‘Stop following the hypes!’

Epica's Creative Circle will be about brands and political correctness. What will opinion makers, like Jacqueline Smit, bring to the table?

Jacqueline Smit, Founder at Rockportink

The Epica Awards, which take place November 15th in Amsterdam, are the only international industry prize that’s awarded by journalists. Its conference – with the theme ‘Will Responsibility Kill Creativity?’ – will be about brands’ role in society. To what extent are they responsible for a better world? How does it influence their communication? What does ‘purpose-driven marketing’ really mean?

Twenty tables occupied by CMOs, creatives, journalists, agency directors, opinion leaders, creators and scientists, all discussing the nature of our industry’s shared responsibility. The findings of these sessions will be collected and shared with the worldwide (industry)press.

Jacqueline Smit (who had leading roles at big companies like Starcom, Microsoft, 538Groep and TMG and is now 'Founder at Rockportink, Change Consultant in Media & Marketing and OMNIENT Transformational Leadership Program') shares her view on the subject in advance.

NA: What will you bring to the table during the Creative Circles with its theme ‘Will responsibility kill creativity’? What would you like to bring across?

Creativity needs to be able to blossom. Great ideas or innovations are often blocked by an organisation’s quarterly responsibility to a lot of – presumably – important stakeholders. This culture also feeds a hesitancy among talented people to stand out or to rise above it. Whilst it is so important to bring new perspectives to the table these days.

NA: Shouldn’t we talk more about the game of advertising itself, instead of trying to save the world? Or are companies / brands and creativity the main tools (and the main ones responsible?) left for that to happen? 

Of course, we should. On the other hand, new thinking is the territory of creative, autonomous people who are in the position to communicate through the work of brands that need to act responsibly, authentically and transparently in order to stay in business. It's a huge opportunity, to do good now!

NA: What is your favourite, preferably unusual suspect, purposeful campaign?

Namecheap. When news agencies reported that the GoDaddy CEO had killed an elephant on a hunt in Africa, Namecheap capitalized on it. The company provided discount codes for anyone who wanted to switch from GoDaddy, with part of the proceeds going to an elephant charity.

NA: What is our single most important responsibility as an industry, in your humble opinion?

Stop following the hypes just for the sake of it. Blindly following the masses feeds superficiality.

NA: Where do you hope this industry will eventually head to? Could you paint a perfect picture?

Communication can create intangible value for brands. It would be great if the industry becomes the driving force for diversity and inclusiveness, and brands would speak their truth.

NA: Finally, why are you involved in the Epica’s / Why are the Epica Awards important? Please be as frank and direct as possible.

Because I want to address and help all of the above become a reality. Epica is the platform to do that.

Do you want to participate?

If you would like to be part of Creative Circles, please contact kyra@adbusiness.amsterdam, +31-6-11303369. There are only 20 tabels. Tickets for Epica’s Award Show (and afterparty) can be purchased here.

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