Op-Ed: The Art of Communication
By Rosanna Herries, Founder, Creo Creative
Visual arts, storytelling and performance act universally as mirrors of society and its concerns and have unique abilities to pull their audiences into very deep and personal engagements. Consciously or unconsciously, the arts and culture are a vital part of being human, and as such can have a transformative power when forming perspectives of the world and the communities we are a part of.
This has been true across cultures and through history, but of particular relevance here is the considerable growth in appreciation of the arts in Greater China and Southeast Asia. Driven by economic and social advancement, appreciation for and engagement with the arts has become a mainstream occupation and in turn, a significant driver for consumer behaviour.
Helping brands and organisations become more engaged with the arts and attuned to their cultural environment is more relevant than ever, and by doing so communicators can develop strategies, campaigns and experiences that deliver measurable performance and commercial advantage.
What are some key ways in which brands can harness the power of culture and creativity to engage audiences?
Art goes beyond languages
The arts are a global currency that transcend the boundaries of language and have the capacity to communicate persuasive or aspirational messages grounded in the real world. Whether the objective is to define a brand identity, reinforce its values or innovate how consumers engage with a product, creative touchpoints in arts and culture can enhance the accessibility and reach of your business.
Kai Kuklinski, Chief Distribution Officer at AXA, hit the nail on the head when he said, “To understand the force of art, try imagining for a moment a business world devoid of any visual creative stimulus.”
Recent acceleration in the relationship between art and technology has enabled greater accessibility to culture around the world and overhauled modes of engagement with the arts. This in turn has set the scene for cross-pollination between industries and brands that have previously existed in very siloed worlds.
The most compelling collaborations are those that kick-start new conversations encompassing a broad array of voices and help push creativity in new and unexpected directions.
Collective and shared experiences of the pandemic have triggered a shift in gear in terms of requirements for inclusivity and access, and the removal of technology from any conversation or experience of scale now amounts to a form of exclusion. This is particularly applicable when considering Gen Z, an influential group of consumers whose formative taste-making years have been conducted through the COVID pandemic.
Successfully growing audience engagement beyond the initial point of contact (physical or digital) in a manner which is humanising is a key challenge to brands, yet the advance of Web 3.0, NFTs, artificial reality and the metaverse opens up a new range of utility and value for digital engagement with audiences that generate deeper connections and sustained engagement. Get on board.
Speak to the heart
Remaining culturally attuned to a brand’s community and attentive to its wellbeing is important in a world where corporate and commercial profiles are judged as much for good corporate citizenship as for the quality of the products and services they provide.
Engagement with arts and culture may be becoming a mainstream occupation but it remains one that is closely tied to an individual’s values, tastes and identity. As such the arts can be both a tangible and authentic way through which to highlight a brand’s values, accentuate points of differentiation and credibility and ultimately win the hearts and minds of consumers that consciously choose brands that empower or show solidarity with their personal life choices.