Inside the creative studioIf you’re passionate, people will recognize it.  As Sharon Carter says, “passionate people bring that life to AiMA.” Experiencing first hand the energy, enthusiasm, and wealth of knowledge found at an AiMA event brings passionate people from all walks of life together – especially creative.

“An open bar is a great start,” says Phillip Brunk.  “It’s a good way for people to let loose after work.”

While stacking up my finger food with fellow members of Studiocom like Victor Dunmire, Nathan Jokers, Krisi Lane, and Janis Middleton, AiMA can be more of a place than just networking.  AiMA helps further interactive marketers in the digital marketing space by bringing the life of the Atlanta community closer together to share ideas.  I myself find personal conversations about movies, Sioux chefs, and summertime events amidst the crowd.  AiMA also offers scholarship programs to integrate interns into the community and special interests groups to encourage interactive conversations.

After a piquant cheese dip pre-function, the xylophone bell rings.  The apps are over and it’s time to learn.

“We are here for digital marketing,” the president rings in with thanks from the sponsors. “Inside the Creative Studio” was underway in a event looking inside how digital technology is impacting creative, examining the issue from the perspective of the technologist, the creative agency, and the brand advertiser. This engaging panel examined new developments in ad technology opportunities for creative agencies and brand advertisers.


These three men have been in the game leading creative development of teams for decades.  Their expertise include online marketing and advertising campaigns such as complex interactive Web sites, campaign mini-sites, rich media and standard flash banner executions, video production, social marketing, and email marketing.

There is a transition from RTB to RTC in the creative industry– a discussion of the growing emphasis in the industry on “real-time creative” and not just real-time bidding. Ad technology can help creative agencies better scale campaigns. Building off the old Java concept of “write once; run everywhere,” this conversation looked at how creative agencies can use ad technology to create a single set of creative and run across different media (TV, print, display, pre-roll, outdoor, iTV, etc.).

So how does great creative stay in front of technology and how it changes their creative process?   Great creative utilizes messaging that is more inspiring or 1 to 1.  Brands must engage with consumers in reciprocal conversations.  There is a new way of thinking about conversations with the vast considerations of screen sizes, browsers, optimization, and staying top of mind for customers.  Use specialists that can help encourage the conversation in your cross platform ideation.  The creative process is always better with collaboration.

Swarm Agency

You need to analyze what and how we are talking today.  The way we speak through mobile for example needs to have us in the mindset of being on our mobile devices.  We need to grab people’s attention and disrupt what they are doing.  Today’s digital strategy in creative boils down a lot of ideas with the collaboration of digital technology, UX, and any other specialists that can help us achieve big picture ideas.  Even Anthony still uses pencil sketches to get the initial nugget out there to simplify the message.  Sticking to the philosophy of “Ideas Before Execution,” has helped him solve a Fortune 500 client’s business challenge with creative ideas that shake the competitive landscape.

HTML vs. Flash was a hot topic inside the creative studio. The impact of technology in creative has greatly changed, but this is one area that will continue to be popular in banner execution for creative.  The HTML5 adoption rate is not there yet because it’s expensive, some websites and networks don’t support it, and others are still using Flash.  Musicians like the Foo Fighters and Arcade Fire have adopted HTML5 in particular because you can pick and choose your language.  Even Apple requires HTML5 for advertising. However, today’s creative Flash developers come at a premium.  They seem more mature in their knowledge of creating banners and different viewpoint of design.

Digital marketers should be on the “what journey.”  What content will our audience consume and how much at a time?  The millennial generation lives and breathes with technology devices today.


“Creative has to migrate these people through.”  Creative teams have moxie to create big ideas and these new digital projects are sexy.  Each time you kill things, you learn something.  Get more people involved earlier because the landscape is shifting – we make advertising to sell stuff.  You need to expect the next thing.  With the introduction of 3D printing for prototypes, agile software, and time codes, society is continually changing with the technology industry two years ahead of consumers.  However, the fringes will push in the United States just like they have in the past of history as seen in metrosexuals, hippies, and other integrations of cultures.  Customers in today’s world look at digital as #1 by enhancing online experiences.

There are different types of strategies including meeting digital and experience strategy for brands.  Having similar, but different goals is ok sometimes for digital and creative teams.  In today’s world, Strategists are apart of the creative and should close this gap.  “It’s not a you said it and you forget it,” says Matt.  Digital media can be optimized.  You put something out there, test and adjust it, and then creative puts together a Keynote or PDF to present to Marketing Managers.  “Creative’s job is to make Marketing Managers look good,” agrees Anthony.

So what’s in the future for creative?  “The creative process is iterative — so too is the digital marketing ecosystem,” says Ben.  Google Glasses may be a failure in the beginning, but you can guarantee the second or third iteration of these augmented reality gadgets will be successful once society has caught up.  Creative and digital are always changing.

Now the “Consumer is always on.”  Integrated is just another buzz term.  Integrated to BBDO means maintaining big ideas through collaboration, the use of usability testing and paper testing, and refining your digital strategy.


The future of Creative will be in the platforms and the people who will change it.  Consumers never buy a boring product because people buy products they believe in.  People are still people and are at the heart of technology.  Technology is missing interpersonal communication.


Closing Speaker Remarks:

  1. “That was a smart conversation.  It’s exciting to talk with smart digital people.”                   —Matt Sillman,VP of Digital Production @BBDOworldwide
  2. “Very engaging audience that was reflected by the sophisticated people on the panel.”      —@Benkartzman, CEO of @Spongecell
  3. “It’s refreshing to see that tech doesn’t just exist only on the west coast with the diversity of people here in Atlanta.”                                                                                                                                               — Anthony Reeves, EVP Creative at Moxie @youvegotmoxie

What impact do you think digital has had on your creative team? 

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