What Can Experienced Creatives Learn From Younger Generations?

31/05/2016 14:21 | Updated 31 May 2016

Creativity is constantly changing, and this is particularly true today. Rapid innovations in technology from virtual reality (VR) to artificial intelligence (AI) and our unabated interest in social media, means there are more weapons in the creative professional's arsenal to tell stories in new and surprising ways. But who knows this world better than the up-and-coming generation of creatives - millennials and most importantly "Generation Z" who have only ever known the world with internet-enabled devices. As this generation enter the workplace, they bring a whole new set of ideas and beliefs that need to be nurtured and guided.

The world's biggest festival of creativity, Cannes Lions, hits the shores of the French Riviera in June. Starting on 21st June, renowned figures from creative industries across the world will gather to share ideas and inspiration. While it's easy to focus on the well-known experts, it's also an opportunity for young talent to be inspired and learn from more established people in the industry.

This year Getty Images will be sponsoring the Cannes Young Lions competition for the 19th consecutive year. Here, 400 contestants under the age of 30 from around the globe compete to answer an advertising brief set by a charity using content from Getty Images' expansive collection of over 200 million images and videos. It's an unprecedented opportunity for young talent to showcase their ideas and design skills on the world stage. But while young professionals have a lot to learn, they also bring a unique perspective and understanding that many established brands and leaders are still trying to navigate.

Social media has transformed the way we live our lives. The smart phone is ubiquitous among most of this age group and in the next five years more than 75 per cent of the global population will use these devices. The rise of smart phones, as well as the ability to access content wherever and whenever, has led to easily consumable content. Research from The Visual Teaching Alliance shows that we 'read' imagery 6,000 times faster than text and with better cameras and the tools to share images instantly on social media, it has never been more important to have a high visual literacy. Millennials and Generation Z seemingly come with this already built-in. Creative companies are tapping into this knowledge, as it's natural for young creative professionals to adapt their personal use of social media and technology to the work they do.

Creative businesses also need to keep to the beat of how technology (and how we use it) is evolving and ensure their work continues to resonate with younger audiences. From the beginning, part of the appeal of photography has always been that it allows us to tell stories about people, places and events that we would never get to see ourselves. Millennials and Generation Z are already engaging with high resolution imagery, 3D technologies and virtual reality to gain a deeper visual experience of of the world around us. This generation are the first to be true products of a highly globalised and multicultural world. They understand how to create new experiences and tap into worldwide trends.

While young talent can bring invaluable technological experience and a natural visual literacy to the table, they need guidance on how to apply this to tell a brand's story. While older generations may be less tech savvy or slower to catch on to the new social media phenomenon, they have years of experience in how to communicate.

With technology changing continuously, we will need to lean on the insight of younger talent more and more to ensure that campaigns remain innovative and borderless in the future. Supporting fledgling talent early on in their careers and nurturing their potential, will be the foundation of creating seamless and relevant campaigns in the future.