Embracing Fearless Creativity in 2017

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    January 1, 2017

Embracing Fearless Creativity in 2017


It’s a New Year.

New Year’s Eve is bubbly, chilled champagne, smiles and laughter and the warm embrace of family and friends. It’s pyrotechnic effects shimmering on skyscrapers and a blizzard of colorful confetti filling the sky. It’s the sounds of noisemakers and horns and the notes of Auld Lang Syne echoing in our ears and hearts, punctuating the moment in a way that only music can. 

But most of all, New Year’s Eve is a celebration shared by billions around the world to signify optimism and hope and to mark the beginning of something new. And for all of us here at Wray Ward, the New Year is one more chance to challenge ourselves – and each other – to look at things in new and exciting ways.

It’s especially exciting for all of us here, as Wray Ward will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2017. Forty years after Charlie Wray and Bob Ward founded our firm, we’re remembering and honoring an incredible cast of employees and clients; we’re also revering a marketing communications landscape that has transformed in ways we never imagined and continues to burst with innovative ideas at the speed of light.   

Digital technology and powerful visuals – from striking still photography to colorful animation and live action video – are just some of the tools in our modern toolbox. And music and sound play a more active role in marketing than ever before.

One thing hasn’t changed, however, and that’s our quest to tell great stories. Emotional and engaging stories. Stories that build interest and drive people to action. Stories that last. The difference today is the means we have to tell stories in a smart and compelling way.

As for the future?

I’m a creative person who is curious by nature, so I can’t wait to see what’s next. And one thing that makes our industry so exciting is that it’s constantly changing. Today it’s challenging each of us not only to share bite-sized content in 10 or 15 or 30 seconds but also to share these stories in the right place, with the right audience and message, at exactly the right time. Because how else would we captivate people in a modern world that contains so much noise?

That’s the magic of a brand that opens consumers’ eyes to the endless possibilities of the fifth wall created by skylights, or a brand that taps into people’s passion for life on the water by inviting them to experience the journeys of 11 sailors chasing a dream. That’s how marketing communication stretches beyond the realm of simple information sharing to create profound, lasting experiences. That’s how we create journeys with meaningful destinations versus blips on the screen that lead nowhere. 

We can’t make magic without a passionate and talented team, and that’s why I’m so excited about ours. When I joined Wray Ward as an art director in 1993, we had 22 employees. This year, we’ll break 100. That’s one hundred-plus people with creative talent and unquenchable thirst and ambitious desire to do great work. One hundred-plus people, all operating within a culture that encourages them to be open and collaborative, fearless in their thinking and willing to try new things.

360-degree video is one way we’re exploring new and different ways to tell stories in 2017. Instead of simply asking users to view something on a screen, 360 video encourages audiences to look at things from a whole new perspective: up, down and all around. And to celebrate the beginning of an incredible year, we’re inviting our friends to dream and imagine with us.

Each of our clients is receiving their own Google Cardboard goggles to view a special New Year 4K, 360-degree video greeting from our team and get a glimpse of how others are using this new technology to tell stories and create memorable branded experiences. But even if you don’t have the goggles, you can use your mouse to experience a version of the video greeting here.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2017. Here’s to a year filled with passionate optimism and fearless creativity – themes that have allowed Wray Ward to survive and thrive since 1977. Cheers!

You might also be interested in: 

How to Build a Winning Team

Where Do Ideas Come From? 

Harnessing Creativity in the Workplace

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