Kyle Romaniuk [kyleromaniuk]
How and why did you begin to be creative?
Everyone is born creative. I was always drawn to creative things, and my parents encouraged me to continuously explore my creativity. Most people unlearn how to be creative in school because there is only one correct answer to every question, and for fear of what others will think if you express your own ideas. By the time you get a job, in too many businesses, the same culture is fostered... don't rock the boat, if it ain't broke don't fix it, etc. I am creative and encourage creativity in my co-wrokers and clients because I believe there is always a better way.
Your mind is your work tool. How do you take care of it?
Everyday is another opportunity to come up with the next big idea. Challenge your mind daily to solve problems and imagine every possibility. Follow other creative solutions around the globe to keep up a sensibility to what is current and relevant. Be open to new ideas and don't let negativity or the devil's advocate stifle your momentum. Creativity happens in bursts, and can happen at anytime of the day or night. When you can't make any more progress, take a rest or switch to a new problem.
How do you avoid repeating yourself, or falling into formula? How do you stay fresh?
Creativity goes beyond literal connections, and taps into emotion. If the same answer can be applied to different problems, it hasn't been pushed as far as it could be. Implement divergent thinking, expose yourself to many different sources of inspiration, change the setting, brainstorm in a group, brainstorm on your own, try again later, switch between some other projects, take a rest, or sleep on it.
Stay up to date on all forms of creativity spanning all disciplines and industries around the globe. Experience what you can in-person, online, and in books (ie. brand expression, product/industrial design, fashion, advertising, environment design, experience design, inventions/innovation, new processes, entertainment, and latest award winners in their respective industry).
The armchair psychologist: Is creativity an act of rebellion for you?
Not at all, quite the opposite. Creativity can help progression through innovation for all. The ones rebelling are those afraid of change and failure, they expect nothing will change around them, so they are happy with things to just the way they are. The only frustrating thing about being creative is when you can visualize the potential of an organization, but they can't see it in themselves.
What is the best advertisement you've seen recently?
I really like the execution of an initiative for TED, where the medium was taxi drivers. The taxi drivers were invited to attend a TED conference, and then do what they do best... talk to their passengers. This execution engaged the audiences and reached more people. See it here: http://j.mp/kRAaOf
You are as good as your last idea. Wouldn't you like to have a more secure type of work?
If a more secure environment meant not getting paid to do what I love -- be creative everyday, in an environment with a creative culture open to new ideas, and an expectation to take risks and learn from failures -- then no. Having the next big idea is the most thrilling part of my job, and I have an opportunity to experience that everyday.
Please list some brand names or clients that you have worked for.
Scotiabank, Red Bull, Grant's Scotch.
Have you got a blog or web page?
How do you see the transition between traditional advertising and online advertising?
Traditional advertising typically (not always) pushes messages at the audience, instead of creating an opportunity to engage.
People are drawn to what is emerging in popularity, such as social media today. Unfortunately, too many businesses do not have a marketing plan to prioritize their marketing strategies or tactics, and are motivated by their own personal opinions and wants.
Regardless of the medium, whether traditional or online, the creative idea should determine which medium can create the greatest impact for a better return on investment. The campaign should also consider how it could be integrated with other media and brand experience itself.
What is your favourite thing about working in advertising and what is your least favourite?
My favourite thing about working in advertising is the opportunity to be creative for different clients everyday.
My least favourite thing is when we have to drag a client forward -- I would rather be pulled back from thinking too big.
Does the public buy the product or the product image?
The product fills a need, the image fulfills a want.
What are the main mistakes clients make in judging creativity?
Ignoring initial gut reaction, over-thinking it, basing decisions on their own opinions versus the opinions of the target audience, and asking others what they think.
Most decisions are based on how something makes you feel, not what you think about it. So, if an idea makes you feel something, it's usually a good thing. But, anything new and different can also make you feel uncomfortable because the results are unknown before you try it.
Testing out of context, on the wrong people, or asking someone to form an opinion results in them unknowingly ignoring what comes naturally. It encourages them to find things they would change in an effort to sound smart, instead of letting their feelings happen and share with others what they feel. Most people aren't comfortable expressing their feelings openly for fear of what other people might think. Also, preconceived notions can prevent a new idea from seeing the light of day. This makes it difficult to test anything new and different.
How do you explain the way in which some brands have been able to expand so widely and rapidly without advertising? Are the laws of marketing changing?
In some cases it might be the convergence of opportunity and preparedness, at the right time and place.
Marketing has always been finding new ways to differentiate, reach your target audience at the right time and place with the right message, and create a desired response to correlate with business goals.
What has changed is the way brands engage and build relationships with their audience. It's not enough to achieve reach and frequency, you need to be engaging and enhance your audience's life. People want brands that they don't want to imagine their life without. Brands need to consider brand experience, and brand culture as part of their marketing strategy. Brands are built from the inside-out, and their power is a matter of external perception.
Today, brands connect with people (staff and customers) based on why they exist, not what they do.
What advice would give to someone who wants to join the ranks of advertising?
Do it because you love it. If you are not passionate about it, you won't do well or fit in culturally. Develop a thick skin, remain open to new ideas, and give every project your best. Treat everyday as an opportunity to have the next big idea. Seek out creative samples from around the globe, to keep up on what's being done, and how advertising is creating impact in new ways.