This week, on World Mental Health Day, The Drum’s Do It Day Hack took place, bringing together the marketing world’s best and brightest minds to create change-making campaigns that challenge stigmas surrounding mental health.
Nine charities came armed with their challenges, and more than 300 marketing talents spent the day working on creative, boundary-pushing responses.
Digital Radish’s very own Art Director Matty Burrows was at the London Hack. As a first-time Do It Day hacker, here’s what he took away:
1. What does the Do It Day Hack offer, both to the world and to marketers?
Good people change the world for the better; good marketers change people’s ways of doing and seeing. Tuesday’s Do It Day Hack let you be both, and it provided an opportunity to attach your name to a high profile, wide-reaching campaign. In other words, every good marketer’s dream.
On top of that, we were working with people of all sorts of backgrounds, with different sorts of experience and knowledge. This meant fresh approaches and perspectives, as well as a great chance to meet new people.
2. What was the main difference working on these campaigns compared to B2B?
To tackle stigmas, you need to be bold – bolder than many other types of marketing you see in the world. For example, we developed a campaign centered around the idea of ‘cockblocking,’ a phrase you wouldn’t see in other types of marketing. This concept was part of a campaign calling attention to men’s habitual ‘blocking’ of their feelings.
It takes something really powerful to shake things up and being given a brief that demands that kind of boldness can be really liberating from a creative point of view.
3. What was unique about the Hack Day?
It encouraged people not usually considered ‘creatives’ to lose their inhibitions about thinking creatively. The set-up really helped here.
Five charities asked assorted teams of art directors, designers, heads of sales, account managers, and so on, to respond to a specific challenge. We didn’t discuss job titles until the very end though, freeing people from their usual roles.
The ideas phase was a session of free-firing creativity without constraints. Inspired by the words of Steve Henry, creative chairman at Alternative Genius, who advised “if an idea doesn’t scare you, don’t pitch it,” we pushed ourselves, choosing the boldest idea to make the biggest impact to pitch to the judges.
The pitches, finally, revealed the diversity of creativity that can be achieved when different people come together.
4. What was the one thing you’ll take away?
Creatives versus creativity.
Successful agencies and businesses often have strong cultures: it’s one of the things that makes them distinctive. However, they also have set internal structures with people performing distinct roles. The setup of the Hack day challenged this, by showing what can happen when creativity isn’t thought of solely as the sphere of ‘creatives’, but as something everyone can get involved in.
Sometimes the best and boldest ideas come from the unlikeliest of places. Mixing things up, giving people space and confidence to throw out ideas, can be a great way of sparking creativity.