May 2, 2017

Fast Five: Media Meets Message

Curious Season is once again back with a bang, but this time in the form of some ambitious and topical open debates.  So what better way to get the ball rolling than with a showdown between our very own Jim Thornton (Deputy ECD) & Sam Fenton-Elstone (CDO).  The pair came together in front of a capacity crowd of ever-curious VCCP’ers to discuss the need for a harmonious future between the twin disciplines of creative and media.



For those who missed it, here are our top 5 takeaways from the session;

1) Media vs. Creative is nonsense
Storytelling is still at the heart of everything we do, and the way the story is told can be just as important as the narrative itself. Focusing on the Media vs. Creative dichotomy is reductive and ultimately distracts us from our collective goal of producing effective work.


2) The industry is divided
In an industry where media and creative are often housed in separate buildings, we should look to create an environment where there is more solidarity and less finger pointing. This involves taking responsibility for one another and providing the necessary support to ensure that all our work comes together in the service of the wider campaign.


3) Great ideas can come from anywhere  

Ideation isn’t the sole preserve of the free thinkers in the creative department. Jim referenced the powerful examples of both Bing and Refuge in order to highlight instances in which the medium has actually become the message.  As a creative industry, we need to be less precious about protecting our job descriptions and more open to embracing the best ideas – regardless of where they might originate from.


4) Get in the room together
Get creative and media together in the same room and you’ll get the right answers. It’s the way agencies used to brief and maybe it’s time we took a step back in order to take a big leap forward. Better understanding the array of innovative media options now at our disposal will ultimately serve to improve the quality of the creative solutions.


5) Timing is everything
Both Jim and Sam were keen to point out that great work can only flourish when creative and media collaborate – one shouldn’t lead the other. Truly groundbreaking work won’t come from retrofitting an idea to a media plan or vice versa. The relationship needs to be symbiotic and supportive from the very beginning.

So there you have it, what could have been a sparring match between two rival teams became a mutual love-in, with both Jim and Sam extolling the virtues of a more collaborative future between the two departments. For the eager beavers out there, the entire talk is now available to watch on Periscope.






Make sure you check out the rest of the Curious season and tune in next week (May 11th) as we sit down with Google DoubleClick, The Telegraph and LADbible as they discuss the challenges that have been brought about by the rise of ad blockers.



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