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Advertising has always sat awkwardly among the core creative industries, combining aesthetic creativity with commercial realities. Yet the overlapping creative and strategic functions of advertising may be part of a more general shift in the creative industries, recognising that creativity depends on organisational innovation as much as it does on individual talent and skill. So what is creativity in advertising? I began this chapter by suggesting that definitions of creativity in the creative industries are being stretched to encompass a broader, more holistic approach to creativity, business and strategy.

Where once we might have described creativity in terms of idea origination, and innovation as a process of idea implementation, today that distinction looks increasingly untenable. What does ‘creativity’ mean in today’s creative economy, and where do we find it? My argument is that creativity is no longer the sole preserve of the traditionally defined creative industry, occupation or department. Creative work and creative workers are having to take on managerial functions. At the same time, managers are beginning to seek recognition for their ‘creative’ contribution.

Nobody is denying that mainstream television remains the best method of reaching a mass audience instantly, and despite percentage shifts, television still commands the majority share in advertising revenues. Most of the brands making creative use of digital media (BMW, Honda) continue to use television advertising as well. However, the qualitative difference is that digital media are more complex and require a more precise alignment of targeted consumers and niche products. Effectiveness can be tracked more accurately, for example by counting ‘hits’ on company websites; meanwhile the quality of attention given to television advertising is threatened by new technologies and changing consumer attitudes (Ritson 2003).

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