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Pillars of the DMA Awards: Creativity

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The DMA Awards rest on three pillars: creativity, strategy and results.

It is the meshing of those elements that builds work that changes things. And that work will get you in the running to win a DMA Award.

But what lies behind each pillar? And what matters to the people who uphold them when judging entries?

We caught up with chief creative officer at Isobar, Simon Gill, and a member of our DMA Awards Committee, for his views on why creativity is crucial to winning work.

Tell us a bit about you

I'm chief creative officer at Isobar overseeing creative, customer experience and design.

Before that I spent 10 years at DigitasLBi in a similar role.

I started out as an Industrial Designer, got into "hypermedia", fell in love with the web, built lots of digital things.

I'm still excited about creating (thinking and making) new products, experiences and campaigns.

And experimenting with technology, which can be a love and hate thing.

What is creativity – and what does it mean to you?

Creativity is the way you solve a problem or answer a challenge, in unexpected and notable ways.

It's about bringing fresh thinking to create something new, interesting and successful.

But more than that, creativity is a fundamental part of being a human, and it should be seen as a gift.

Who is getting creativity right in 2017?

It’s important look beyond the marketing industry, to the new technically savvy and connected designers and architects, who are envisioning a new, bright future grappling with some of society's bigger questions.

Their approach focuses on outcomes and ideas to drive these forwards. This is a refreshing approach and people are getting it right.

Want to know where to look? I’d head to Dezeen, Surface7, 99U, Wired, Futurism and of course Pinterest.

What role does creativity play at the DMA Awards?

It's a critical part of the Award entry, forming the connective glue between data, strategy, execution and results.

You can be strong in each of these areas but without a standout creative idea you won't have that extra needed to win.

We do take a wide view of creativity though; one that that steps beyond the creative artefact into the way the problem is actually solved.

Thinking differently, turning the challenge on its head, finding the real magic: those are three key components to head-turning creative work.

What will you look for in award-winning creativity at this year’s DMAs?

We're always looking for that idea that makes you go, "wow, that's cool! I wish I'd thought of that".

That might sound obvious but that's the power of a good idea - its wakes you up, sticks in your mind and keeps you thinking and talking about it.

But I’ll give people three key things I’ll look for this year:

  • Creative ideas that stand out from the norm and feel genuinely new.
  • Executions that drive talkability, letting the audience join the story and of course deliver the outcome.
  • Beautiful and appropriate craft that lifts the idea even further
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