Commitment to Authenticity, Honesty and Curiosity: Jon Haber, Co-Founder of Giant Spoon

We asked our 2020 ANDYs jury their thoughts on what the new year will bring us in the advertising industry and Jon Haber shared:

What creative trends do you think you’ll see in 2020?
In 2020, we’ll continue to create stories that showcase honesty. The world is divided, and truth is often relative. The obvious marketing tactic is to focus on the things that unite us. The ways in which we are all the same. However, the best work will be honest about our differences. Audiences don’t always have to relate to one another, but hopefully, they can find respect.

What new forms of technology do you think will play a role in creative campaigns this year?
The heart of digital culture is on Tik Tok. The cynical among us will call it ‘Vine for Gen Z’ that has a bunch of teenagers dancing and lip-syncing. But the more time you spend exploring this platform, the more you realize it is so much more than that. The first key element is music. On Tik Tok, it is sound that goes viral. A million videos emerge for one popular sound or music track. From there, the creativity explodes– mobile filmmakers, comedy, performance, singing, special effects, relationships, and much more. Marketers have to understand how their campaigns move into Tik Tok and how Tik Tok bubbles up into their campaigns.

Is the industry moving forward with integrity and authenticity when they show up in places of social good, or is it woke-washing?
Agencies need to be self-policing in this area. This is where we can serve as partners and consultants to our clients beyond just creating advertising. When a brand asks for purpose-driven work, or when we propose it, we need to be very clear about what the brand’s bigger purpose in the world is. A brand can have a belief system that can serve their individual customers, but can that belief impact communities– and ultimately the world? If so, we need to think about how that impacts the way a brand considers its employees, its product, its cause initiatives, its government policy, the environment, and the communities it serves. Do the strategic homework, make sure there is real commitment, and then create compelling and emotional content.

How effective is the advertising industry as a narrator and reflector of culture in this moment of time?
Our industry is on the front lines of culture. In some ways, we’re like the top commenter on a social media post. We react to everything, our reactions affect the creators of culture, and we study real people’s reactions and reflect them back into the world. Our ads feature the people who excite us, whether it be Lizzo or Kapernick. The brands we give personality to engage with culture every day on social. The experiences we build can have lines around the block. We can invent new formats of content. We are curious students of the world, and we can often move faster than Hollywood to engage with what is happening. And on top of all of that, we are expected to have a point of view, to be provocative, and to speak with purpose. This is what makes right now the scariest and most exciting time to work in this business.