Creativity is connecting the dots in new ways: Tobaccowalla

VARCA, GOA: For Vivaki chief strategy and innovation officer Rishad Tobaccowalla, the ad world is all about creativity. Be it sound, be it picture, be it word or video. Mobility and connectivity have only added new dimensions. But everything evolves around storytelling, that great piece of art that communicates and inspires.

Speaking at the knowledge seminar at Goafest 2012, Tobaccowalla presented his views on where the future of creativity lies.

To begin with, he presented the three definitions of creativity. The first definition says that creativity is not copying (chef Ferran Adria from Portugal). This implies that originality becomes creativity and duplication has no place in it.

The second definition of creativity says that creativity is copying in new ways. In other words, you may use an inspiration, but not copy verbatim.

The third and final definition by the late Steve Jobs describes creativity as the connecting of dots. This means that the elements are all out there and only need to be seen as a cohesive unit to produce creativity.

"Borrowing from the three definitions, I have come up with one of my own. I believe creativity is connecting the dots in new ways that resonate," said Tobaccowalla. To foster creativity, one needs to seek new ways of connecting the elements in a way that the final product is in sync with the TG."

Ideas arevery important for creativity. What is also important is that the idea should be used in combination with the connecting dots to make creativity truly effective. It needs to resonate with people, the culture and the brand to make an impact. It is no longer the case of creativity for the sake of creativity.

Moving on to where the future of creativity lies, Tobaccowalla said that the three new dots would be added to the mix. The first of these is participation. A marketer may launch a print campaign but through the participation of the audience it may be blogged or tweeted about. In other words, everything targeted towards the audience can potentially be adjusted by people.

The second is mobility. Mobility does not specifically refer to mobile as a medium, but a mobile medium. "A consumer may see a print ad on the move, but the medium doesn’t decide where he/she is. When I say mobile medium, I mean a medium that moves according to the consumer and targets him/her specifically," explained Tobaccowalla.

The third and last dot refers to getting connected. This means that every piece of the story can and will be connected to other pieces of stories to engage and reach out to the consumer. Giving example of this phenomenon, Tobaccowalla recounted an exercise carried out by Vicks in the United States. The brand had the license for a new kind of thermometer which has to be put in contact with the ear rather than the mouth. The product was targeted at mothers of infants who were scared that the child may bite into the thermometer.

Vicks monitored the Google searches about flu in the area after realising that there is a 100 per cent co-relation between search on flu and the outbreak of flu in that particular region. Once they had identified the TG, they sent messages to the mothers stating the availability of the thermometers in a five mile radius. Within two weeks, the outlets in the targeted area were sold out on the thermometers.

"In the future too, this sort of connectedness will define creativity. In my opinion, very soon creativity will involve connecting these seven dots on various combinations as per the brand’s requirement," averred Tobaccowalla.

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