Unshackling creativity at Innocean – ‘lots of beer and positive tension’

Unshackling creativity at Innocean – ‘lots of beer and positive tension’

Author | Anjali Soni | Monday, Feb 16,2009 7:19 AM

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Unshackling creativity at Innocean – ‘lots of beer and positive tension’

Innocean Worldwide India believes in infusing what they call, ‘positive tension’, in its employees in these times of economic slowdown. The agency is all set to boost the morale of the employees with greater enthusiasm and positivity.

On being asked how the agency is trying to fight the slowdown, Vivek Srivastava, Joint Managing Director, Innocean Worldwide India, said, “The role of agency leadership becomes critical in times like these, wherein they have to lead from the front in convincing clients and orchestrating all the agency resources too. So, to think in a broader aspect, we encourage our people to come up with more lateral points of view and make them see the consumer inertia as a challenge.”

As a result of this, Srivastava claims, they don’t see a decline in their revenues, in fact, they are aggressively pitching and scouting for new clients. He further says that their pipeline is full and recruitments too are in progress.

The agency firmly believes that to align the creative team and the client, one should first build sensitivity and understanding of the prevailing environment. However, most importantly, the agency encourages teams to use the ideation process to meet the marketing issues and not enslave the ideation process to the marketing and sales issues.

Talking about conceptualising the idea of unshackling creativity, Srivastava said, “I see creativity happening only when the strategic and the creative development process are unshackled. Or else, it is what can at best be called lame duck creativity. The idea is to build empathy towards the brand’s situation and not spread fear in our ranks.”

Citing some examples of client base in India, which they ensured were least affected by the slowdown, Srivastava said, “Hyundai Motor has been growing, KEI Wires is steady after initial hiccups, Aureole Inspecs is steady and veering towards the digital media.”

Talking about the impact of stress on creativity, Saurabh Dasgupta, Executive Creative Director, Innocean Worldwide, said, “Times like these place a lot of strain on creativity. It is pretty much the silver bullet that everybody is looking at in anticipation. As a leader of the creative process and output, I am out there in the frontlines. It is about at times achieving what has traditionally and conventionally considered the impossible – making brand building and selling go hand in hand, and we are doing it consistently.”

Talking about participation, Srivastava said, “It’s about genuine involvement in all the processes without eroding autonomy and guiding people to put forth ideas with greater conviction.”

Commenting about the feedback from the employees, Srivastava said, “Our team-members are excited for sure. I see a different spunk in everyone – which is about being creative with brass-tacks and not merely the large canvas stuff.”

Sujith Sudhakaran, Head - Strategic Planning, Innocean Worldwide India, said, “The major advantage our system has imparted is about being fearless in pursuit of solutions without any fear. I see people across account management, creative, media and digital teams being involved in identifying consumer triggers and pressing it with confidence when approaching solutions.”

So, is there anything specific that the agency indulges in, in terms of a stress buster?

To this Srivastava said “Lots of beer once in 10 days and community lunches, where we spoof run ads, including our own.”

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