Navigating Turbulence with Hope: The Creative Industry's Stand on Optimism

By Alexander Schill, Global Chief Creative Officer, Serviceplan Group and President, Art Director’s Club Europe




Serviceplan Group
Publicité/Communication intégrée
Munich, Allemagne
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Alexander Schill
Global Chief Creative Officer & Partner Serviceplan Group


In the face of the humanitarian crises and devastating circumstances that marked 2023, it may seem challenging to maintain a sense of optimism. Yet, for the creative industry, optimism is not just a mindset, but a necessity.

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them” – one of my favorite quotes, authored by Henri Matisse, is not only more than ever true these days, but also implements the fact that good things instantly grow, if we just pay a little bit more attention to them.

Despite the worldwide geo-political instabilities and unstable economic outlook for 2024, we are seeing new paradigms emerging in advertising that mean creatively the business continues to expand and grow. Creatively it’s been a year of growth for Serviceplan Group, capped by winning Independent Agency/ Network of the Year at LIA, ANDYs, NYF, The One Show, Cresta, Eurobest and the ADC of Europe. We continued our expansion in North America with the formation of Serviceplan Americas, and I’m looking forward to seeing how our partnership with Pereira O’Dell and L&C will continue to grow and bear creative fruit. 

Dentsu, GroupM, IPG’s Magna recently all released their 2024 predictions and forecasts — with global ad spend estimates ranging from 4% to 7% in growth for 20241. CMO Barometer, an annual international study by Serviceplan Group and the University of St.Gallen, also proves the emerging sense of positivity. Approximately half of the surveyed CMOs2 predict stability in the economic climate, with a hopeful 36% anticipating some degree of improvement. This optimism spreads to budget planning, with one-third foreseeing a potential budget escalation. So, despite global economic uncertainty, there is a sense of growth within the advertising industry globally.

Innovations in tech and digital such as Chat GPT and AI continue to be applied as creative solutions, which takes creativity into a whole new dimension and open up creative possibilities. At Serviceplan, our Innovation Team continue to win at all major international awards shows, with AIZOME Ultra Wastecare, proving that the creative use of tech in the field of sustainability is an exciting area to continue exploring creatively. 

According to a report by Insider Intelligence3, 18% of marketers in North America assert that generative AI is currently having a significant impact on their industry, while 32% anticipate it will do so next year. Concurrently, the Serviceplan’s CMO Barometer 20241 predicts an even larger AI surge in Europe, with Intelligent technologies (cited by 83% of marketers) surpassing other trends, such as content creation (82%), emotional branding (82%), sustainability (78%), and omnichannel marketing (77%). Thus, we need to consider how AI can be intelligently implemented in creativity when addressing briefs from our clients.

I’m also excited about our business moving deeper into the arena of culture, with the launch of Serviceplan Culture. Serviceplan Culture has launched in response to an increased demand for target group-oriented brand communication and will be helmed by management team Niko Backspin, Franziska Gregor and Sven Labenz. On a mission of Decoding Culture, Serviceplan Culture will have a strategic approach, a newly developed market analysis tool and a diverse Cultural Council that will offer direct access to a variety of subcultures and communities.

So creatively there is a whole new world of possibilities to be explored, spanning AI, tech and culture. What an exciting time to work in advertising.