The Annual: 'Without creativity, it’s all for naught'

Clemenger executive chairman Rob Morgan
By Clemenger executive chairman Rob Morgan | 7 January 2019
Rob Morgan

As part of the AdNews Annual 2018, celebrating 90 years of AdNews, we featured a range of perspectives from brands, leaders and top marketers, to share what creativity means to them and how important it is. We also asked some to throw in a future–gazing thought or two on how advertising could shape out in the next 90 years.

Clemenger was founded in 1946 in Melbourne. It has 1350 staff across Australia and New Zealand. We hear from Clemenger executive chairman Rob Morgan ...

90 years. It’s an exceptional milestone for any business, particularly in the media industry. It’s also a milestone that warrants celebration, and perhaps, a moment to take a step back and take stock of where we’ve been, and more importantly, where we’re going.

We’re in the midst of a new era in the advertising industry — an era that’s certainly different to the one that Clemenger was born into more than 70 years ago. We have the ability to reach people more efficiently than ever, with more targeted, tailored messages at the right place, and at the right time.


This first appeared in AdNews in-print

But, without creativity, it’s all for naught. You can efficiently deliver a whole lot of rubbish that nobody engages with and, while it might be efficient, it’s certainly not effective, and it doesn’t drive the impact that great creativity demands.

That’s why creativity remains our reason for being, and why this issue is focused on creativity being the beating heart of the sector. Businesses like ours only exist because of our ability to develop the thing that clients can’t. And that’s to develop brilliant ideas that people want to read, watch, listen to, or experience.

Creativity was at the heart of Clemenger from the beginning, and we’ve never deviated from our commitment to having the best people do the best work — because the best work, works best.
Anyone who forgets that is missing what is the very essence of why we exist. With the data and technology at our disposal, it’s more important than ever that we maintain our commitment and faith in creativity because the same advancements that allow us to reach consumers has also provided them with every means to ignore us.

Collectively, we need to stop labouring over every existential threat to our business, whether it be the advent of AI, in–housing or consultancies, because you cannot transplant creativity into an alien landscape and expect it to thrive, and you cannot automate the creative process.

The keys to our future are in our hands as long as we maintain our focus on building emotional connections with brands, delivering incredible experiences, and commercialising our creativity.

I’m incredibly optimistic about the future of this industry, and of Clemenger, because we will never deviate, never lose faith, and never, ever demur on the importance of creativity. We are where art meets science, and our creativity is something to be treasured, nurtured and believed in for the next 90 years and beyond.


'Meet Graham' campaign

We also spoke with Vegemite marketing manager Matt Gray. Check it out here.

This first appeared in the AdNews Annual 2018. 

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