Traditional methods of working for creatives have been turned on their heads because of the pandemic. Social distancing guidelines and months of lockdown have created a challenging landscape for content creators to work in, meaning strategies have been forced to be reassessed.
Whilst the simple luxury of physical human interaction and collaboration feels like a thing of the past, creativity thrives in challenging times and has the impressive ability to adapt in powerful ways. The current environment has demonstrated how crises can bring out the best in humanity and how willing people are to help and support where they can.
This has certainly been the case for those in the content creation world, proving that change doesn’t have to be a bad thing and can be an exciting opportunity to venture down new avenues.
Creators are storytellers
Demand for content, whether it’s for marketing or entertainment purposes, remains high, meaning the job of content creators is as important as ever. As we are all trying to navigate the new normal, so are brands.
The reality is brands and creators are needing to cement themselves as storytellers now more than ever before. Consumers are looking for inspiration and it is those stepping forward and staying relevant that are flourishing.
In fact, the brain is more actively engaged when people are interacting with hard news, and so arguably there has never been a better time to connect with audiences. The same goes for entertainment and production. TV, film and social content are forms of escapism and relief which many are relying on during these uncertain times and so content demands must be met.
Therefore, innovation must also be exercised and it is those who have sat front row and engaged with consumers during the crisis who will be the ones to succeed in the long run.
Creative, reactive and inventive work
Content creators and brands have been forced to be inventive and reactive to their surroundings when approaching new projects during the pandemic. Not all creatives are in a position to produce fresh content for projects, but they can make full use of pre-existing content in the form of video, music and imagery to overcome many social distancing barriers.
The crisis has also opened other avenues for creative ideas that may not have held up pre-COVID. For example, UK illustrator Ben O’Brian worked alongside singer and songwriter Jade Bird to create illustrations for a social media campaign to promote her work with Microsoft Surface to virtually ‘uncancel’ one of her tour dates.
Another example of creative and inventive work comes from freelance music contributor Logan Baker who, noting a specific growth in cooking content, realised that there was an opportunity to develop a resource for creators to help enhance their cooking videos. He created a free pack of 50 sounds with different cooking, cleaning, and utensil noises you might hear inside a kitchen from his home in isolation that are available to download from our website.
Logan plans to make a multi-part series, offering different packs of effects to producers. He’s currently working on sounds in the garden, using objects like a rake to make the effects.
Solutions for the advertising industry
The need for solutions in the face of adversity is not limited to creatives in the marketing and advertising industries but has also applied to those in TV production. Despite the recently announced UK TV production guidelines, some scenes continue to be a challenge to film. TV production, like influencer marketing, is investing in creative ways to navigate broadcasting from home. For example, Luke Halls Studio sourced stock content for the background footage for a performance by Dua Lipa from her London flat as part of Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show: At Home Edition.
These production restrictions equally ring true in the marketing industry where London-based production company, Cut+Run, has also shown its worth amidst the crisis and adapted its workflow by leveraging existing content to complete client campaigns and even creating short-form video promo ads, marketing its own services just using stock footage.
A major trend we’re experiencing in the way brands and creatives are responding to and creating content during the pandemic is the rise of real-life, authentic visuals. Brands are needing to update and refresh communication materials to ensure messaging reflects the new normal, in order to show their value. There is a need now for brands and creators to be informative and helpful with their content in both influencer marketing and the wider marketing industry. Consumers are not only looking to be entertained during this time, but they are also looking to engage in content that is relevant.
As a result, content creators are looking for resources to drive this theme and get behind initiatives to stay relevant. It has been challenging to capture this real-life content due to lockdown restrictions. However, the ability to visually represent our world as it is now is crucial if brands and creators want to connect authentically with their audiences.
This was the approach used when Queen and Adam Lambert recently united virtually to raise money and honour those on the frontline during COVID-19. The band created a new version of its iconic “We Are The Champions” entitled “You are The Champions.” A music video was created featuring Brian May, Roger Taylor and Adam Lambert performing the re-worked classic, along with images of those working on the frontline and beautiful clips of some of the world’s most famous landmarks licensed through our footage library.
Utilising pre-existing content and creating content from home
Involuntary shifts in our daily dynamic force us to adapt and innovate the way we approach things, demanding us to face our limitations head-on and identify new ways of working. Utilising pre-existing content and creating content from home has become even more vital for the creative industries during the current climate. It is enabling brands and creatives as well as those in the production industry to keep households entertained and informed by allowing creators to produce and complete projects from the safety of their own homes.
More creatives are now recognising stock as a resource that is diverse and of high quality, as well as a resource that has been a key part of enabling them to show their worth alongside keeping a steady flow of content during the crisis. As we emerge from lockdown and look forward to a future post-COVID-19, this newfound acknowledgement anticipates continued growth of creative content production allowing stock to become more of a staple in the creative industry.