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Accenture Interactive

If creativity fuels growth, who's fuelling creativity?

Accenture Interactive has been expanding its global creative family to offer brands a unique take on creativity

If creativity fuels growth, who's fuelling creativity?

Creativity solves problems. It finds opportunity. And it fuels growth. Creativity – at its most powerful – is unrivalled. And that is why Accenture Interactive has been growing a family full of it.

Over the past 10 years, Accenture Interactive has reinvented the agency model. It has given creatives a bigger canvas to create on – and expanded on the power of an idea. By making a family of diverse, top-class creative talent, it has created a unique answer to chief marketers’ concerns. All this is founded on the principle that great ideas can transform experiences and, in turn, those better experiences have the power to change lives – it’s a big mission.

Accenture Interactive is using creativity – beyond just the advertising kind – to power growth for brands, using its pool of expert and specialist skill sets to achieve this.

The latest addition to the family is global creative agency Droga5. Its founder, David Droga, explains why being part of this new network is right for his agency – and its clients: "We now have the infrastructure to pull off the most ambitious ideas – the ideas that stretch beyond just communication and hit all consumer touchpoints. And that’s what every brand needs."

Ambition. Beyond communication. All touchpoints. Every brand. Campaign talks to some of Accenture Interactive’s top talent leaders around the world – in Shanghai, Dublin, New York, São Paulo, Copenhagen, London, Hamburg and Sydney – to understand their ambitions. We find out what makes their breed of creativity so special and learn what it’s really like being part of the Accenture Interactive family.

DUBLIN 

Emma Sharkey, creative director, Rothco, part of Accenture Interactive 

What is unique about Ireland’s creativity?
Ireland is a very small island on the edge of Europe, which might make some think it’s an unlikely place to find creative leadership. But being on the outside has meant that we’ve always seen things differently. It gives us a uniquely global perspective. Add that to the fact that we’re a nation of storytellers and you’ll quickly realise we can find ways to be at the centre of the conversation. 

What can you do, as part of Accenture Interactive, that you couldn’t do before?
We are fortunate to be based in the same city as Accenture’s incubation hub, The Dock. This means we can collaborate on exciting projects that put strategists and communication specialists in the same room as programmers, industrial designers and engineers. The hypothetical becomes real very fast! 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given to fuel creativity?
"Embrace the chaos." 

What do you want clients to understand about creativity?
I think more clients need to accept that not everything can be rationalised. The most exciting work is risky, because there’s no roadmap. You’re doing what feels right. 

What do you look for in creative talent?
We take misfits, odd-bods and dissenters. Anyone who has ever struggled to fit neatly into a box. The only requirement is an unhealthy dollop of ambition and a desire to take on the more complicated problems out there.

SÃO PAULO

Eco Moliterno, chief creative officer, Accenture Interactive Latam 

What makes Brazil’s creativity so brilliant?
In Brazil, no matter what you do, you have to be creative to survive. From football to advertising, improvising is our best skill. And Brazilians are born prepared to create anything, any time, anywhere. 

What can you do, as part of Accenture Interactive, that you couldn’t do before?
I used to be a 100-metre runner, and now I’m a marathon runner. The reach Accenture Interactive has given me in terms of clients and briefs now means my ideas cover far greater distances than a single campaign. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given to fuel creativity?
"The main job of a creative director is to reduce any problem and increase any idea." 

What do you want clients to understand about creativity?
‘Creative’ is an adjective, not a noun. So anyone can be creative in some way – yes, even clients. And the more types of creativity we can bring together, the more creativity becomes the final solution. 

What do you look for in creative talent?
People that are also looking for different types of creativity.

NEW YORK

Sarah Thompson, global chief executive officer, Droga5, part of Accenture Interactive 

What makes New York the most creative place in the world?
It is a diverse city; people come from everywhere – from small and big towns, all over the world. We live, work and play beside people who are very different from ourselves. That’s what creates the vibrancy that is New York. New points of view come through diverse cultures and experiences, and these can lead to fresh ideas. That said, creativity, if unleashed and allowed to flourish, can come from anywhere – New York or Tokyo, or a small town in Idaho. There is not, in my mind, a ‘best place’ for creativity; creative people are everywhere.

What can you do, as part of Accenture Interactive, that you couldn’t do before?
With Accenture Interactive, we believe we can take the creative thinking we do for brands and apply it to the entire consumer experience. Accenture Interactive has the expertise and scale to help us build and run almost anything. This enables us to leverage our brand-strategic and creative thinking beyond the traditional communications channels. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given to fuel creativity?
Neil Heymann, our chief creative officer in New York, frequently reminds me that creativity is not a linear process. Gems can be found in the half-baked thoughts and within perceived mistakes. Creativity needs to be given space to breathe and turn into something amazing. 

What do you want clients to understand about creativity?
I think most clients want the best possible creative output in the market, the most category-defining ideas. It starts with ambition and fortunately, our clients have a high bar set. That said, both the client and the agency have to keep in mind that it’s difficult to arrive at breakthrough ideas, and they’ll need to lock hands and commit to ideas and thinking, together. There will inevitably be hurdles on that journey. I think that’s one of the hardest things to truly understand unless you’ve been there before. 

What do you look for in creative talent?
We’re always looking for people who want to be challenged by Droga5 and who, in turn, will challenge us to be better and do better work. We’re excited about meeting diverse, original thinkers who add dimension to our perspective and help us see the world through new eyes.

COPENHAGEN

Lotte Jakobsen, chief operating officer, Hjaltelin Stahl, part of Accenture Interactive 

How would you define Danish creativity? 
Denmark is a country free in thought and expression, making us a true creative nation. There are many ways to interpret this in the digital and marketing work our industry does, but at Hjaltelin Stahl we call it "logic and magic". 

What can you do, as part of Accenture Interactive, that you couldn’t do before?
Accenture Interactive gives us digital power in a world where digital competencies are crucial to creating excellent customer experiences. We can safely say we’ve reached a new level in executing our creative ideas.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given to fuel creativity?
Have the courage to be relevant, unique and different in a world with too much indifferent advertising noise.

What do you want clients to understand about creativity?
That the true creative solution exists via the detours away from the obvious path. 

What do you look for in creative talent?
Team players with the right attitude and the ambition to conquer the world.

SYDNEY

Scott Nowell, chief creative officer, The Monkeys, part of Accenture Interactive

What makes Australia so creative?
Aussies have a peculiar brand of cultural cringe that makes us desperate to prove ourselves on the world stage. That’s a kind of creativity like no other. 

What can you do, as part of Accenture Interactive, that you couldn’t do before?
Say "we can do that" more often. That’s a great feeling. For all those ideas that you’ve wanted to take further and do more with, now we can. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given to fuel creativity?
The best piece of creative advice I’ve ever been given is: "Don’t stop there." Because if you don’t push forward, you won’t know where that crazy idea or thought is going to lead you. And that’s when the magic happens. 

What do you want clients to understand about creativity?
How profitable creativity can make them. 

What do you look for in creative talent?
The hardest working.

LONDON

Nik Studzinski, chief creative officer, Karmarama, part of Accenture Interactive

What makes London’s creativity the best breed? 
I’m proud to call London my home. It’s the most exciting, culturally rich and diverse city I know. This gives us the means to create ever-more original and interesting creative ideas. In a world overshadowed by a lack of optimism, it’s more important than ever that we find purpose – by working with and for values-driven organisations. Karmarama was founded on strong principles and we believe that it’s our responsibility to ensure the experiences we create for our clients come from the right place. 

What can you do, as part of Accenture Interactive, that you couldn’t do before?
We’re working in remarkably different ways. Our ideas can go further and we try to apply our values to everything we do. And having a direct line to a creative community around the world is invaluable. We’re sharing diverse points of view and breaking down borders. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given to fuel creativity?
"Don’t get bigger, get more interesting" (Robert Saville). I cite this all the time as I want to make sure that while we have scale we’re still looking for people beyond the advertising world to join us. 

What do you want clients to understand about creativity?
It’s more art than science. You can’t always use rational arguments to explain why something is good. Don’t ignore the emotion. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut and trust how something feels. 

What do you look for in creative talent?
Look for talent, hire for heart. Another great piece of advice I was given. Like every creative director in the world, I want to find the most talented and interesting people in every space and discipline. But they’ve got to be good people first.

SHANGHAI

Gordon Shu, chief creative officer, Ho Communications, part of Accenture Interactive

What makes China’s creativity special?
There is a such a tremendous opportunity for creatives at home and the rest of the world to learn the Chinese people’s true lifestyle and influence their thinking right now. The pursuit of self-expression and values puts us in a special place on the world’s stage. And the unique communication environment, methods and platforms we have, such as the mega WeChat app, have made it possible for China to generate a completely different kind of creativity. 

What can you do, as part of Accenture Interactive, that you couldn’t do before?
For years, most of my work was focused on pure advertising communication. The biggest appeal of being part of Accenture Interactive is to have the chance to learn a new knowledge structure and system, to be on the front line at an earlier stage and to get an in-depth sense of clients’ business model and core, which is rare in my past experience. This enables me to understand the fundamental needs of my clients, and to customise effective, pertinent and creative ideas for them. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given to fuel creativity?
"If you want to understand how the lion hunts, don’t go to the zoo, go to the jungle." Jim Stengel, the former Procter & Gamble global marketing officer, said it first. I repeat it often. 

What do you want clients to understand about creativity?
Creative ideas can change human cognition and behaviour, as long as our clients believe in it, too. 

What do you look for in creative talent?
Those who have passion and curiosity in life. That’s how they get a chance to see the detail of every person – what makes them tick. And detail is where creativity starts.

HAMBURG

Fabian Frese, chief creative officer, Kolle Rebbe, part of Accenture Interactive

What makes German creativity so great?
We’re pretty strong in creating communications based on people’s needs. And yes, Germans can be funny. And emotional. And on time. 

What can you do, as part of Accenture Interactive, that you couldn’t do before? 
Suddenly you find yourself working with great people you would have never met. Creating incredible things you would have never been able to do before. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given to fuel creativity?
Not everything you do has to make sense. 

What do you want clients to understand about creativity?
An idea doesn’t get better through discussing it more. 

What do you look for in creative talent?
Creatives who believe in strong ideas instead of buzzwords.