Eurobest is the world’s pre-eminent celebration of creativity in Europe, bringing together advertising, PR, marketing and other industries to discuss the latest trends and examples of  the best work around the region. We will be live reporting throughout the festival and tweeting at @HK_EMEA.

Day One in Rome and the weather is gorgeously sunny, and bitterly cold. It’s hard not to admire the plucky tourists tucking into giant ice creams at 10am next to the Trevi Fountain, as we walked to the venue, Rome’s Palazzo Barberini. 

First up: if you want to hold a three day conference encouraging people from all over the world to gather and discuss creativity, there is no better venue than the Palazzo Barberini. The common cry over coffee was concerning the ceiling in the main auditorium (better than the Sistine Chapel, as one such creative reflected). 

As for the sessions, Day One focused attentions on the hard issues: the state of creativity and its relevance in 2016.

Has creativity lost its value?

This depressing question was posed by a few of the speakers throughout Day One. CP+B opened the festival with this challenge to the audience – has our industry lost sight of the most important thing we sell? Do marketers no longer feel empathy for their consumers, as Sylvain Labs asked later? With so much advertising out there, has our industry become predictable?

The answer is of course, no, but it is still easy to fall into the predictability trap. With the help of the neuroscientist Balder Onarheim, CP+B proceeded to talk the audience through a couple of ways you can train your brain every day to be unpredictable. To challenge yourself, so that you can create challenging and unique work for your clients. 

  1. Train your brain to be random – Think of three random, unconnected words quickly. Tried it? It’s harder than it seems. If you do this for a couple of seconds every day, your brain will begin creating more remote associations.
  2. Use Wikipedia Random – If you’re ever stuck for an idea, go onto Wikipedia Random. Then challenge yourself to use an idea from this page to inform your idea.

 The best creative campaigns aren’t built in a day

 From the success of a thirty-year client campaign between insurance company Centraal Beheer and advertising agency DDB, to JWT’s “The Next Rembrandt”, it’s clear that creativity takes time and patience to perfect performance. This year JWT merged creativity and technology to teach a computer how to paint like Rembrandt.

The painting itself was unveiled with a series of ‘oohs’ from the audience here at Eurobest, but what stuck more from the talk than even the incredible AI technology, was just how much work had gone into this piece of art. JWT led us through all the pitfalls, of how long it took to train and retrain and train again a computer to paint like its Great Master, from details such as the right moustache to the perfect paint texture.  This was inspirational work achingly spun out of technology and the real deal was just as impactful in person as any Rembrandt we’ve seen.

Stay tuned for Day Two.

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