a creative hotbed that redefines business,” Mr Smellie said.
Megan Brownlow gave on overview of the media and entertainment value chain, with predictions of the losers and winners over the next five years. She said there is plenty of growth opportunities for publishers coming through digital channels.
“There is a quiet revolution taking place at Australian companies,” she explained, with the growing volume of customer data changing marketer’s mindsets.
Marketers are changing their internal structures, becoming less siloed and vertical, to much more collaborative internaly. Marketers want more data, and are more interested in what you can tell them about the customer’s journey.
“The winners are the disrupters. You need to protect disrupters inside your organisation,” she urged.
Second screens are taking audience away from mainstream advertising, but traditional broadcasters still have the ability to capitalise on this change. New formats are coming through that can underpin mass broadcast advertising, such as synchronous participative broadcast formats used in game shows.
Commercialise your super-fans: they are more profitable and they recruit for you, Megan said. Provide them with use cases to work with, such as letting them visit their heroes and share the content to recruit others.
Holition’s Jonathan Chippindale looked at global political malaise, and how political voids can be filled by technologists, rich benefactors and social media. The power of technology is its ability to reach out across old boundaries and join together large sections of the planet, Jonathan said. In this new digital world, it’s about access to information to allow people to demonstrate their knowledge.
Steve Job’s infinite loop concept was touched on by Jonathan. The infinite loop is a relationship with consumer that is so strong that the consumer will automatically buy their next product. It is a continuous feedback loop that can be generated digitally when brands create content, with customers creating, adapting and pushing the content back.
Jonathan advocates identifying the problem first, and then create the technology to solve it. Use social media to have a personal conversation with your audience and cement relationships. Actively encourage people to really engage with the brand.
He provided a number of examples, such as ASOS using Vine to show customers unboxing their product; to cutting-edge interactive and visual design concepts rolled out in retail stores.
Jonathan demonstrated the variety of technologies and digital communication initiatives showcased at London Fashion Week each year, almost threatening to eclipse the fashion on show.
Anything good that happens on the internet, happens after midnight. It’s that philosophy that brought the next speaker, Steve Sammartino, to partner with a Romanian “teenage genius” via Skype to send a rocket into space for $1000. This experience led to the amazingly named Super Awesome Micro Project, a drivable Lego car powered by air. Embrace the ‘late and over’ philosophy if you are doing something important, Steve said in his presentation.
“If you are have a project that took more time and cost more, than good for you, Because that’s what I think we need to move society forward,” he said.
He presented his hourglass strategy, which means putting the right ingredients in at the start in order to have “something amazing” come out. The product is the marketing, don’t let the ad become the marketing hype, he suggests.
sass & bide’s David Briskin went back to marketing basics in his presentation, revealing how hard the company’s executives worked to turn the business around after sales dropped post-GFC.
He said businesses need to focus on their product, build a brand by telling a story, as well as focus on what’s important. Showcase the product the way it is meant to be worn and seen. The key is to start with product, price, merchandising and packaging. Get your product out there and present it with passion. Don’t let it languish on a piece of paper.
He stressed the importance of the relationship between the creative and investor. Keep your presentation simple, logical and realistic.
“Is there something to this brand and founders that creates a bit of magic?” he suggested.
Paloma Mobile owner and tech guru Jennifer Zanich invited the audience to jump down the rabbit hole of creative entrepreneurship. She emphasised that not everyone has to be a conventional creative, as she has found her success bringing mobile phones to the 3 billion not currently connected. Jennifer talked through the Hero’s Journey, where creating a start-up is a constant battle, and the success of the idea is centred around time, not about the idea itself or even its execution.
Jennifer said her company is creating aspirational and high-end technology experiences where design is paramount.
The next speakers are Bec Brideson, Bec Derrington, and Christopher Stubbs.