Adspend is just one way of looking at how much people are prepared to invest in creativity.
What strikes me about creativity in the UK, more than the spend growth – probably because it’s what’s fuelling it – is the approach.
Having worked in advertising and branding globally – whether it's in Europe, North America, the Antipodes or Israel – it has become clear to me the UK stands apart from the rest. Elsewhere, working in the creative industries is a job. Here, it’s more than that: it’s a lifestyle choice.
People who want in flock from all over the world to be a part of it. Even in New York, where the approach is strong and collaborative, and the spend is high, the talent is not on the same scale. US clients come to London for work; you don’t see the same happening the other way round.
Talent moves in, and work goes out – our ideas are spreading and inspiring creatives, brands and consumers globally.
The reasons? It’s a labour of love, the product of a community that only exists here; occasionally to the point of being esoteric. UK work is humorous – too humorous, sometimes, to be used elsewhere; the identity work we produce can occasionally be too sophisticated to resonate in other markets.
But it’s never a stab in the dark. We have genuine ideas, founded in strong market research, behavioural economics and media planning – and these have genuine effect, often worldwide.
Our creative industries are the product of a chaotic burst out of an otherwise hyper-organised society; an expression of chaos which is a pleasure to witness.
It’s the excitement; the speed; the desire fuelling it that makes it so infectious. A client calls on Friday morning and says he needs something for Monday; it gets done (here, but in very few other countries). One Direction’s Niall expressed a taste for Twinings Lemon & Ginger tea; we designed him his own pack in a couple of days. We enjoy a challenge.
Likewise, we have a depth of connectivity – we combine creativity with science to learn how brands work: how people remember; how their brains operate to form connections. There’s method to our madness.
Here, we work with a neuroscientist, Di Itiel Dror, to inform how we design; how we brand; how we package. Other agencies are doing the same.
If you’re a part of the UK’s creative industries, this is a time to be proud. Yes, investment is on the up – because it’s deserved. Investment is born out of worth.
By Nir Wegrzyn, managing partner & founder, BrandOpus