Every year, there’s a word that buzzes about during Dubai Lynx at Madinat Jumeirah in March. Last year, it was VR. The year before, it was story-telling.
This year, while not an explicit theme, it’s collaboration and connection.
Creative and effective work in advertising, branding, marketing and content creation showcased this year are incredible examples of interdisciplinary and inter-organizational collaboration.
The focus has shifted slightly from a futuristic agenda of immersing consumers in virtual experiences to an internal process: getting IT, design, client servicing (yes, they’re invited) and creative in the same room to tackle problems from the different angles and present ingenious solutions for simple problems.
This was underscored, in different degrees, at the most captivating talks at Dubai Lynx 2017. Here are the biggest lessons and highlights:
1. The Memory Is the Message, JWT Worldwide
“People yearn for experiences versus things.”
Matt Eastwood punctuated the end of an inspiring talk with a surprise string quartet. His session emphasized the importance of giving people something to remember – literally – with creativity and tech in the same room.
He encouraged brands to create accidental and deliberate experiences that have personal relevance to the audience.
The perfect example? The Sydney Opera House is captured most often in pictures of residents and tourists, but this interest is not reflected in footfall. JWT then designed a mechanism by which each picture-taker is sent a personalized message from inside the Opera House – from a chef, a costume designer, a stage manager – to #ComeOnIn.
When they step in, they have an experience worth sharing with their friends:
2. Creative Activists: We Are More Powerful Than We Think, Google
“As creatives, we’re natural-born problem solvers.”
Steve Vranakis used the Google X formula of big problem, radical solutions, and cutting edge technology to share case studies which epitomize collaborative effort.
So, think of problems with cars – accidents, – and their cause – human error. How do you solve it in a radical manner with cutting edge tech? Self-driving cars.
The most memorable of the three case studies was one executed for Syrian refugees: When they landed on Greek island of Lesvos, they did not have access to any information, Wi-Fi or navigation tools.
Google built the Crisis Info Hub app, with NGO partnerships, to provide free wi-fi and guide the refugees to lodging, transport and give them the latest relevant political updates – all in black and white so it doesn’t drain phone battery.
3. Creative Directors. Who Needs Them?, Forsman & Bodenfors
“You can’t hide in a space like ours.”
With a horizontal structure and no hierarchy, Forsman & Bodenfors is designed to accelerate collaboration.
An efficient tool they use for communication is ‘the floor’ (the floor of their office) where teams lay out their current projects for everyone to see. This sets up a platform for a free flow of ideas between different roles and resulted in the beautiful child voice navigation idea employed to increase safety around schools and neighborhoods.
Here’s it is:
4. Connected Spaces: The Future of Physical and Digital, R/GA London
Once again, looking inward, Fura Johannesdottir showed us how their workplace has evolved to include fascinating digital elements that help transparency and communication.
In their football field-sized New York office with two floors, large screens above every teams desk lets you glance at the work they’re doing. Want to get in touch with someone in the London office? Instead of scrambling for their number or email, walk over to a screen in the office and ask to see them.
An R/GA app also allows employees to book rooms, navigate around the office and keep updated with new developments on projects.
Which talks at Dubai Lynx did you enjoy most? Tell us in the comments below.
Here are a few highlights from 2016:
Samer Chehab: ‘An Idea With Human Truth Is a Winner’ | Dubai Lynx