Per Pederson on Creativity & Advertising
Per Pederson, Deputy Worldwide CCO of Grey Global Group,recently visited Dhaka on a three-day official tour. With 113 Golden Lions wins at Cannes this year, Grey Global has enjoyed immense success this year and the need to become a globally aligned creative network is a high priority for the globally renowned agency. Mr. Pederson’s visit to Dhaka, Bangladesh, straight after the Cannes Awards, is a manifestation of the importance of Bangladesh’s participation on a creative global platform.
In an exclusive Interview with Bangladesh Brand Forum, Pederson shares his expertise on advertising & creativity, and his optimism about Bangladesh. In his words, “Bangladesh is one of the most potential markets in the world, a bubbling mass of creativity and energy, a nation that will, in the coming ages, be able to go beyond its geographical barriers and partake on a global platform”.
BBF: How do you feel visiting Bangladesh? What are the basic takeaways?
Per Pederson: Well, I was brought up with stories about Bangladesh as the poorest place, an unstable country where people fight for survival. Of course I believed that it was not the full story about this place.
Now that I have spent a few days here, the most significant thing I found is that it is an incredibly optimistic country. I can sense happiness and optimism here. For developing countries like Bangladesh there are dramatic changes in the near future. Going through the development process includes getting the entire country online, hooked up with each other through mobile phone. These are going to bring massive changes and creativity happens in times of change. Creativity barely happens when things are stable.
So, potentially, Bangladesh can be a hot platform for a lot of interesting ideas. The country has such needs to adapt to a completely new reality.
BBF: You just achieved terrific success at Cannes Lions with 113 gold Lions. Please share some of your experiences from the festival.
Per Pederson: Cannes Lions has always been honoring the best ideas. Cannes increasingly understands that the industry needs to change. For many years Cannes has been a festival only for the classic virtues of good ideas. Now, Cannes is awarding innovation, design, use of technology and data and things that actually makes a positive difference in peoples’ life.
We won 113 lions because I think we managed to embrace all of that. We did not go into the Cannes with a bunch of prints ads or TVCs; we went to Cannes with a number of innovative ideas, product ideas, design ideas, things that were solving problems instead of creating tension. And this philosophy is the future of creativity.
BBF: How do you see the role of creativity in advertising? How is it related to effectiveness?
Per Pederson: They go hand in hand. Creativity in this media line is very important, especially where things are heading. We have to earn the heartiest love from the target group and to do that creativity is the strongest way.
I believe that good storytelling will always capture peoples’ imagination and people will spend time on it if they find it relevant. So, that is the role of creativity; finding new ways that does not feel interrupting. I do not think any product can be effective without creativity.
BBF: Where’s the global advertising trend moving currently? What changes are happening?
Per Pederson: Global advertising trend is becoming a much more creative industry. The recent financial crisis did something good for the advertising industry; we got a lot of fat cut from the business, especially in the big markets; along with that it also put a lot of attention on effectiveness and efficiency.
BBF: There are markets larger than ours in countries like India, Japan, and China etc. Do you see possibilities that even with the presence of such influential markets, Bangladesh can draw attention in globally acclaimed creative platforms?
Per Pederson: Previously, there were only few countries that dominated Cannes, but now beautiful creativities are coming from all sorts of markets. Bangladesh will play a very important role in the advertising world in near future. With this large population, Bangladesh has got better opportunities than many other countries. The optimism of this country will spark creativity and it will be remarkably noticed all over the world.
I am optimistic about the fact that the future belongs to countries which are courageous and efficient like Bangladesh.
BBF: What’s the secret of your success? What would be your advice for the young creative minds?
Per Pederson: The secret is setting ambitions really high and being courageous enough to follow them. Nobody is going to be successful without risking a lot. If you are a risk adverse person, you are never going to be successful in creative industry. To expose, you must take risks and be courageous and that is how I did.