Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

In the digital space, successful creativity lies in shifting spend to digitally driven ideas – work that is naturally assimilated into the lives of consumers and goes way beyond wallpaper and banner ads, maintains Connect Joe Public managing partner Dani Morley.

Though digital advertising has in many respects come a long way in the past few years, she says, it’s lost a certain deeper, richer level of creativity. “Now that the idea of integrated services is settling, we need to concentrate on delivering more compelling creative work in the digital space in order to grow our clients effectively.”

She adds that this is in line with Joe Public’s purpose, which is “growth to the power of n”, and that the creative idea must deliver.

The big take-out: Successful digital advertising requires a shift in spend to digitally driven ideas as well as the training and upskilling of young digital talent, says Connect Joe Public’s Dani Morley.

This seems to be something Connect Joe Public is getting right – despite being just over two years old, the agency had great success at the recent New Generation Awards, walking away with 15 awards, including that of Overall Agency of the Year.

Morley believes digital is in an exciting space, not because of the technologies available, but because of the way they can be used to make products and services better, drive change and generally make a difference in the world.

“There are a host of buzzwords around when it comes to digital trends, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the like. But the truth is that these technologies have low adoption rates and serve niche markets. Digital’s ability to take innovation and use it to create entrepreneurial environments and forge honest connections between brands and consumers is where the future lies,” Morley says.

SA digital creatives should be very proud of what they are achieving at the moment, says Morley, adding that this is evident when one looks at the Loeries rankings. However, she’s not sure that the industry has reached maturity quite yet.

While some inspiring local campaigns are being produced in digital, Morley argues that digital creatives should be creating – and entering – work that gets international recognition. The Cannes ratings show that SA is not there yet, and the industry needs to focus more on tapping into young talent and training and upskilling them, she says.

Driving digital creativity is a job for the industry, as opposed to something that can be done by one agency alone, Morley says, adding that SA needs local judges on awards panels that work collectively to move the industry forward. “While we need to acknowledge how well we have done as SA agencies, we need to be honest about the work we still need to do, and be brave enough to benchmark ourselves against global agencies.”

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