Can corporate be creative?

The blog below was written by Newgate’s Creative Director, Andrew Baiden.

It was an old gag in a former agency that actually the most creative work could be done with clients who were not the best known consumer brands.  The more boring a business, the greater the appetite for risk and making things happen.

I’ve been doing the creative role here for a month or two now and last week met up with an ex colleague who is now at a competitor.

He couldn’t believe I was ‘out’ of the consumer and tech world and in ‘our boring old world’ of corporate, financial and public affairs.

That got me thinking.  Is it just the preserve of consumer and cutting edge agencies to be creative?  Or can the established corporate shops have a go too?

Well, this place is not an established corporate shop by any means.  They celebrated just five years in business last Friday and have a buzzing network, but being five years old they have a restlessness to be something different and stand out a bit from the crowd.  Zig not zag, ticked.

OK, but what about the work?  In a matter of weeks my team have been thrown into all manner of briefs from helicopters to horses, county councils to canine tech, mobile phones to mining, and that’s just to name a few.  Lots of diverse briefs, ticked.

What about the ideas?  Well, the thing about corporate agencies is that there are always a number of really good ideas people, especially but not exclusively among the ‘new generation PRs’.  Plus, they have ideas for great people to learn from: inviting everyone from fake news experts to new web channels to learn from (and join forces with) on a breakneck schedule of events, talks and self-starting initiatives.  Zest for ideas, ticked.

My colleagues have created a few high-impact campaigns already, but what is a bit surprising is the appetite for embracing change, right through the business.  For instance, they are aware technology is shaping every form of comms.  Mention analytics, robotics and AI here and answer isn’t ‘What’s that?’ but ‘Yes, let’s get it all moving’. Desire for innovation, ticked.

More to the point, I get the feeling we are not alone.  There are a number of corporate agencies doing similar things.  So who said corporate weren’t creative?

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