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Creating During Quarantine

The Influencers 286 Add to collection

INFLUENCER: Innocean Worldwide Canada’s Linda Carte explores the unique challenges and opportunities that come with creating during a global pandemic

Creating During Quarantine

No one predicted a year ago that we would find ourselves in the middle of a global pandemic. Every day has brought with it a new challenge to face as we adjust to this new normal, but, it has also brought with it an opportunity to be more creative and more entrepreneurial than ever before. 

People everywhere have shown us the power of entrepreneurial thinking. We have seen people using their 3D printers to make face shield masks and parents inventing new ways to make school lessons come to life. It is a time where new ways to create are being invented everyday. We have a unique opportunity to learn from this. 

Last month, my team worked on a new spot for Kia Canada Inc. titled 'Kia Together', a thank you note to all the essential workers who are working hard to keep us and our communities safe. It was through the creation of this spot, that I came to some conclusions about our new reality of creating during quarantine and how we can set ourselves up for future success. 


1. The creative process is not a straight line 

In our own agency, and for many others, we have started to see a shift in the way that we create for our clients. Typically, you can sit in the same room as the people you are working with and share an ebb and flow of ideas. Perhaps you would go a grab a coffee, and then start jamming with them again. Now, we go between a Google Hangout, then pop over to a Facetime call, then a conference call, etc.  It seems disjointed but is still quite fluid. During quarantine we are reminded that creating has never been a straight line. It is during the 'downtime' in between the ideas where you percolate your next one. This will become increasingly important as we continue to social distance. 


2. Our minds need just as much exercise as our bodies do

Right now our clients are looking for an immediate response to the ever changing situation. As creatives we need to keep our minds sharp to be able to respond to client needs within a short deadline. Staying put in one spot can take a toll both physically and mentally, so, now is a great time to exercise your mind and seek out creative ideas. Personally, I am surfing the web more; I always have about 30 tabs going and am constantly bookmarking things to come back to. I have seen some incredibly creative projects now that people have some time on their hands. I am taking advantage of online sessions, and just finished watching Stefan Seigmeister speaking on a Facebook live event. I’ve discovered new illustrators, animators, typographers and photographers. I am now fully addicted to TikTok, which is like an archaeological dig into current behaviour.  By doing these things, we can ensure that we are mentally prepared to respond to client needs with creative ideas and solutions within a tight timeframe. 


3. We need to remain nimble as an agency, as creatives and as clients 

One of the big challenges many advertisers are facing right now is how to market their brand during Covid-19, both in a way that is appropriate and will differentiate themselves from others. There are new Covid-19 spots coming out daily, lots of them, so when we were approached by our clients at Kia Canada Inc. to produce the 'Kia Together' spot we wanted to stay away from anything that felt familiar, visuals people had already seen and music that felt similar to other campaigns.  It was no easy feat, but together we were able to pull it off in a record 10 days time from concept to execution. It is largely thanks to the fact that we were able to shift our behaviour, put all hands on deck, and modify our creative process to suit this new reality, as so many others have had to do. 


4. Embrace the awkwardness 

As anyone who has come up with ideas with a partner knows, there are a lot of silences when you’re in a room together. There is even more silence now that we are apart. Learn to go with it and embrace the awkward energy of it all, in the end creativity is not bound to a single place, even though we are at the moment. 

So, while creating during quarantine is not something we ever thought we would have to do, now having gone through the process, we can apply what we have learned and use it towards future success.  It is when we become entrepreneurial with our thinking and approach problems in a different way, that we can do some of our best work.  


Linda Carte is VP, creative director at Innocean Worldwide Canada

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Innocean Worldwide Canada, Thu, 07 May 2020 16:17:14 GMT