Creativity is on

Frank Capra said that a hunch is your creativity trying to tell you something. More often than not, doubt outweighs confidence and we go with neither. I’m no trained psychologist but I can tell you that we do this time and time again because of our own preconceived notions on how creativity should be allowed to be… well… creative.

Using your creativity is not defined by the agency you get to work at or the type of accounts the executives can score. It’s how you approach the message you are tasked to communicate. It’s about finding what connects you to the product or brand, and then being able to successfully sell that idea to all the others in the agency-client food chain.

Those allegedly ‘cool’ clients are few and far between. And even then, the creatives that get to work on those brands will probably tell you different. There are far more clients in the middle arena supplying everyday goods to a range of income-earners, personalities and gender types. Coming up with a solution for a client’s product that doesn’t hand funky to you on a silver platter makes you better at your job than the guy in the corner office with an expense account.

Case in point: Phonak – one of the world’s leaders in hearing technology. Cooler (and smaller) than a hearing aid, this significantly advanced instrument senses and selectively suppresses multiple noise sources in 20 separate channels. So no matter the setting, you can keep up without missing the goss or the boss’s snide remarks. But, on a scale of one-to-Coca-Cola for creativity? Probably a two or three… As exciting as a brochure for garden sheers, isn’t it?

It isn’t. Not when you take this work for Phonak by Wunderman in Zurich, Switzerland as an example. You are looking at interpretations of what their brainstorm produced as tangible experiences to our ears that shouldn’t be missed – and what they would look like if you dressed them up and allowed them to dance. A trickle of water, the whoosh of fireworks, the laughter of a child, the rustle of paper, the swish of fabric and the twitter of birds. Hear it. Even in the most challenging of listening environments.

We all fall far too easily into the imagine-if headspace; imagine-if I worked on BMW, or imagine-if I had to write website content for the Plaza Hotel in New York City. I’d have to stay there first – naturally. Then… my life would be complete and I would be happy for forever. Try again. The BMW specs you would get closest to would be on a PDF document sent from Germany and the somewhat luckier person tasked with handling the Plaza’s website revamp would send you endless, uncoordinated attachments about the hotel, a sitemap and follow that up with an email five minutes later asking: “Are you done yet?”

This work for Phonak isn’t the only proof that life is on. It is. And if you want to work in this industry, so should your creativity be.

© Dylan Balkind

Credits: Advertising Agency: Wunderman, Zurich, Switzerland; Copywriters: Samuel Textor, Florian Tillmann; Art Directors: Michael Gallmann, Silke Heinzelmann; Photographer: Ted Sabarese; Graphic Designers: Nora Angstmann, Christoph Krummenacher; Chief Creative Officer: Markus Gut; Executive Creative Director: Roger Rüegger; Consultants: Renato Di Rubbo, Rahel Güttler, Sonja Wyss; Strategy: Benedikt Bitzi; Costumes: Ami Goodheart.

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