Reimagining the creative process with Adobe

11 October 2018
Laura Silva
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It’s the dawn of a new age at WPP!

In collaboration with Adobe and our WPP sister agencies, we are working towards driving new and improved ways of working and collaborating between agencies and clients.  The long-term vision is to seamlessly integrate the three Adobe Clouds - Document, Creative and Marketing - easing the experience of working consistently across all of them. One suite of tools that would see a marketing asset through its lifecycle - from conception, through to design, implementation and performance.

But what does that mean in practice? Clients, strategists, creative designers and developers will be able to work more collaboratively from client brief, through asset development to campaign. Not only will we be able to produce more and in a fraction of the time, leaving more time to focus on innovation, but also, through enhanced collaboration, we will start to build a stronger, collective customer experience.

The Creative Jam

Cognifide have been working closely with Adobe to understand some of the innovations in the Creative Cloud and in the Adobe AI space – Sensei. We wanted to discuss these innovations with our colleagues from other agencies and collaborate to use them to get the best outcomes for our clients. This resulted in the first ever WPP Adobe Creative Jam which took place recently in Labs in Holborn.

 
 
 
 
 
 

A blended mix of Cognifiders, designers and creatives from our sister agencies joined the event, which featured an introduction to the new Adobe Xd, a team Creative Jam and, last but not least, two lightning talks by leading industry figures.

So what’s Adobe Xd? For those of you who have never heard of it, Adobe Xd is a new UI/UX solution, the latest offering in the Creative Cloud. Xd allows users to quickly design, prototype and share engaging user experiences. Scott Hemmens of Adobe demonstrated just how Xd allows creatives to transform paper-based sketches into digital concepts in a matter of clicks (you can see a snippet of this here). Designers attending the event were able to discover more about the app features, have their questions answered by a professional and gain some practical, hands on, experience surrounded by their peers.

Following the Demo, the Creative Jam saw teams competing to create an app concept for one of our biggest clients. The final presentations were outstanding, and it was great to see how everybody worked and engaged with the technology to deliver incredible user experiences.

 

 AI: the catalyst of a new creative process? 

Then came the lightning talks. The first from Chris Gayner, Director of Labs for Symphony Ventures and part of the AI Group for Government, and Andrew Burgess, leading writer and AI advisor. The focus of their talk was AI’s potential role in stimulating and reinventing creativity. 

As Neri Oxman depicts in in his “Krebs Cycle of Creativity” model, creative energy arises from the seamless interrelation across the four domains of art, design, science and engineering. AI undoubtedly touches upon and impacts all of them. Therefore, Gayner & Burgess argue, AI will ultimately impact the overall creative process.

For example, the first AIVA (Artificial Intelligence for Visual Artists) was created recently. It’s an artificial intelligence that has created a classical composition, earning the official status of “Composer”.

How about literature? A year ago we witnessed the first bot attempt to rewrite Harry Potter, albeit with a less successful outcome, much to the relief of J.K. Rowling, I’m sure.

No space is safe - not even gaming. Alexa is now able to provide Call of Duty players with real time recommendations on how to improve their performance. The Google DeepMind Go victory is older news but perhaps the most remarkable, due to the computer’s ability to think beyond possibilities conceived by humans. All of this evidence points to a new AI-led era of creativity.

Re-engineering organisations for success

The second lightning talk focused on future ways of working.  Erik Rodin, Organisational Designer at the consultancy company, August, argued for a future in which responsive teams and communities will drive the future of creative organisations. 

In the last fifty years, technology has driven exponential societal change. However, many organisations have comparatively stood still. These two organisational structures, dated from the 1950s and 2016 respectively, are hardly distinguishable.

Strict hierarchies, lines of control, and siloed teams are still alive and well in many leading corporations. Antiquated companies are finding it increasingly difficult to prosper.

According to Rodin, the answer is to develop more responsive organisations, teams and practices. His manifesto of Responsive Organisations states that, as the pace of change accelerates, organisations need to be designed to thrive in less predictable environments. How? By balancing various tensions - between controlling and empowering, efficiency and responsiveness, profit and purpose, hierarchies and networks, planning and experimentation, and finally, privacy and transparency. Being responsive is a choice that an organisation, creative or not, needs to commit to.

The session was open to all WPP agencies in London and seeing such a variety of colleagues with different backgrounds and expertise was fantastic. Moreover, all the attendees were given access to the Adobe Creative Insider Ambassador program. This provides individuals with the opportunity to become early-adopters of new Adobe technologies along with regular training, toolkits and professional development opportunities.

Attendees raved about the format and are looking forward to the next session. And, as a proper responsive organisation, we are delivering on expectation. Plans for our next joint Adobe event are already underway - this time a longer, virtual, design competition to be held in November. More details around this will come soon - stay tuned!