UK: Around the world, creative style

Ben Priest, founder and executive creative director, Adam & Eve/DDB talks to Campaign about creativity in the Belgium and shows us an image that illustrates the country's creativity at its best.

Ah, the United Kingdom. The greyest of islands. Home to permanent drizzle, Greggs bakeries and Ford Focus estates.

But, in the advertising and communications business, things are very different.

There is an explosion of energy, colour and abandon. The current agency landscape is like the Wild West: it’s a lawless, borderless frontier. Everything is there for the taking, if you’re brave enough.
Agencies have emerged, blinking from their boxes and are literally changing the way people think, feel, shop, share and live.

When I started in the business, I went to work every day believing I could change the world – and, by that, I mean write a TV ad people would love.

Last year, the John Lewis Christmas campaign was a TV ad, an interactive experience in-store, window sculptures, an e-book, a range of children’s clothes, a digital Christmas-card generator, wrapping paper and gift cards, a single that went to number one, an app, a traditional storybook and user-generated musical versions of the ad. Oh, yes, and an alarm clock.

Creative opportunities of a scale and breadth we could only have dreamed of are out there.
All you need is a posse brave, clever and diverse enough. Just put your hand up and say: "Sure, we can do that."

After all, that’s how the West was won.