How do we keep getting inspired for new creatives?
Ever wondered how creative minds keep coming up with cool ideas? We decided to ask Pontus Börjesson, who leads our animation team, to spill the beans on how they keep on getting inspired for new marketing creatives. Let’s dive deeper into this process and find out what fuels his and the team’s imagination.
Tactile: Can you tell us about your background and your role at Tactile?
Pontus: I´ve been making video creatives at Tactile for five years and I work as team lead for the animation department of Creative Marketing. I share this position with Anne, who is team lead of the graphic artists of this department. All in all, we’re about ten people who are divided into different disciplines from graphic artists to animators and a programmer who creates playable ads. Each animator on the team takes the project from idea all the way to finished video through storyboard, direction, animation, asset creation and rendering. We value and nurture that independence in our team members to make sure that we avoid bottlenecks in our production. This helps us stay dynamic and able to react fast to market trends.
Tactile: What is your creative process for generating new ideas?
Pontus: I try to sit in a chair away from my workstation, put on headphones on high volume, and close my eyes until something fun comes to mind. Then I will draw my storyboard. But of course, I do take input from both internal data of the performance of our own ads, as well as the performance of competitor ads in the market. Then I use some imagination to come up with scenarios that I think are impactful whereupon I show the idea to my team who will tell me if it makes sense or if it’s complete nonsense. Since everybody in the team is involved with data analysis as well as creative production, the input will be based on the same things that I use for coming up with the idea, but from their professional perspective. The input will be based on both technical aspects, but also on creative and emotional responses.
Tactile: Do you often have brainstorming sessions with the team?
Potnus: Yes, we all make a storyboard for each project that the whole team looks at and comes with input on. The storyboard can be scribbles on a post-it or a more developed animatic. It doesn’t need to have any sort of artistic high level to it, as long as your idea is conveyed clearly.
We also do meetings every two weeks where we discuss competitors’ videos and overall strategy.
Tactile: Do you collaborate with other teams within Tactile on that?
Pontus: Mainly our great User Acquisition team. They are good at supplying us with concepts that work well in the market and for our competitors. If for instance they say that right now, boat-themed ads are performing super well for our competitors and by every metric, then we will make boat ads.
Tactile: What role does data analytics play in your creative process? How do you balance data-driven decisions with creative inspiration?
Pontus: This is the art of creative marketing! We sit on the crossroads of art and business and these decisions influence every choice we make: what works according to the data, and when should we ignore the data completely to try to break new ground?
By only following the numbers, you will be led to a point with a very specific story being told in a very specific way and with very particular visuals. But when the performance of that concept starts declining, we need to cast a wider net, creatively speaking. We explore different ideas, see if something sticks and then pursue that direction while monitoring our KPIs.
Sometimes you may get a win by working against analytics as well in my experience. If the data is telling you that every competitor is working on Christmas themed ads due to the current season, that’s the time to push a Valentine’s or Halloween ad. I believe that in performance marketing, it is more important to stand out than to make sense.
Balance is not easy and it ebbs and flows, as it probably should. Sometimes we need to be more data oriented, and sometimes we need to be more creatively oriented.
Tactile: What sources or practices help you stay updated with trends?
Pontus: Paying attention to advertising out in the wild helps you stay updated with what’s hot at the moment. But only following will never make you a leader, so at times it can be just as important to shut out the noise and spend time thinking about what has an emotional impact on you as a human being and let that influence your creative decisions.
Tactile: What has been your personal favourite project where you felt really inspired and proud?
Pontus: I always liked an old video I made where Lily is getting an ultrasound while calling her boyfriend on the phone. To me there is so much heart-breaking symbolism in trying to share such an important moment in life with somebody who won’t even answer their phone!
Thanks, Pontus, for giving us a sneak peek into the world of making creatives and sharing a bit more on where art meets business.