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Advertising Week 10th Anniversary Official Guide

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Advertising Week: While not a new con- cept, innovation seems to have taken on a new meaning in the industry today. What does innovation look like in today's media space, and why do you believe it's more important than ever to be innovative? Paul Woolmington: You stop innovating, re-inventing, learning—you die! Simple as that. New and original thinking, products, and services needs to be hardwired as a behavior throughout every function and executive, not just R&D specialist func- tion. Everything is up for grabs in media marketing communications however big or small. AW: What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? PW: Just like our name, Canvas sees itself as a blank slate to invent new and original media and comms solutions to today's ever changing business and brand chal- lenges. Our core positioning and rallying cry is "Welcome to Canvas, Make Yourself Uncomfortable"—intentionally challenging every one of our employees to re-invent the micro as well as the macro. Only by getting outside of our comfort zone can we ever hope to change ours and the industry "muscle memory." Cultivating the next generation of leaders does not have a set of rules or playbook. Traditional work systems that favor control, order, lack of speed are being outflanked by the need for experimen- tation, collaboration, invention, and flexibility—often at odds with many cor- porate cultures. The new workforce must embrace passion, purpose, and participa- tion to be built to last! AW: Innovation often comes hand in hand with entrepreneurship. How have you seen this idea of an entrepreneurial spirit evolve in the last decade? How is it dif- ferent now than it was before we entered the digital age? PW: When we created Canvas we ran a recruitment and brand launch campaign challenging anybody interested and or in- tending to join to consider what is means to build a new future forward company, not just apply to have a job. Copy included lines on digital and OOH media like "add launching a successful media start up to your resume". That spirit of "entre- preneurship" is different today and has a much more transformational mindset. The past decade has obviously seen a new "in flux" generation grow up into our workforce, equally the explosion and now early to mid-maturation of "new econo- my" business models and businesses is forever changing internal and external media and comms models. AW: What has been the biggest game changer you've seen disrupt the communication and creative industries since beginning your career in advertising and media? PW: How do you answer this when almost everything today is going through seismic change! Let's focus on the effects of this disruption—the digital and technology revolution has shifted power to the people and reversed the historical "brand driven" marketing model to a "consumer driven" one where today approaching 2/3rds of touch points in most consumer journeys are consumer driven. Practically this new expansive and fractured journey means that devices, platforms, channels; a conduit that brings media, entertainment, THE "MAGICAL" WILL ALWAYS TRUMP THE "LOGICAL" When independent media agency giant Horizon teamed up with Innocean, a Hyundai- backed agency group, to establish a new, standalone agency in 2016, they sought to find a leader who was equal parts entrepreneurial, creative and innovative. By no surprise, the joint venture, Canvas Worldwide, found its leader in Paul Woolmington, co-founder of Naked Communications Americas and founder of The Media Kitchen. Advertising Week spoke with the Canvas Worldwide CEO about the growing importance of an entrepreneurial spirit in the modern workforce, and what it really means to be innovative today.

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