Disruption Lounge vol.003  The “Creative Renaissance”:  Forging the Future of Cultural Creation

13 February 2024

Disruption Lounge vol.003 The “Creative Renaissance”: Forging the Future of Cultural Creation

TBWA\HAKUHODO is the DISRUPTION® company with a goal of delivering meaningful change to society.
Our philosophy and method of DISRUPTION® is the key to unlock the conventions we find ourselves trapped with. DISRUPTION®︎ opens pathways to new ideas and perspectives that lead us down hitherto unexplored territories.

We also explore ways to spread DISRUPTION® outside of our agency through our open innovation project, Open Disruption®. We are constantly seeking out companies and organizations who have the potential to be the next Disruptors to bring meaningful change to society, and to collaborate with them in effective ways.

As part of our Open Disruption® initiative, we hold regular “DISRUPTION® Lounge” events where Disruptors from outside the agency are invited to share their thoughts with us.
Discover the insights and highlights in our exclusive report from the third edition of the DISRUPTION® Lounge, which took place on December 7th, 2023.

Disruption Lounge vol.003  The “Creative Renaissance”:  Forging the Future of Cultural Creation

At TBWA\HAKUHODO, we see a “creative renaissance” unfolding in the world. What this means, is a veritable paradigm shift of how creative is created, and by whom.
We are entering an age where anyone of any age, no matter how old or young, famous or unknown are able to flex their creative muscle and communicate with the wider world.
We are increasingly seeing content created by consumers that are taking the world and the market by storm.
So, what changes can we anticipate in this creative renaissance, and what implications does it have regarding how future culture is created/birthed/produced?
How will brands exist in this new epoch?
These are the big questions we explored with our two special guests.

【DISRUPTION Lounge vol.003 – Guest】

Disruption Lounge vol.003  The “Creative Renaissance”:  Forging the Future of Cultural Creation

Koki Matsumoto
Team Lead, Creative Solutions, Global Business Solutions, TikTok for Business Japan

Koki began his career at an events company and in April 2019 he joined TikTok for Business Japan. He became involved in TikTok-based campaign building for a wide array of categories with a focus on cosmetics.

Disruption Lounge vol.003  The “Creative Renaissance”:  Forging the Future of Cultural Creation

Rika Shiiki
CEO, AMF Co. Ltd,. Representative Director, The Social Media Trend Marketing Association

Born 1997 in Chiyoda-ward, central Tokyo. Risa graduated from Faculty of Letters, Keio University in Tokyo. She established AMF while in her third year of junior high school, developing the “JCJK research team” comprising of junior high/high school age females from across Japan to research trends and to offer marketing support to companies along with announcing the “JCJK Buzzword Award” every six months. In her role as Representative Director at SNS Trend Marketing Association she shares her social media marketing know-how and insight into the latest trends with the wider world. Some of her latest work has included the “Bar Pomum” project with Suntory and she is also working with one of Japan’s leading department stores, Takashimaya. Since 2021 she has also been involved as a council member in the NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) Central Program Council Program Examination Board, leading her to make many media appearances in this capacity.

Evolution 1: The Democratization of Creativity

Disruption Lounge vol.003  The “Creative Renaissance”:  Forging the Future of Cultural Creation

Communicating creative content to the world was previously the domain of professional creators.
What was “desirable” was designed as such and familiarized through mass media. However, we have entered an era where consumers and creators alike have the means to create and disseminate content with ease (“the creative renaissance”). We can see this major shift reflected in how annual buzz words increasingly include those originating from consumer generated content. Now nominated for and winning awards, consumer-creatives are enjoying the democratization of creativity which is giving them an increasing presence and voice.

How should brands approach this new age of the creative renaissance? How can brands capture
the attention of consumers and make them want to become conduits for the brand?

Rika believes the key for brands is to tap into the consumers sense of “self-efficacy”. By this she means the emotion that drives the consumer to want to be of use to the brand/content. The consumer urge to disseminate the brand/content, promote the brand/content and help grow the brand/content.
Rika understands that the modern consumer sees themselves as part of a larger community of fans, and thinks carefully about how they should “function” within that paradigm to bring success to the thing they love.
This manifests itself in these consumers disseminating content such as edited videos of relevant events, or offering detailed practical information (opening times of stores etc.) to a wider audience, out of a need to fulfill a purpose for the brand/content. This means that the central
motivation to what they share online is not about buzz/views/likes. It comes purely from a dedication for the brand. This results in an audience-generated content that is high in quality (for the brand) and is much more likely to be relevant to target audiences.
Koki added a point that reminded us about the fickle, super-short format nature of TikTok or other social media that brands must be hyper aware of. “In a platform like TikTok it is essential to bring the essence of your message, the excitement and anticipation to the very start of your videos in order to stop viewers’ thumbs dead in their tracks of scrolling”.

Evolution 2: The Diversification of Culture

Disruption Lounge vol.003  The “Creative Renaissance”:  Forging the Future of Cultural Creation

Since the dawn of this Century, we have seen a plethora of new technologies change the landscape of our everyday lives and communication. Starting with the internet, our daily lives now abound with social media, content platforms, mobile devices and apps of all kinds. More recently we are seeing how content and communities crossing borders and going truly global, in a matter of minutes.
The culture that we generate and enjoy will become increasingly diverse as it is seamlessly and instantly shared with the entire planet.

TBWA\HAKUHODO defines culture as “a shared perspective on values or ideas between people that also instigates participation to it”. As the dissemination of culture becomes increasingly seamless and without borders, how should brands evolve to stay ahead?

“The target of all brand communication is “people”, it is important to understand firstly how those people are acting, reacting and moving to triggers in that particular cultural target, rather than just looking at the cultural output coming from that culture. What are the triggers that move this culture? This is the most important question to ask, and in order to elucidate a path, the brand and the agency must expose itself to myriad of content and values/cultures out there, to develop real, deep knowledge. Brands must above all else maintain a flexibility and willingness for trial and error to ensure first and foremost that they are always trying to understand people.” Koki expressed.
Rika added that brands would do best to communicate that they understand their consumers through friendly conversation that is hyper-focused and close as possible to the heart of the target. She emphasized that “this should be reflected in action and not just big campaign messaging”.
For example, brands that engage in personable ways to online consumer posts, demonstrates itself as a brand that is responsive to consumer actions and will.

Evolution 3:The Mass-ification of Brands

Disruption Lounge vol.003  The “Creative Renaissance”:  Forging the Future of Cultural Creation

In the pre-creative renaissance age, brand corporate messaging wielded greater authority over the consumer. The brands of the past ensured a desired place in the mind of society through embodying “aspiration”, for example. However, our lives and values are increasingly diversified with so many alternative choices to how we want to/decide to live. Consumers of today see brands more as a “friend” whom they choose to include in their life, if it fits.

TBWA\HAKUHODO recognizes that in order for brands to win in the future, they must understand that consumer culture and the content that drives their growth are now competitors.
Gone are the days where category competitor brands were the only rivals.
As the creative renaissance spreads throughout the world, how will the future of branding look?

Both speakers agreed that in order to become closer and more relatable to consumers, brands cannot afford to rely solely on large-scale corporate messaging, but must leverage consumers and creators as conduits. In order to do this, brands must focus on how to create tools out of their brand asset(s) and how to build participatory systems that will allow for consumers to communicate the brand on their own terms. An ecosystem of content co-creation with consumers and creators, is what brands that will win the future will be equipped with.

Disruption Lounge vol.003  The “Creative Renaissance”:  Forging the Future of Cultural Creation
Disruption Lounge vol.003  The “Creative Renaissance”:  Forging the Future of Cultural Creation

DISRUPTION Lounge Vol.3: The Moderators’ Perspective

Disruption Lounge vol.003  The “Creative Renaissance”:  Forging the Future of Cultural Creation

Based on the insights from our two guests, let’s explore the changes brought about by the Creative Renaissance within the framework of TBWA\HAKUHODO’s ‘ Disruption Path.’ This roadmap consists of three key steps: Convention, Vision, and Disruption.
• Convention: Established concepts that should be challenged.
• Vision: The ideal state we aim to achieve.
• Disruption: The innovative ideas that break down established concepts to realize our vision.

Disruption Lounge vol.003  The “Creative Renaissance”:  Forging the Future of Cultural Creation

Convention refers to the expected, the patterns of thinking cemented by preconceived notions.
In light of this, we have learned the convention that consumers must be passive in their consumption of a brand, has to be disrupted. This convention, where brands, mass media and creators depict “ideals” to which consumers aspire to, is ready for a change. Boiled down to its essence, the convention to be disrupted here is the inherited idea that “all consumers share the same values, ideas and desires”.

Vision, is where we want to go.
With the advent of modern-day technology and highly sophisticated platforms, the consumer now has a voice that puts their relationship with brands on more equal footing. Consumers are influencing and affecting brands as much as brands are affecting consumers. In this new ecosystem, empowered consumers will develop and pioneer their own definitions of value and meaning for brands. The vision for our living can be defined as “helping to create a world where manifold interpretations of what value means to individual consumers can live and coexist”.

DISRUPTION, is the path that will lead us to our goal.
In the age of the creative renaissance people demand brands to respect the autonomous creativity of
consumers. The technological evolutions we see will continue to allow individual creativity to flourish and brands must be a partner to help facilitate this expression. This is the sea change in the nature of the relationship between brand and consumer that will take place. The brands better equipped to co-create with consumers, will win in the future.

Convention:”Everyone aspires to the same thing” a world where taste and value are dictated to consumers through authoritative brand voices
Vision:”Manifold values and points of view” A world where individual consumers can explore and develop their own values
DISRUPTION:”The Creative Renaissance” A flourishing of consumer-led creativity

Disruption Lounge vol.003  The “Creative Renaissance”:  Forging the Future of Cultural Creation

Looking back on the session

Common throughout all the themes discussed in the session was the increasing power of the consumer to choose and select brands to engage with as they see fit/as suits them. However, with increased freedom of choice comes an infinite array of possibilities and less time for decision making for consumers.
If you win the consumers interest, he/she/they will become a passionate evangelist. On the other hand, if your brand cannot win consumer interest, it will drop out of their mind in a flash. We are even beginning to see consumer behaviors that indicate consumers are unable to recall any marketing communication they come into contact with, simply because there is too much information out there now.
That is why it is of paramount importance that we create enough impact in the first seconds of
contact to “stop viewers’ thumb dead in their tracks of scrolling”. This will become increasingly fundamental
for any brand communication or activity in the future.
What we also learned was, if leveraged properly, consumer creativity will work as a significant force to lift brands up. Let us constantly remind ourselves that a two-way dialogue is now available between consumer and brand through social media or content platforms where consumers can feedback directly to brands. The smart brands will always take this as an invaluable opportunity to improve their offerings based on direct, raw consumer input.
The influence of the consumer is now very, very strong… and is only set to increase further.
Only brands with the courage to forge a path ahead in partnership with the consumer shall win
in the future.

Disruption Lounge vol.003  The “Creative Renaissance”:  Forging the Future of Cultural Creation