COVID-19 IMPACT ON
CREATIVITY IN THE CORPORATE WORLD

King_Kong2

Let’s presume that COVID or transmissible viruses are a part of the future. It is down to how much they continue to constrict the changing world rather than everything returning to where it was. You could see changes on changes like a wound healing and then not quite getting better. It festers and the world limps on.

The ability to fly long distance has been made more expensive and risky. Short-haul will become more the norm one presumes. Creative uses of property will be needed…re-purposing. Demand to escape the cage everyone has been placed within means that most want to escape. This will mean local becomes more popular. Invariably some will go bust and some will make a killing out of the changing fortunes. To stop going bust there will be a need to think differently about what you have at your disposal and how it can be used.

On to the topic finally. Firstly, I haven’t found the corporate world so in tune with creativity anyhow. You have the odd individual who has not had the stuffing knocked out of them…but the clue is in that word ‘odd’. These people are often prejudiced against because they get things wrong. You see one of the problems of innovation, ideation, creativity, newness is that a lot of people like to keep things as they are. Now I am sure there must be umpteen books on ‘change management’. There must be digital downloads on how to be super creative. If you change things you embrace a degree of risk. Most organisations don’t like risk, who does for that matter.

What I have noticed about even the biggest operators is that they like to ask a lot of questions (research you might call it). They will trawl ideas like the biggest fishing boat ever built. They analyse a lot of data and apply algorithms that pick out trends and draw obvious conclusions. What they don’t handle is the anarchy of coincidence or some probability happening which is just so off the scale it surely couldn’t happen. My simple human mind was considering why something happened in history. Urghh…the good guys finally stood up to the bad guys because isn’t that what happens in a good story. Now you can get very wrapped up in politics of right and wrong in this piece on history. Recently with various politicians coming to power, I have had to be very creative to figure if some of these are the good guys or not!!

So COVID has led to the speeding up of the digital age. So now we blur our home with our work. If we are paid to stay at home, it might even raise the question of whether many people should work at all? The 9-5pm trudge and commuting on trains or in cars on clogged highways or out of date railway systems is not flying anymore. You can imagine many offices becoming accommodation….so the business will get you working from an office…only now it is your home. A home I get paid to stay in because it’s dangerous to travel…for lots of reasons…not just COVID. Suddenly people have to get creative about what they do at home. Enterprising corporates make gym equipment or bikes people can digitally connect with other riders. Even craft becomes trendy.

The idea of interacting face to face and seeing ones loved ones. Even the whole idea of having relationships for survival is stopped by the endless badgering of not breaking the COVID rules. I heard the other day that £60bn had been saved by corporates on pensions they will not have to pay out because people have died. I guess creativity in changing the pension rules will have to happen. It might ironically mean there is more chance of the youth in Britain getting a pension if 125,000 people die from COVID. It is a dark thought that more COVID deaths might counterbalance a population that is on average getting older. It might improve the environment also this dark thought.

Has COVID increased the likelihood of corporates being more susceptible to ground-breaking ideas? I would like to say ‘yes’…but alas I feel it is ‘no’. The corporate is not able to think quickly on its feet. It is successful like the dinosaur but is also susceptible to a big meteor landing which irrevocably changes its world. I do not want to lean on history inappropriately. Humans are endlessly creative. Tesla this and that. Climate change can be tackled at a canter by superhumans. The humans at Pompei thought in a similar vein I think.

COVID-19 was a precursor to a big shock and the creators, innovators will need to rise and be heard. I have some sympathy for the radical extinction movement… ‘Extinction rebellion’. They are after all talking about forcing change and creativity because this isn’t a poor copy line or a bit of advertising. This is the end of the balance you find in the natural world or on the surface of the planet…think David Attenborough and all those beautiful animals dying.

So is the iconic monster of Japanese films, Godzilla a bad thing? When King Kong climbed the empire state and swats the archaic biplanes. You do feel a bit sorry for these so-called monsters. Are the American army in gun-toting fashion the good guys…or do we feel for Godzilla?

So COVID-19 does pose a lot of creative questions for corporates and the world. Last but not least is whether it is ‘all bad’. The response by pharma companies has been divided. Should you make money out of a health crisis? If you don’t…how do you arm the troops to fight the next monster? The troops need paying…we need to pay for COVID-20 or 21. So on and so forth the war against viruses will need a lot of creativity or what will fill the news channels. Who will battle to get the vaccines?

I almost feel that copywriting just got channeled into a vial and syringed into a corporate. A giant syringe in King Kong’s paws. King Kong is eating an apple. He is eating the Apple corporation. He is using his giant Apple phone and crushing soon to be launched Apple cars, he has been vaccinated by Godzilla with Apple vaccine.

Will finally the COVID-19 succumb to the corporate? Will it become an essential industry? Isn’t it already?

David Jackson
Group Creative Director