The Creative Capital Manifesto, and AAR’s Rallying Cry To The Industry

24 Jun 2022

The Cannes Creative Festival 2022 is upon us, and it’s fantastic being here and seeing first-hand some of the absolutely incredible work being produced in the industry at the moment. But seeing all this inspiring work has also led me to reflect on something AAR have been focussing on for some time now: the importance not only of creative output, but of what we call ‘Creative Capital’ within an organisation. 

You may have seen or heard about the launch of AAR’s Creative Capital Manifesto, and I wanted to talk a little more about what the Manifesto is, why we created it, and what we think it could mean for the future of the industry. 

What do we mean when we say ‘Creative Capital’?

Creative Capital is simply the fine-tuning and engineering of the right conditions for creativity to flourish and be delivered on a sustainable, repeatable basis within your marketing ecosystem. 

This isn’t something that can be wished into place - it’s a critical asset to growth; you need to look at your people, your partners, your processes and your platforms, and then examine the culture, the working environment, and the leadership if you’re going to successfully manage and engineer the right conditions for Creative Capital to grow. 

We can see that the organisations that are delivering transformative creative thinking time and time again are able to do so as a direct function of how much Creative Capital they’ve built up within their marketing ecosystem - and AAR’s Creative Capital Manifesto shines a light on how and why this is, and what CMOs and marketers need to do to cultivate this vital asset. 

The Creative Capital Manifesto - what is it? 

AAR works with about 60 or 70 brands a year and we’re very focused on helping our clients achieve their growth ambitions, but the focus is always on the output. A new agency, a new campaign, a new website. And there’s not enough focus on the inputs. On the engineering within their marketing ecosystems to create the right conditions for creativity to sustainably flourish.

This was backed up by CMO research we conducted recently, which showed that despite 74% of businesses identifying creativity as being key to business growth, only 20% said their organisation was highly focused on engineering the right conditions for Creativity to flourish, and 33% said the subject was rarely or never debated.

It’s this disconnect that led to us creating the Creative Capital Manifesto: a new report designed to help CMOs and senior marketers understand and cultivate ‘Creative Capital’ in their organisations - by engineering the right conditions across the marketing ecosystem to unlock greater creativity on a sustained basis.

We hope the Manifesto will be a useful tool for CMOs and other marketing professionals, and that our rallying cry to everyone in the marketing industry is heard, because we believe the issue at the heart of this is a crucial one. 

AAR’s Rallying Cry

This is clearly an issue that’s at the forefront of many people’s thinking, and this isn’t something businesses can continue to ignore. Our research clearly shows people are conscious of how important unlocking the potential of creativity is, but they struggle to successfully engineer this, and so rallying the industry around these challenges is so important. 

AAR, in collaboration with Creative Salon, decided to bring together some of the finest minds across the marketing industry to unpack our manifesto, but also to build on it, and start to help us to take this rallying cry to the industry - to start to see creative capital as a concept and a strategic asset that needs to be managed within organisations. 

Our hope for it is that it takes its own place in organisations much like human capital has now become a huge area of focus, and we want Creative Capital to be seen in the same light - and for people not only to recognise how crucial it is, and the potential it has, but to proactively and strategically manage it as an asset. 

Interested? Download The Manifesto

If the issues I’ve discussed here feel relevant to you, then we’d love for you to become involved in this vital discussion moving forwards. You can download the Creative Capital Manifesto and watch a summary of the round table here, engage with the discussion on our social media channels, or if you’d like to discuss Creative Capital within your own organisation, please get in touch. 

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Victoria Fox


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