What Influences Creativity

25 Apr,2019


By A Correspondent


D&AD has released its annual Industry Report exploring key trends that are shaping the creative industries. The full report can be viewed from the D&AD website: https://www.dandad.org/insight-report

Researched using 2018 D&AD award-winning work, the report identifies changes and patterns in consumer behaviour, brand and businesses’ responses, and the role of technology as an influencing force and enabling tool for advertisers, communicators and creatives.

Within the 2019 report, the key trends fall under three themes:

1. What it means to be human

2. The impact of increasingly fractured societies

3. How technology is changing the way we access and share information

Trends emerging from these themes include how brands and businesses are increasingly participating in mindfulness and mental health, the differing ways advertisers are responding to political, social and environmental issues, and the role of human creativity in leveraging technology as a platform and tool to create ideas that reach and engage audiences with impactful, creative communication.


The trends conclude with opportunity takeaways designed to act as guiding principles and thought starters for people to apply to their own work.


Said Dave Birss, creative consultant and author of the D&AD Insights Report: “Our research identifies the movements and forces that are having the biggest influence on current creative work. It’s not about showing the bandwagons and hip design trends that are sweeping the industry. Instead, it’s looking at what’s happening in the wider environment and showing how these developments are creating opportunities for impactful work. The report showcases great examples of this and talks about the opportunities that are still relatively untapped. As always, changes, threats and new developments in technology offer a world of creative opportunities for those willing to put in the work. We hope that the report inspires creatives to respond to the world around them in imaginative ways to offer powerful solutions that enhance people’s lives in 2019 and beyond.”


Added Paul Drake, Foundation Director at D&AD: “D&AD Pencil-winning work is intrinsically linked to politics, society, and culture, and it is this work on which our benchmark for creative excellence is built. Seismic shifts in how people perceive and express themselves, access and share information, and participate in political and social issues are having a noticeable effect on the creative industries. Not only does the work provide valuable insights into how brands, businesses and consumers are responding, it also informs and shapes the programmes, initiatives, and, ultimately, D&AD’s role as an education provider for the creative community.”

Based on the analysis of over 25,000 pieces of creative work submitted to the 2018 D&AD Awards, the report will be updated again following the 2019 Awards and released alongside the next edition D&AD Annual in September. The D&AD Awards Ceremony will take place on the final day of the three-day D&AD Festival, which returns 21 – 23 May 2019 at The Old Truman Brewery, London. An exhibition of shortlisted and Pencil-winning work will be on display during the Festival.


Here are some excerpts from the report:

Each year the D&AD Awards gathers over 250 world-leading designers, advertising minds and skilled creatives to cast their eye over 25,000 pieces of work submitted from around the world. But the result of it all isn’t just Yellow Pencils. D&AD captures the discussion, debate and views of these 250 creative minds, and look at what it means for you and the work you produce.


Out of this emerged three themes that provide an influential backdrop to the work produced. They reveal how the most powerful work taps into the needs, desires, frustrations and aspirations of society, and fulfils the basic needs of humans across the world.


We also see the creative opportunities within each one constantly evolving. These are shaped by the political, societal and cultural experiences of humans, and how creatives are responding to them.


This report is not a crystal ball in to the future. Instead it is about identifying key themes that have influenced creative excellence, the impact trends are having on our industry and the powerful opportunities that these themes present for you.


What is Human?

Defining and normalising what makes us ‘us’. From our exercise and eating habits, to our minds, bodies and souls, we are constantly being shaped by global trends and cultural factors. In recent years, creative work has challenged what it means to be human. We wrote about this last year in our ‘Redefining Humanity’ section. As we augment our brains and bodies with technology, improve our performance and tackle inequality, we’re gradually becoming super-human. The work this year takes another tack. This time we’re focusing on our drive to be the best version of ourselves. We’re looking at creative solutions that reflect a more honest conversation.


Fractured Society

The world is still in a state of flux.We have political tension, economic disruption and social unrest. In the last report we dug deep into this topic. In the wake of Trump, Brex it, Duterte in the Philippines, Maduro in Venezuela, and many more, we saw brands responding with creative work that either picked aside and shouted an opinion, or kept out of the fray.Sadly, in 2019, these social issues don’t appear to be going away any time soon. Instead, the void between society and politics feels like a growing chasm.Brands are continuing to pick sides and creatively push this agenda to the world.But some of them are also offering escapism to ease the tension and returning to brave, bold and humorous work that offers a little relief and some welcome distraction.



Access All Areas

Digital channels are continuing to change the way people access information. The constant introduction of new channels and the continual evolution of the old ones are opening up opportunities that were never before possible. This is particularly felt in the advertising industry, where capturing people’s shrinking attention spans is still the number one aim.This year, the work our judges saw revealed some new and exciting ways of capturing attention with creative uses of technology; most notably the use of highly-crafted AI approaches.


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