Felicity was thrilled to work with Brightworks, a full-service creative marketing agency, to help build the public profile of its 5th annual Brightworks Innovation Day. President and founder Neil Follett started Brightworks in 2005 with the belief that agencies can do better. Inspired by that goal, the company delivered 750 projects in 2014 and has won more than 55 international awards since 2012.
Follett sees Innovation Day as a unique platform for people to think about “everyday innovation,” and “sustainable innovation through passion and creativity.” At Felicity, we also believe that agencies can do better, and it is our passion and creativity that drives us to provide the best service to our clients.
As I listened to the speakers at Innovation Day I noticed that many drew upon a common theme of innovation in entertainment and storytelling, and the opportunities this innovation presents to marketers and entrepreneurs. Below I’ve provided a brief summary of four speakers who really stood out to me:
- Nick Gray, founder and CEO of the renegade museum tour company Museum Hack on why he once kind of hated, and now really loves museums.
Museum Hack is founded on the idea that museum tours must be fun. The two-hour tours of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (“the Met”) organized by Gray and his team of guides begin with a hug, and are filled with games and gossip about the museum. For example, there is a juicy story about a huge artifact that the owner wanted to give Jackie Onassis, but was clearly too big to fit in anyone’s home. The tour participants are offered juice shots and mini yoga sessions throughout to combat “gallery fatigue.” Becoming a Museum Hack tour guide is no easy feat as there are hundreds of applicants for each available position. Guides are required to be great storytellers and they must love taking selfies at the museum.
- Aron Levitz, head of business development for Wattpad on the collaborative art of storytelling.
As Levitz explained, the power of storytelling has made his company the success that it is today. With 35 million “Wattpadders” around the world reading and writing stories on the company’s social platform, there are literally stories about everything. For the Millennials who are using Wattpad, the experience is one of “transactional storytelling,” where readers and writers connect and interact to help each story evolve. There are some very interesting opportunities for brands to connect with Wattpadders, and that’s something Levitz is focused on growing.
- Founder of EYE BUY ART, Emily McInnes, on her mission to change the way people buy art.
Emily believes that good art tells a story and she is working to make award-winning art more accessible to more people. With EYE BUY ART, Emily has created an online gallery that features the work of rising stars in the world of photography, and gives art enthusiasts the chance to buy limited edition photography prints ranging in price from $100 to $2,500. Emily believes that by taking art out of traditional galleries, more people will have the opportunity to appreciate it. Which photograph’s story will resonate most with you?
- Bruce Croxon of Lava Life and Round 13 Capital on finding something you love that doesn’t feel like work and doing it…before the competition beats you to it.
Bruce Croxon emphasized that Lava Life was not an overnight success, it was more than a decade in the making. The idea and the company evolved from telephone personals to an online dating powerhouse. Bruce reminded the audience of three key things when it comes to building a business: 1) Building a business is tough, you’re likely losing most of the time, you just want to tip the scales in your favour even 51 per cent of the time; 2) Take the time to shape a vision for your company, and where you’re headed, remember to step back from the day-to-day and spend time on your vision, even if it doesn’t put food on the table right away; 3) Don’t let egos get in the way of making decisions. Technology reporter and editor Ian Hardy, who was at Innovation Day, wrote a great story for BetaKit on Bruce Croxton. You can read it here: Bruce Croxon: Vision and Values are Everything.
To see more highlights from Brightworks Innovation Day, check out these videos by Jennifer Horn, special projects and multimedia editor at Strategy. (The videos are posted on Stimulant, the little sister of Strategy, and a creativity portal for everyone from photographers and design specialists to marketers and creative agencies). Inside The Mind of Fernando Orellana and Inside The Mind of Paddy Harrington.
The innovations in entertainment and storytelling that were highlighted at Brightworks Innovation Day focused in part on how people are actively participating in the entertainment or storytelling experience. They are not just reading or watching a story unfold, but joining in, contributing content, developing storylines, retelling through social media and in person. This is a trend that seems to be here to stay.
About the blogger: Laura Butcher, Felicity Account Lead
With 14 years of communications experience, Laura has worked with clients ranging from new ventures, to established brands looking to grow their relationship with customers. Her work has covered a variety of areas, with a specific focus on thought leadership, media relations and project management. Laura has worked with consumer and business technology companies including Yahoo! Canada, eBay Canada, Intuit Canada, TELUS, Boeing Toronto, and Fusepoint Managed Services, an IT managed services provider.