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A refreshing look at creativity’s future

I had the privilege of sitting on the judging panel this week for the annual John Caples International Student Campaign of the Year Award, alongside representatives of sponsor Alloy Media & Marketing.

Undergrad students were invited to use creativity and strategic thinking to design direct marketing campaigns for Sony’s VAIO laptop series; the winner receives a cash prize and an internship at Alloy.?

The ideas unleashed varied in approach, and while some campaigns would be impractical in the real world, I found the students’ attempts refreshing. It was nice to see original ideas break through, unencumbered by corporate constraints or budget ?limitations. I was also pleased to see these smart young minds combine classic direct strategy with cutting-edge tactics such as ?augmented reality. ?

Creativity might not be the first (or even second or third) word you think of when considering the printing industry, but it is creativity — combined with traditional and new direct marketing tactics — that is at the heart of our main feature article this month, “Print stages comeback.” ?

The printing industry’s newfound creativity has recaptured marketers. Sony, in fact, turned to print to drive a “wow” factor ?recently, and it has employed personalization and local segmentation strategies in order to gain consumers’ attention. QR codes and personalized URLs, as well as innovations in printing processes, enable marketers to incorporate printed material that is dynamic. New developments this year such as four-color process digital printing will only increase marketers’ ability to flex their creative muscle.?

This is why I love my job. It’s why I love taking part in judging the student campaigns, and it is why I am excited about our involvement in bringing the 33rd John Caples International Awards to the marketing community this month. If you’ve never been to this gala, you are missing a singular opportunity to fraternize with the most creative minds in our business. This year, we bestow 22 gold honors, along with silver and bronze winners. Our Andi Emerson Award, named after the Caples’ founder, goes to an agency executive who needs no introduction. That’s all I can reveal. Come find out who it is by joining us on March 24: dmnews.com/awards.

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