Media and Creativity
“In this industry, creativity is prized above all else”
It can’t be denied that the new reality in today’s world is now challenging our ability to create something truly ‘new’. On the other hand, the media, being with us for as long as one could remember, has been a significant tool for creating and telling stories. So, what would happen then if we combine creativity and media together?
Here are three different ways creativity works with media to unlock our experiences.
How creative can we get with the media? You might ask.
Take the world of Harry Potter for example. The original content of Harry Potter is presented in forms of books, followed by movies, and the latest release, a mobile game. The first two forms which are books and movies are more on the old media side, while the mobile game is obviously new media. This shows that you can get creative with the content on various media platforms. Sounds familiar? Yep. Transmedia storytelling.
Transmedia storytelling is a concept of using various media platforms to tell different sides of the story that make up a whole completed story. Media companies, especially with those that try to sell their fictional world, usually use this type of creativity to create a sort of fandom-like society within the consumers, and we cannot deny that this whole transmedia storytelling method works exceptionally well with the fictional content we consume. It helps build a much more realistic experience, blurring the line between fiction and fact, and fill in the gaps that some particular media platforms may leave due to their limited delivery style.
Another example (that is not Harry Potter, because transmedia is not only about Harry Potter, apparently) is the ongoing fictional world of a Korean band BTS called BU (BTS Universe). Different parts of their fictional story are presented in so many different media platforms, both offline and online, linking consumers from every platform together to figure out the whole concept of it. So far the platforms they use to tell the story are music videos, live performances, short films, books, mini books that come in their albums, and even online graphic novel.
But is transmedia storytelling the only way to be creative with your content?
Interactive content is starting to take over the media industry. These days there are more and more media producers who are trying to put out the content that engages people and allows them to feel like they’re part of your creation. It used to be the media who control the customers, but now it’s the other way around. Consumers are convinced they are the one who has control over media, and of course, they like it. Even though Bandersnatch low-key forces us to choose the path they want us to follow, most people still enjoy it, with or without that in mind.
A Norwegian show called Skam has successfully erased the line between fiction and reality. Touching on sensitive topics like sexuality, religion or mental illness might not be the only factor that got this show all the praises; it’s how they use the media to tell those things. Instead of just airing a half an hour long episode every week, Skam has this real-time distribution technique where they would release short clips as snippets of the characters’ lives at that exact moment, then on Friday, all the clips released in that week will be aired again as a full episode.
Not only that the show takes place in real time, but the characters in the show also have actual social media accounts that they interact with each other just like how the story goes. Sometimes screenshots of texts between characters are released throughout the week as well. And because of this unique way of delivering content, there have been four remakes of this show across the world so far. (There is German Skam too!)
So, how creative can we get with the media? Can you think of something even more creative than that?
Creativity and marketing
Creativity has always been crucial to marketing success. In the present day, due to the increasing use of online media, each company chooses to use the media as a medium to deliver various products and services to the audience more easily and widely. Therefore, we are able to see many products and services in the media; both traditional platform, such as television and radio, and online media, like social media and the internet.
BUT! Among the many advertisements in various media, how many of them can you remember…?
Of course, the only kind of ads that will be able to survive this competitive media industry today is those with actual CREATIVE concepts and presentation styles. Unlike the traditional way of advertising where you just pay someone to do the promotion, creative ads are able to truly attract the audience and grab their attention simply by creativity. Ads that feel like the creator has delicately put in thoughts can sell way better than ads with a paid influencer because obviously, no one likes things that are too forced.
This advertisement is called ‘Kit Kat Have a Break’. The company tried to make the park bench look like their signature Kit Kat product to promote the slogan ‘Have a break, have a Kit Kat’. This is a great marketing example of using a creative advertisement to make the public be aware of their brand, leading to stronger brand loyalty in customers. Kit Kat has created a very unique but fun guerrilla marketing campaign—a low-cost campaign in public places where it gains attention from people who pass by and encourages them to participate in a natural way.
As you can see, Kit Kat chooses to stand out from other brands by using creativity to present its product identity, including the slogan used as a concept in creating a new style of advertising. Obviously, when people pass by and see the bench, they would immediately know that it is Kit Kat. Some people might also take a photo with it, post on their social media with a chic caption, then get a chance to win a year worth of Kit Kat. This action of sharing pictures of the Kit Kat bench on social media could become a NEW ADVERTISEMENT for Kit Kat, meaning everyone can be the ADVOCATE for the brand!
Another example is ‘Muang Thai Life Assurance’ advertising video — ‘Mother Knows Best’
According to this advertisement, what makes people get in deep with this story is not just because the story reflects someone’s true story. The thing that captures the audience’s heart is likely to come from the main message of the advertisement where it showcased the current Thai social situation in which technology has become increasingly unavoidable in everyday life. Of course, technology helps our lives to become easier and faster, resulting in the new generation paying more attention to technology than everything else, and at the same time, the rapid development of technology has created a gap among family members until one forgets the love that should be the core in any family.
Watching from the beginning until the end, you might think “How is this advertisement related to their brand?”
The answer is, it’s not directly related, but it matches the mental concept with the slogan ‘ให้รักดูแลชีวิต’ (let love care for your life). The slogan basically means that although technology can help us in many ways, but in fact, no matter what era you are living in, the best thing that could take care of your life is still the love from your family.
When this advertisement was first released, it received a very good response and feedback from the audience. It became a word-of-mouth thing where tons of people talked about it on Twitter and other online platforms. This shows that Muang Thai Life Assurance succeeded in creating creative advertising because the advertisement has its strength in making the audiences feel a rather sensitive emotion.
From a few examples of creative marketing above, it obviously shows that you need to use a lot of creativity in each marketing plan to make your brand become outstanding from the rest, and that will certainly make the audiences remember your brand and create a high value of brand loyalty in the further steps of your marketing plan.e
BUT HOW SHOULD WE DO THAT?
Creative innovation — AR/VR/BOTS
Nowadays, technology has stepped onto a whole another level. It helps facilitate human in every way possible ranging from everyday tasks such as internet banking, carpark card giving, food ordering to missions that are nearly impossible for humans to do like bomb scanning, making perfection possible as well as remembering a myriad of information. When people think that this is the peak of technology and doubt that there could be anything that will leave them in awe, there is always more. There has been developed a technology called AR, VR, and BOTS which will be explained below.
But first, what is AR, VR, and BOTS?
Do you remember the time when the game Pokemon Go! was released? Everyone was so excited about the news and it was such BIG news for the gamer and fans of Pokemon all over the world. But do you know that Pokemon Go is an AR or augmented reality mobile game? This application creates a graphical environment based on the real surrounding. People can click on the screen to collect their Pokemon characters while walking and what appears on the screen is the exact location where a person stands. Now you get some idea about AR.
AR stands for ‘Augmented Reality’. This type of technology uses real and natural displays and enhances them with technological techniques, for example, sound, text and special effects. It is the combination of real and computer-based scenes that can portray both true and enhanced views of the world. Actually, people interact with AR every day without realizing it. Another AR that is actually closer to us than we think is the photo filter from famous applications on your phone. The photo filter is considered AR because it is based on people’s faces and the environments around us. When we turn the camera to some objects or even our own face, this AR technology elevates our experience by granting us fun filters such as zooming, tongues sticking out, cat ears, etc. If you still have no idea what it’s like, go on Instagram or Snapchat, select to publish a story and hold your finger down the screen where your face appears.
Next, Virtual reality or VR. It creates a three-dimensional image or surrounding that humans can perceive as real and they can interact with it based on sensual perception such as hearing, viewing, smelling and touching. People can access to VR through headsets and controllers. The VR devices are made from hardware and software.
VR is different from AR as AR takes the real environment and add some effects like texts or pictures to it. Moreover, AR makes it possible to pinpoint where a person is and there is still hold of reality. On the other hand, with VR, the reality is harder to attain as everything is stimulated. If this still does not ring a bell of what VR is, watch Johnny English Strikes Again. There is a scene when he puts on VR headsets and goes outside thinking he is in the computer program whilst he is actually outside. You will be amazed at how much this can trick your senses.
But if you are still confused between AR and VR (which you shouldn’t be by this point… just kidding), check out this video so you can see more examples of AR and VR!
BOTS are programs that can perform human tasks automatically. Many of them are programmed like humans, so it gives the sensation of talking to a person when communicating or asking for help. However, it is not as smart as other intelligence like artificial intelligence which keeps getting better and better. There are still mistakes and errors that these bots make which sometimes can be frustration or nuisance.
Let’s introduce the closest bot around, Siri. I believe most of us already have some idea what Siri is. Siri can communicate like a human. On top of that, it can speak various languages fluently, but there are times when Siri does not understand what we say or does something that is completely the opposite of what we ask (which sometimes can get REALLY funny). Another type of bots is service call-center that no longer requires humans as the operator, rather automated program is what takes people to achieve their desired procedures such as ordering pizzas or topping up a phone number.
To sum up the whole concept of creative innovation in one paragraph, there has been new technology introduced to us humans in order to alleviate our daily life tasks as well as create entertainment like AR, VR, and BOTS. These innovations are purely made from creativity. AR is the technology which enhances reality by adding texts, effects or pictures to it. People get to interact with it whilst realizing that this is only the enhanced version of what reality is. In contrast, VR is much more complicated and tricky. It plays with people’s sensual perceptions and creates a whole another work that seems real to them through headsets. Finally, a program that is designed to communicate like humans, BOTS give the sense of talking to a real person, rather than typing on searching engines. Nonetheless, further developments are required to make these BOTS more precise and effective.
Due to the fact that global society has adapted to the postmodernism era, causing many media to play a huge role in our daily life, we are able to see more interesting things happening in the new media industry. It allows us to see how creative we can get with not only the content or advertisement we see through various media platforms, but also new innovations that are developed to serve the endless need of people. In doing so, we are all becoming both the producer and consumer at the same time. Therefore, creativity is the key for any content to reach the mass, and it is undoubtedly one of the most important factors to enhancing the potential of media today.