D&ad • You Got This
MANIFESTING SUCCESS FOR NEW GEN CREATIVES
D&AD came to us to help them concept a social-first identity to promote their New Blood Awards. The creative needed to be a driving call for mass entries for the awards, and then taking the aspiring creative professionals on their journey through the judging, festival, awards ceremony and the academy. This integrated campaign needed to run ran across all digital and physical touch-points — taking entrants and judges alike on a visual journey that could change and adapt across the key milestones.
WHAT WE DID
We started with a process of research and insight in collaboration with our global Fairy Family network to uncover the biggest opportunity to create cultural impact. We landed on the insight that It’s hard to break into the creative industries and even harder to battle imposter syndrome. So we created a tongue-in-cheek ‘affirmations’ campaign that spreads positivity through eye-catching copy. This would ensure resonance with a global audience of students, tutors and institutions using our Gen-Z focused insight.
It’s hard break into the creative industries & even harder to battle imposter syndrome.
To uncover the biggest opportunity to create cultural impact and attention for the awards we reached out to our global Fairy Family network and found 12 Gen Z creatives from New York, Johannesburg, Sydney, Hamburg, London, and São Paulo. We gave them a short task and asked them a range of questions relating to our hypothesis around various themes: their personal creative practice; inspiration & originality; the role of creativity in society; creativity in the world of work and the shift from creators to curators. This all lead to our three consumer insights which you can view below.
It was important to employed Gen Z’s humour in our copy-led creative, executed in a self-referential and tongue-in-cheek way, ensuring it felt very native across the social ecosystem. We spoke in punchy ‘affirmations’ that encourage our young audience to believe in themselves and take the plunge. In short, we we’re saying: You Got This. Final copy lines were: Success is in my Stars; Manifest Success; Knowledge is Power, Learning gives me Life; My Energy is an Award and Winning Energy.
We set out to create an inspiring identity that channeled a similar energy, excitement and ambition as taking your first steps in your creative career. As Gen Z design moves towards an unapologetically positive space, we used the notion of ‘dopamine design’ to create engaging, energising creative that would capture our target audiences’ attention. In the creative process we considered colour therapy, meme energy, imperfection, irony, affirmations and anti-aesthetics and disruption.
From the beginning of our collaboration the team at Digi understood the needs of our audience and our brand and conducted first-hand research via outreach to their Fairy Family to prepare insights that felt relevant and connected to the audience. Digital Fairy nailed our brief and we had great results on the campaign.
Originality to me means doing something that everyone else is doing in a unique way and I believe that’s extremely important. We are meant to recycle, use past thoughts and experiments to create optimised ideas.
INSIGHT 1: SOCIAL MEDIA CREATES A TENSION: DEMOCRATISING CREATIVITY BUT ALSO COMMODIFYING IT
Social has democratised creativity. Anyone can self-publish or build a personal brand; going from unknown to a viral sensation overnight — surpassing institutional gatekeeping that previously dictated success. Pressure to create constantly within the accelerated trend cycle can also undermine creative agency — as output is quantified by shallow metrics like likes and views, and as brands try to co-opt the self-made clout of creators.
INSIGHT 2: GEN Z ARE DECENTRALISING THEIR NETWORKS, PLATFORMS AND THINKING
We’re witnessing an inherent shift in the way creatives break into the industry — bolstered by their natural affinity for social justice, our future workforce is subverting traditional ways in, cultivating grassroots communities of their own — away from any central power. These new networks bridge gaps and create a wealth of opportunities both within local communities IRL and growing decentralised spaces online.
INSIGHT 3: RECYCLING AND REMIXING ARE JUST AS POWERFUL AS ‘ORIGINAL’ THINKING
We have reached ‘peak content,’ our daily lives are oversaturated with visual stimulus and references, making creative output as much as about reproduction as originality. Gen Z channel their creativity by reproducing and copying what already exists. They are curators, compiling references and adding new layers using platforms like Pinterest, as creatives work algorithmic recommendations into their output.
Social media quantifies creative output through the value placed on likes and engagement. This is simply an extension of things being valued by their monetary value. So many ‘artists’ and ‘content creators’ are just human billboards for advertisements nowadays, and will let their art suffer if it makes them money.