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“If Ideas Suspect You’re Chasing Them, They’ll Run Away”: How Crowdiate Initiated a Fresh Conversation about Creativity


LBB speaks to Aaron Nemoy and Ian Mirlin to discover the insight behind the agency’s innovative ‘short audio stories’ series

“If Ideas Suspect You’re Chasing Them, They’ll Run Away”: How Crowdiate Initiated a Fresh Conversation about Creativity

“Imagine you’ve stumbled into a party, and there’s a whole bunch of people you don’t know. Inevitably - and out of some kind of social necessity - you’re going to look out for someone who seems approachable and interesting. That’s who we want to be: The most inviting and intriguing person in the room”. 

As ever, Crowdiate’s creative director Ian Mirlin has a flair for crafting imagery through words. At the heart of his playful description, however, was a serious question for Crowdiate: how could the company accurately convey its unique and distinctive model, whilst also holding true to the core creative tenets that have underpinned its founders’ established success in the industry?

“As an ‘alternative creative model’, we want to convey how we differ from a traditional agency”, notes Aaron Nemoy, Crowdiate’s founder and CEO. “But we also want to show that our approach to brand-building is grounded in solid marketing fundamentals”. 

The result of that process was an idea just as singular as Crowdiate itself. Starting last week, a captivating series of ‘Audio Short Stories’ have been drip-fed onto the agency’s social networks. In the miniature clips, we see a satisfyingly shot whisky glass perched ahead of a flickering fireplace, matched by the warm words of Terry O’Reilly (a comfortingly familiar voice to many in Canada's creative industries). 

Over the course of the five clips - each asking no more than a minute or so of its audience’s time - we’re treated to a set of reflections and insights which serve to put creative meat on the organisational bones of Crowdiate. 

On Strategy:

For Ian, the decision to go with audio as a communications tool - as opposed to the written blog post-style content which is so common on professional networks - was the result of a detailed process. “When you write something around these kinds of somewhat abstract topics, it’s hard to avoid making your words sound like a manifesto”, he explains. “But our aim with this content is absolutely not to preach or sermonise. It’s simply about joining the creative conversation in a way that’s warm and inviting”. 

On True Insight:

That overarching desire for warmth also led Ian and Aaron towards Terry O’Reilly. The broadcaster, writer, and public speaker is an established and admired voice in the world of Canadian creativity, and is no stranger to the topic of ideas and where they come from. If there’s a unifying theme across Terry’s body of work, it’s a holistic desire to break down and explore the art of persuasion. In that sense, he was the perfect pick to voice this mini-podcast. 

“Terry and I had known each other for a long time, and his distinguished career in audio production was certainly quite a bonus for us”, notes Ian. “He made valuable suggestions on the scripts and of course, his intuition when it came to delivering the reads was spot-on. When we asked his opinion on whether he thought a fireplace would be a suitable setting for these kinds of creative ruminations, he simply sent back a picture of his own writing room –  featuring a fireplace at its centre!”. 

On Finding Ideas:

Ultimately, however, both Aaron and Ian are aware that these short audio offerings will be judged by the quality of their content rather than anything else. In order to help it shine most brightly, the pair agreed from an early stage that brevity would be a key part of their messaging strategy. “There's just so much content out there, that there’s rarely enough time for people to watch and read everything they might want to. When you’re setting out to add to that busy conversation, you need to be very aware of how you treat your audience’s time”, says Aaron. 

Happily, then, each episode acts as a kind of whistle stop tour through Crowdiate’s creative philosophies. “Our hope is that these episodes help us frame our belief system in a compelling way for both creative people as well as interested brand marketers”, says Ian. “Because of the nature of our model, there’s a kind of conscription element here too. If there’s good creative talent out there that feel they could be at home in our community having seen these clips, that would be a very welcome consequence indeed ”. 

On Simplicity:

And yet, reflecting back on the project, one gets the sense from Ian that it was simply something the team had to do. “Our brand is founded on ideas”, he says. “So why should we not be offering some kind of insight and commentary on the subject of ideas? We have plenty to say, and at some point we simply need to say it”. 

On Great Briefs:

This kind of short form audio content is rare on the networks in which Crowdiate set out to promote it - awash as they are with lengthy op-eds and longform podcasts on every subject imaginable. Trying something different in that space, then, is an entirely suitable move for Ian, Aaron, and their team. After all, what could feel more ‘Crowdiate’ than taking a chance on a new idea? 

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Genres: People

Categories: Media and Entertainment, Online Media

Crowdiate, Wed, 16 Nov 2022 08:15:00 GMT