Why craft will still matter after Covid-19

A combination of the pandemic and recession is having a big impact on how ads are made and budgets are spent. Here, CR speaks to three advertising industry pros about how they’ve had to adapt, and what the threats are to craft

“Craft is about creativity, it’s about a strong idea. It’s about doing something that’s unseen and that surprises you,” says Jaki Jo Hannan, producer at adam&eveDBB. 

“To me, it’s about showing you care. It’s like inviting yourself into people’s lives and saying: ‘I’ve made this thing for you and I hope you like it’. It’s the equivalent of a well-wrapped present,” adds Laurent Simon, CCO at VMYL&R. 

For Daniel Kleinman, legendary ad director and co-founder of production company Rattling Stick, as well as creating something visually beautiful, engaging and exciting, craft can be found in every part of making an advert, from the director to the wardrobe department, the art department to the editors. “All these things are craft, they’re expertise that people have, and have honed,” he says. “Whatever the brief is, it’s about making it better than it reads on the page, and making something everyone is proud of.” 

While craft is a relatively subjective idea, it’s clear that to make adverts that matter, its presence is essential. So what happens when a global pandemic changes the way the advertising world operates completely? Can craft be a priority as we adjust to this ‘new normal’, with heavy restrictions on working practices, smaller teams and strained budgets? Here, Hannan, Simon and Kleinman discuss what adapting to these challenges has been like, and why they will always protect craft in advertising.

Pint Block #54, Tickle for Think, VMLY&R

“Covid has changed the way we work, the way we see work, our culture, the way we live together,” says Simon, who’s been at VMYL&R for over a year now. “We’re having to make the right call now on a lot of things, but this is more challenging because we’re no longer dealing with informed decisions, it’s estimated guesses. A big part of our job as partners to our clients is to help them navigate that.”