Perspective - Focus on a great, creative idea

By David Flanagan | 15 December 2023
David Flanagan.

The AdNews end of year Perspectives, looking back at 2023 and forward to next year.

As 2023 hurtles towards the end, it naturally calls for some reflection as to what trends and innovations have shaped our industry. 2023 was heavily focused on helping clients navigate the fragmented nature of our media environment, ensuring all content produced is suited to the screen on which it is placed.

As for the year ahead, we are anticipating more conversations around ‘which content suits which screen?’, the perpetual debate between vertical and horizontal formats, and the ideal duration for engagement.

In terms of other elements that brands will need to consider in the year ahead in order to ensure they are creating the most creative, effective video content - here are some thoughts:

The unwavering consistency of a great, creative idea

The speed with which innovation continues to evolve and shape our craft and equally, the appetite from brands in Australia to adopt these changes never ceases to amaze me. While the adoption of new innovations has a chokehold on our industry, and rightfully so as they unlock new ways to serve ideas, there is one unwavering consistency that must remain: nothing is more powerful than a simple, elegant idea. Simple ideas, expressed creatively, will continue to be the force that fundamentally captivates the audiences who engage with it. That said, this is only true when done right. When executed meticulously, backed with strategic and creative planning, a brilliant creative idea has the ability to resonate and reverberate, ignite conversations and stir emotions.

In the year ahead, brands must ensure this central focus on a great, creative idea isn’t lost to distractions, or feeling like they’re being left behind in the race towards the new frontier. We must stop, recompose and believe in the centrifugal force of an idea. If they communicate these with clarity - they’ll stand a modicum of chance of being understood.

Balancing the appetite for increased content, with budgets

It’s inevitable we take an annual, commercial view on how we expect our clients will spend, and 2024 is no exception. With brands looking to generate even more creative experiences, this represents huge opportunities for our industry to help them connect with their increasingly fragmented audiences in groundbreaking new ways.

As the demands for more content increases, the greatest challenge will be ensuring that we ground aspirations in reality and ensure that we are being responsible and realistic in what the goals are, matched against what each brand wants to achieve and what they can afford to invest.

In order to succeed, brands must maximise production in order to create enough content to sustain visibility across a range of touchpoints. We call this “Produce Once. Publish Many”. By creating video content that works harder across pretty much any platform - big, medium or small screen, or OOH – brands can ensure that they are approaching content strategically, achieving an intriguing duality that translates into a myriad of opportunities to showcase narratives in unexplored ways. In the year ahead, brands must keep one eye on the end goal and make sure everything produced leverages the available budget to the max.

Reappraising the value of video

We can anticipate a decrease in the value attached to video production, which we have begun to experience throughout 2023 - where the race towards cost efficiency can overshadow the intrinsic worth of a well-crafted visual narrative. As the bottom line is getting closer and closer, and innovations are making it easier to access video creation tools, the risk lies in devaluing the potency of storytelling and emotive messaging that high-quality, strategic video can deliver. There's the tendency to chase that end of the spectrum of cheaper, lower quality content that will ultimately not deliver the correct value of what advertising, communications and marketing can deliver.

In order to ensure impact and success in the year ahead, brands must ensure they do not neglect the intricate layers of strategy and resonance that define impactful brand messaging.

Truly adopting data-drive content

It’s inevitable to expect increased conversations around the power of data and how it will drive informed decisions. In recent years, the increased adoption of the smart use of data has been accepted, yet remains somewhat contentious. While there is clearly an appetite to ensure that all content is data-driven and backed by clear insights, I feel we’re yet to see this truly adopted. Next year, we must encourage brands to revamp strategies to make the most of emerging technology to reap the rewards of deeper engagement that gets in front of the right people.

To conclude, the synergies between creative, strategic deployment, and data-driven insights will undoubtedly shape the direction of the content creation industry in 2024. While it's not solely about the idea, it’s about how that idea is nurtured, tailored, and strategically distributed across the environment, resonating with audiences and reimagining content to meaningful connection.

David Flanagan, Director of Content & Strategy at P2

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