That's Creative all washed up then?

A startling thought came to me the other morning, as Golley Slater’s Creative Director and head of washing up… has creativity finally died and I just haven’t noticed yet? If I am really on the brink of being ‘automated’, should I share that with the team and us creative types can shuffle off and do something more fulfilling?

Fear not, young creatives

This is not a question us creatives haven’t asked ourselves before, at least my younger team members can find comfort in that. Not so long ago, data driven marketeers threatened to beat the creative soul out of direct marketing and replace it with hollow formulas, baffling matrixes and complex test cells.

Much to their disappointment, what didn't happen then, is not happening now

The thing is, while human intelligence still exists, humans will look to other humans for empathy and understanding. That means, unless you can replace your customer with a machine that buys your stuff, you will always need to promote your brand on a human to human basis. You can automate the hell out of what you say, when, where and how often. But, sorry, you can’t replicate the empathy, emotion, cut through and pure power of human to human contact.

So, as I refresh my bubbles with another squirt of liquid, I have established that I still have some value in the world. Brilliant. Now I don’t feel like I am defending my creative corner, I can agree with the egg heads in the room that automation represents everything good in the world. In the right hands, it is not a threat, but an opportunity to harvest more value out of creative minds than ever before. It enables agencies to maximise the potential of digital channels for their clients by ensuring they retain their ability to engage their customers on a human level.

Creative tools for everyone

As for the current state of creativity, I think it is patronising not to recognise the average 9-year old can direct a better shoot for Instagram than a 40-year old Art Director. But the democratisation of creativity is a brilliant thing when it comes to execution as it constantly lifts the creative bar as more people adapt to the technology they need to express themselves. For any client or client services person who thinks that makes it easy, please give it a go – let’s see your 2-minute masterpiece created on an iPhone in the next 24-hours.

Because of this, creativity is less of a commodity than it was, but that means it’s also becoming more available and cost effective. That’s the reason our agency is busy investing in the younger teams to drive our ability to provide cost-effective creative delivery. This is supported by high level strategic creative thinking that enables us to reach out in a meaningful way to even the most sophisticated audiences.

So, as the last few bubbles pop, a final thought – with the creative pool of talent growing faster and more enthusiastically than ever before, why on earth would you choose to threaten it with death by automation? Creatives are clever… cheaper than ever to run… and hey, they’ll even do the washing up now and then.


Chris Stanley
Creative Director

Golley Slater Results Marketing

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