Adobe 99U: Creative is Future Proof

The creative industry is becoming anxious around buzzwords like “artificial intelligence” and “data;” and while these are crucial in propelling creativity forward, it is equally important to remember our role. We are the artists. Paint strokes are only placed where the artist intends. We hold the power of the future of tools such as AI and data.

AI is ultimately useless without human empathy and guidance. It is important to create a personal code of ethics and encourage your team to do the same. Science has no direction without art to propel it forward and design thinking will always be at the core of the creative process. Using empathy to understand the motivations of consumers and filter through the data before diving deep into analysis provides a well-rounded perspective.

Successful advertising understands the desire people have to be seen and heard. We must lean into their stories and ask why. Simply interpreting data alone with no empathy answers only the how. We are able to see the value of individuality by going beyond the data alone. We are not grouping people as a whole into a data set, but rather celebrating uniqueness.

How can you implement empathy at work?

  • Consider brainstorming by keeping an open mind. Do not blatantly turn down an idea, but rather respond “yes, and?” This not only fosters a positive work environment, but also transforms an idea from individual into a collaboration.
  • Start by thinking big and scale down from there. Every idea deserves to have “what if.”
  • When targeting individuals, do not forget about who you could possibly be excluding. For example, a new ad concept may include an interactive experience with music. While this could be perfect for those the ad is targeting, it could be excluding those who cannot hear the music. The whole message may be lost in translation and have a larger impact on those left out than those reached.

All in all, we should not be fearful about the future of the creative industry, AI is a tool for us to use. The power given is only what we allow it to become. We should push boundaries and take our marketing abilities to the next level with an empathetic approach. The empathy we hold in the process can change the whole direction of what we produce. The stories unveiled from our audiences give us the opportunity to be a voice and create content that is authentic. We can use data to not only create relevant content, but also content that is valuable to the consumer.

Ovetta Sampson from IDEO summarizes our greatest takeaway from 99u with this quote.

“Amplify the beauty of humanity with design, while avoiding practices that exploit its fragility.”