• Chairperson at the London International Awards and the Marketing Academy •
From former Chairman of Cannes Lions to current Chairperson of the London International Awards and the Marketing Academy, Terry Savage has a vast experience in creativity. In this interview for the eBook “The Influence of Travel Video Marketing”, Terry Savage speaks about some challenges of his extraordinary career, how the creative industry has evolved over the years, and the importance of festivals and winning awards. Finally, he shares his vision of technology’s evolution and how it affects audiovisual advertising. Read more about his perception of creativity and much more on the interview:
You have a vast experience in the creative industry. As chairperson of the London International Awards and the Marketing Academy, and as former chairman of Cannes Lions, what was the biggest challenge in your career?
The biggest challenge always is to create a vision that fits the business you are running at the time and then implement that vision. To do so, you must ensure that others in your organization share the vision and make it their own. This is so valuable because it always gives you an edge over your competitors, and at a time when so much change is happening in our industry, that is such an important thing.
As part of creative festivals’ leadership for so many years, what is your perception of creativity?
Creativity, as a definition, is "doing something in ways that have not been done before”. Creativity does not just apply to advertising; it should be used in all industries and in all areas of business. Creativity done well gives new ways of doing things, and everyone can be the instigator of creative thinking. The biggest hurdle to creative thinking is the negativity that others can give to new ideas, most great ideas are born drowning because of this thinking, and the ability to listen to others, will help creative thinking and help gain a competitive advantage.
What is the importance of creative festivals? How do they help nourish communities and grow industries?
In our industry the ability to mix with like-minded people from different countries and different cultures opens people’s eyes to the numerous possibilities as it relates to creative opportunities. Festivals provide the perfect environment to meet, listen and learn from not just the world’s best but also from people with different skill sets and perspectives. Festivals are also the place where important issues such as diversity, gender equality, and sustainability can be promoted. You also, of course, have the opportunity at these events to see the award-winning work, work that inspires and renews commitment to try and make great communication happen.
"Fact is, if you don’t know what the world’s best work looks like, you will never be able to make the world’s best work."
Why is it important for brands and professionals to participate in creativity festivals and win awards?
Fact is if you don’t know what the world’s best work looks like, you will never be able to make the world’s best work. Awards create the platform that identifies what great creativity really looks like, it is the measure of excellence we have in our industry, and if you believe that creative work sells more than work that is not creative, then you must understand what you need to achieve to be the best.
You have witnessed a significant technological evolution since you started your career in the marketing and creative industries. How has this evolution influenced audiovisual advertising nowadays?
Yes, without a doubt – but it was and is inevitable and should not be feared. The reality is that no matter what the platform, creativity and a creative approach will enhance the message, and although the format may change, the fact is that creativity will enhance the message if done well.
Storytelling is one of the major challenges of video. What attributes must it have to be considered good?
It must both entertain and inform.
In your opinion, what should contain a campaign to achieve success?
I guess that is the point of creativity, there are no formulas for making it – by it,s very nature it surprises.
Most creative festivals don’t have specific categories for Tourism. Nevertheless, they have had winners in the tourism industry over the years. What do you think about creativity in tourism videos? Do you remember any tourism video that was featured among the award winners?
I think the palette you have to work with in this sector is so compelling that it is very easy not to approach the sector with as much creativity as you could. Clearly, the airlines do some great work, a particular favorite of mine was the work done for Australian Tourism called “Dundee the son of a legend return home”, from Droga 5 in New York. It showed all that was good about Australia was funny and totally entertaining and won many awards on the award circuit.
What is your opinion on niche festivals, such as tourism film festivals?
They are important for all the reasons I mentioned before, it gives the opportunity for people within the same sector to meet, network, and review best practice, and more importantly, to understand what great work looks like. In a sector like Tourism, every country, region, and city is your competitor, so it’s handy to understand what they do and how well they do it.
How do you see the creative industry nowadays?
Challenged, and it always has been, the plethora of technologies and change exacerbate the situation, but when you see the great work, no matter what the platform, it reinvigorates you to try and make that magic piece of communication that can drive brands or indeed on occasion change the world.
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