20 Apr 2021
Beyond buzz words. What do creativity and innovation mean in practice?
Beyond buzz words. What do creativity and innovation mean in practice?

Today is World Creativity and Innovation Day. Two words that we often hear and use, but what do they mean in practice? Can creativity really lead to change? And how do we create something unique in highly competitive and evolving markets?

The past year definitely put a spanner in the works for how we create. Catching up in person became impossible and most businesses went through sudden change (including a shift to digital), as well as internal restructures. Many employers and employees stepped into the unfamiliar, and navigating uncertainty became a daily occurrence. Despite this, adversity led to rapid problem solving and innovation across the globe – from newly set up online community help seeking platforms, to virtual town halls.

At Primary, we faced all these challenges internally, while supporting clients to strategise, design and deliver key creative projects. How did we do this?

We had a chat to some of our account directors about what creativity and innovation mean across the areas of support Primary provide to clients. Here’s what they had to say.

Community Engagement

Chris Downy
Executive Director, Primary Engage

Conversation is the birthplace of creativity.

Our program design always starts at the objective each client is seeking to achieve. We then map out the issues landscape and identify strategic options to achieve the desired outcome – essentially developing a community engagement strategy is problem solving at its finest.

The key ingredient to successful engagement is understanding your audience (their pleasures and pain points) and connecting with them in creative and meaningful ways. Talking and listening to the people most affected by the client’s project (grassroots engagement) provides invaluable insights into improving existing products or developing new products. In the past year technology became an important tool in communicating with audiences and led to innovative engagement – the use of virtual town halls being one example.


Public Relations

Elaine Banoub
Senior Account Director, Primary Communication

Creativity is the secret sauce for any successful PR campaign. A creative approach & strategy can help cut through the noise, add new perspectives, and can really bring home your message to the right audience.  A creative and relevant campaign will keep your audience captivated and provide the outcome you are looking for if executed correctly. Take for instance, the Black Lives Matter campaign that went viral globally. In addition to people supporting the cause in public spaces and conversations, the movement dominated social media to shine the spotlight on the matter.

We were all challenged last year with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Events were cancelled, and individuals were forced to work remotely in lieu of social distancing. While this has been an extremely challenging period for many, it’s provided businesses and individuals with a chance to step back and reconsider their programs and their go-to-market strategy.

At Primary, we approach every brief received with a brainstorm session that involves the entire team. No idea is a bad idea, and some of our best campaigns last year, despite the challenges, resulted from our initial virtual brainstorm session, which included a healthy mix of creative input and strategic approaches.


Lincoln Graham
Creative Director, Primary Create

I’m a firm believer that the key to creative success is simplicity and that’s why it’s often so difficult. In fact, the difficulties we faced over 2020 in many ways paved a way for a more simplified and streamlined approach, delivering new efficiencies and greater effectiveness. We were able to work with clients in a more collaborative manner from the outset, in setting strategy, building briefs and executing creative. Our clients became part of the creative process in more ways than one, offering their own services, using their own channels and often featuring in their own campaign assets.


Chris Hall
CEO, Primary

Pre 2020 we wouldn’t have conceived of a future of work away from the office. In 2020 we all worked from home which presented some challenges, but it didn’t stop us committing our energy and imagination to solving challenges for our clients. In March last year we began daily hacks dedicated to finding client solutions in a viral world without face-to-face connection. This grew into virtual workshops for clients spanning home offices, living rooms and bedrooms with some of Australia’s biggest companies and departments facing unprecedented challenges. Through thorough preparation we unleashed a wave of creativity collaborating with clients talking into webcams harnessing ideas and delivering real outcomes.

Do you have an idea that you want to bring to life? Get in touch with our team.