A Deep Dive into Creativity: Digital Tools, Empathy, and the Democratization of Ideas

We use creativity every day at Blended Sense.
Creative Intelligence


We use creativity every day at Blended Sense.

When big brands like Unilever, Lego, IBM, and Adobe start talking about creative collaboration and “breaking the 4th wall” between customer experience and our personal experience to build brand awareness, you know that something big is lurking on the set. Shakespeare did once say, “All the world’s a stage, and we are merely players.” Small businesses working with Blended Sense and our Creative Intelligence ™ are already keenly aware of the benefits of collaboration to create digital experiences for their ideal customers, but in a recent worldwide webinar hosted by The Drum, big brands peeled back the onion layers of this interesting topic. To make Shakespeare proud, we “dove into the bottom of the deep” on creativity in the workplace.

What can small businesses learn from the big players in marketing? It seems we’re already doing what needed to be done, and the big brands are finally taking note. 

Here are a few notes from the webinar:

Lego Leans on Digital Tools

As Primus Nair, Head of Creative at The LEGO Agency brought to light, it’s not that the way we use our creative skills has changed at all, it’s the way we’ve needed to use digital tools in marketing to collaborate with one another to remain creative that has changed. As he put it, “We can’t just join together in a room and throw a bunch of ideas at a white board anymore.” However, the collaborative nature of human beings and the human experience was perhaps made even more prominent with the last 13+ months of challenge. We’re now leaning on digital tools more than ever to share our experiences, our creative ideas, and our output. 

Grace Astaro talks of leaning on products like Miro to share what was once a very tactile creative experience for storyboarding. Instead of gathering in front of a white board, distributed, virtual teams are now using tools to do so in a new way. This is one of the things that sets us apart at Blended Sense. We build creatives that are hyper local to a community but we also rely heavily on virtual producing.  As Deloitte has pointed out, even Hollywood is now relying more on virtual production to create some of their larger creative projects. Gaming, filming, and other types of production will likely all utilize more virtual practices in the near future.

Like many small businesses, Blended Sense leans on many collaborative tools like Slack, Frame.io, Meet, ClickUp, and others to allow our producers, editors, and creative professionals to work seamlessly together.

Adobe XD is now built for real time collaboration, and there are opportunities for asynchronous collaboration into PS with Ai through Cloud Docs. There will likely be an onslaught of creative collaboration tools in the future, as they become increasingly necessary.

IBM Shares the Importance of Empathy

Isabella Bain, Sales and Creative Associate Director at IBM talked about “sharing of knowledge” which, if you ask most creative individuals, is part of what drives us to create. We’re curious creatures, always wanting to learn something new. We have learned to lean on each other more than ever as a resource -- designers, painters, photographers, editors -- anyone in a creative-leaning position has had to dig deep into their own knowledge, but also rely on friends and peers in a similar field to position themselves. We’re simply in a world that can’t survive without creative collaboration now. The criteria for doing that? Being empathetic, vulnerable, and open in ways we might never have been before, facilitate collaboration the best.

Psychologists describe empathy as being really a three-tiered endeavor:

Cognitive empathy - This type of empathy is anticipating what another person might be feeling which leads to better communication, negotiation, and problem solving. It’s the ability to “read a room.”

Emotional empathy - This is when we actually feel what another person is experiencing whether its joy or pain. It’s the mirror neurons at work, allowing us to mirror back emotion to another person because we feel it in real time.

Compassionate empathy - This is when we understand a person’s feelings even if we don’t currently feel the same emotions but perhaps we have in the past, and can therefore act in a kind and understanding manner.

When creating creative content, these empathic ways help you to connect to an audience in ways other brands are not.

Lowes Democratizes Idea Sharing

Sagar Kapoor, Chief Creative Officer of Lowe Lintas hinted at the democratization of ideas that has evolved over the past year or so. He says that “anything that’s organic that’s just a good idea has to be considered.” This is proof to us at Blended Sense, that the linear, top-down business model is breaking down to give way for a more egalitarian sharing of ideas and the ability to put them into practice as people, by necessity, become more open, less egoic, and more solution-oriented in their creative problem solving. 

The Take-Away

With these ideas shared about creative collaboration across big business, we’re excited to be at the forefront of a movement for sharing ideas, and altering the business landscape (for small business). Small businesses are uniquely positioned to utilize empathy, virtual production, and the democratization of ideas because they are growing ecosystems that often feel the impact of a change in ethos, faster. These are also qualities we’ve already embraced since our inception, and that we plan to build on going forward at Blended Sense.

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