A creative renaissance
What this ongoing crisis is demonstrating is that there are seemingly no constraints to brilliant creativity, as campaigns are turned around in under a week and powerful communications messages shared across social platforms. “It might just be me being a total optimist,” says Jordan Bambach, “but I really feel like there could be the beginnings of a really great creative renaissance.”
For her, “creativity’s never been more important.” She is quick to credit those key workers on the front lines as the ones who are really saving lives while not disparaging the role of the industry she so loves. “Our job, it’s kind of a magical job, [is] to boost people’s spirits and make them feel better and also restart the economy,” she says, noting that that last point is where advertising is going to be vital.
Over the last five to ten years, believes Jordan Bambach, “The industry has lost a lot of what it does best.” That best, for her, is stripping right back to the notion of creativity. She adds, “I do feel like, as an industry, we need to make a stand for how powerful [creativity] is in helping people to both cope with the crisis and getting us out of the economic crisis that we’re in.” This comes, she believes, from brands and their agency partners being “a little bit more playful, a little bit freer, and maybe a bit faster and more nimble. Removing some of the process and trusting in what it is we do a bit more.”
She points out that over the last five years, employability skills have shifted, moving from the more traditional ‘hard’ ones to softer skills, like, Jordan Bambach says, creativity. She explains that when you examine what qualities leaders in FTSE500 companies are hiring for, five years ago creativity wasn’t even considered; “it’s now number one,” says Jordan Bambach.
She is quick to point out that she is not trying to make a case for less money or less time, accepting that not enough value is placed on either. But for her, creativity should lead, “not just money or numbers.” Because it is that, alongside diversity and collaboration, that Jordan Bambach feels will drive the industry forward.
That last point around the power of collaboration is one that Jordan Bambach has been championing for years, “often being the only person in the room to really fight for how powerful it is.” It is something that the industry has demonstrated considerably as the crisis continues; how working together can lead to bigger and better campaigns and ultimately success. Jordan Bambach adds, “the fastest way that the economy recovers is if we’re all in it together, helping each other to succeed.”
“I hope businesses don’t go back to how they were,” she says, as she points out that while much of the industry works remotely and as a result more flexibly, “people are still winning pitches and work is still being made.” People are also being given more responsibility for their own time, something Jordan Bambach feels we should always have had. The freedom that grants people is something she hopes will continue once the creative world migrates back to offices.
She talks again about the power of optimism that advertising has a role in bringing to the fore, particularly in times of crisis such as the one we’re living through. She elaborates: “our superpower is to take those complex issues and make them simple. Give people a vision of where the future might go. Give people optimism and positivity where maybe they don’t have any. Giving people a different view of the world. That’s a super awesome place to be.”
Jordan Bambach fundamentally believes that there needs to be more responsible advertising, but that also, the industry needs to remember it can be there to entertain; to make people smile and to foster a sense of unity. She explains, “Advertising gets a really bad rep a lot, from everyone. And actually, we’ve got a really important role, both making brilliant advertising, selling things and like I said rebuilding the economy but also being able to tell these stories and putting a smile on people’s faces and giving people joy.”
On that, Jordan Bambach is off, on a note of hopeful optimism that perhaps the behavioural change that has been forced onto the industry during the ongoing crisis will migrate to one of attitudinal change when we inevitably emerge out the other side.