Transformative times 'demand new balancing act from brands'

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According to Bas Korsten, creative partner at J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam, the future is likely to be a mix of the creative, the human and the technological.

“So many brands are in transformation. And while many call it digital transformation, it’s actually business transformation,” he said. “It’s about building your business around the consumer, and that requires a fundamental shift in thinking — for brands and their partners. I believe in a new holy trinity; creativity, humanity and technology.”
This means that creativity is no longer at the heart of everything. “I’m not diminishing the value of creativity, as it’s still crucial, and in fact could be more so than ever,” Korsten added. “But I would say that it’s now part of this triptych, with humanity on one side and technology at the other. And the interesting bit is how these elements feed into each other. If we can bring these three pillars together in the right way, we can truly propel brands forward in today’s rapidly changing, exciting times. If you look at some of the things that are in competition in Cannes this year from the JWT network I think our best work lives within that triangle. Aria, a reinvention of the 200-year-old concept of the stethoscope, together with Bongiovi Acoustics from our New York office. The For- bidden Stories cloud platform that safeguards journalists around the world for Reporters Without Borders from our Paris office, and ‘The Coffee Line’ for Shell from London. KitKat’s ‘Delayed Break’ from Sao Paulo, and ‘Pay with Views’ for Opel from Amsterdam. They all share the three aspects of what I think is going to make brands successful in the very near future. You just have to balance them right.”

Korsten led 2016’s multi- award-winning ‘The Next Rembrandt’, and this year is a judge in the Creative Data category at Cannes Lions

Harriet Palmer