Creativity is the silver bullet

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An interview with Fareez Joulay, Eclipse Communications Creative Director  

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a silver bullet as:

  • Something that acts as a magical weapon
  • Especially one that instantly solves a long-standing problem.

“Creativity is about more than just a big idea, it needs to resonate through all our thinking and doing. We need to encourage creativity and lose the fear, speak up and celebrate “out there” ideas.”

Is creativity born or made?

Both. I believe we all have creativity within us, but manifesting that creativity requires discipline, understanding and sometimes patience.  

What does creative thinking mean to you?

This is philosophical, but briefly, I see creative thinking as the process of strategic solution building. As creative thinking professionals, we attempt to solve business and marketing conundrums from a human perspective. 

What drives a creative organisation – which companies/brands are getting this right and why?

It’s people. An organisation can’t be creative without allowing the people in the organisation to explore their own creativity. 

Organisations that understand the importance of tapping into consumer insights and emotions are usually successful in the creative space. Brands like Netflix, Nando’s and Chicken Licken are getting it right because they focus on understanding the consumer and the broader landscape consumers are active in and respond to.

As a creative director, how do you try and encourage creativity?

This is critical… By creating a conducive environment for ANYONE to be creative.  

Ideas and creativity are not esoteric concepts reserved for creatives. Anyone can come up with a brilliant idea. So, one of my passions is to foster spaces in which everyone in our agency feels like they can contribute.

What is the biggest barrier to creativity?

Pressure and deadlines. I mentioned patience earlier because creativity is an imprecise art, not a science. Try as we might, we cannot force an idea. For creativity to be successful, it must be organic. Sadly, in corporate communications, we don’t always have the luxury of time, which negatively impacts our creative outputs.

Where do you get your creative inspiration from?

Anywhere and everywhere. I too am a consumer and much of my time is spent exploring and engaging with content from different environments. 

Being open-minded to people, cultures and places is quite inspiring to me. By opening myself up to new experiences, I often learn a lot in the process, which usually sparks my creative thinking.

What are you curious about?

People, space, nature and technology. These areas are constantly evolving and there’s always something to see or learn.

What gets you out of bed every day?

Every day is different. It would be disingenuous of me to say that I wake up every morning feeling inspired or driven. Naturally, as humans, we all have bad days. For the most part, being able to be creative and come up with ideas with a far-reach and significant impact inspires me. 

I also love my dog and my cars. Being able to take Lucy out for a walk or go for a spin, responsibly, is always a great inspiration to me.

Recent work

The creativity of Fareez and the Nando’s team is evident in the Bright Sides campaign.  A video spoof aimed at bringing some comedic relief to the country and a reason to ‘look forward’ to load shedding. The video was created for online broadcast and featured a typical South African family responding to the dread of load shedding in a unique and humorous way and was conceptualised and directed by our creative director, Fareez.