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Q&A : ELAV HORWITZ, MCCANN WORLDGROUP: “CREATIVITY IS THE ONLY WAY TO SURVIVE”

In a few weeks’ time, Elav Horwitz will arrive in Thailand to share everything she knows about the connection between the right brain and left brain, between art and science, between creativity and technology.

 

Horwitz is McCann Worldgroup’s VP, Global Innovation Director based in New York. Don’t miss the chance to hear her talk on Friday 22nd March at ADFEST 2019.

 

Your session at ADFEST is all about the creative process. Do you think creative approaches in most agencies are outdated? 

I don’t think that the creative approaches in agencies are outdated because, as we say at McCann, creativity is the only way to survive and by using creativity we can hopefully solve some of the world’s problems. I think we can help creatives with tools and processes that can potentially foster a better creative solution: from giving them more data points (yes, creatives love data) to technologies that can help them with the specific brief. It’s hard today to track cultural trends and new technologies, so we can help with those, for example.

 

What made you want to tackle this subject?

I am very interested in the connection between the right brain and left brain, between art and science, between creativity and technology and I hope that throughout my session, people will gain some tangible tools and new ways of thinking on how to connect these two worlds for advertising and marketing purposes.

 

You say that coming up with a great idea is only half the challenge. Where can great ideas go wrong?

It’s definitely an important role, but craft is also a big part of the idea. Once we have the idea, we should not give up on the execution. We want people to find our idea helpful, inspiring or fun. We want them to engage, share it and talk about it. Hey, we want it to be the best part of their day. 

 

You work with a vast network of startups, tech companies and teen entrepreneurs. What could agency creatives learn from the creative processes of the start-up world?

I think we both can learn from each other, actually. From startups we can learn how to move quickly, try, fail, test and keep improving. The startups can learn from us how to think about people first, their needs and how they can answer those by harnessing the power of creativity.

 

What’s McCann Worldgroup’s HumanTech offering all about?

Our HumanTech offering includes RapidHack and TeenHack, which are our own methodologies that we developed based on design thinking that moves from ideation-to-prototyping-to market.

 

We have also developed a set of internal tools like a startups database, tech cards and Truth Walls (yes, walls!) in which we can inspire our teams around the world. Our goal, as always, is to execute more innovative ideas to our clients, globally, based on the tools and processes that we created.

 

How did you move from working in programming for the Israeli army into the colourful world of advertising?

As a kid, I always wanted to work in advertising. I was lucky to have the opportunity in the Israeli army to learn more about technologies and computers. In the army, I was also an instructor for soldiers on these digital tools. I decided that I wanted to learn something that kind-of combines digital and tech-education-advertising, so I went and studied ‘Instructional Design’ in college.

 

One of the courses in my last semester was on advertising and we worked on a project with a digital agency. The CEO came to our final presentations and after mine he offered me a job there and then. The rest is history.

 

Why were you drawn to a career in technology, and did you face many barriers in a male-dominated field?

I love the possibilities that technology can enable, so that was my main driver. Sometimes at the beginning, I found that men thought that I didn’t really understand technology, but then I proved them wrong and over time, I gained my reputation.

 

I think that we need to identify women that have a passion for technology and digital, mentor and nurture them. We need to also highlight and celebrate that we have such women at McCann, and through this, hopefully influence the advertising and technology industry.

 

What do you love most about your role as McCann’s Global Innovation Director. And what are your biggest challenges?

What I love is to find a new playground almost every day and think how it can be relevant for consumers and for our clients. I think the main challenge that we have is scaling, but it’s also an amazing opportunity to think how everything that we do can influence our 24,000 employees and our clients all over the world.

 

“The Chicken, the Egg, or in today’s tech world, does the Omelette come first?’ takes place Friday 22nd March at 16.50-17.25. Book your tickets to ADFEST 2019 via www.ADFEST.com 


11 March,2019            
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