Palais Takeaway: Creativity is the Only Way to Survive by McCann Worldgroup and The Paley Center for Media

Cannes Creativity panel

By Natalie Simone Meade

(photos provided by McCann Facebook Page)

When Rob Delaney, Rashida Jones and Keegan-Michael Key sit down together for 45 minutes, not only are you guaranteed a few laughs, you’ll also gain insight into how comedy and creativity are intertwined.

When comedy is a means of survival, Rashida Jones and Keegan-Michael Key believe that it’s best to make conservative, but calculated decisions, especially early on in a career. Actors, like everyone else, must put in their time and prove themselves before they can weigh in on pivotal decisions and champion their ideas. Key’s insights on creative thinking were unique. Rather than becoming immersed in your own creative process, Key emphasizes the importance of filtering ideas through other creators and with your audience in mind, which yields a balanced and nuanced comedic experience.

As part of the creative process, all three speakers agreed upon one thing: your ego must be checked at the door. “Like sharks to chum, we attack an idea we like. Anyone whose idea was rejected is still happy,” said Keegan-Michael Key.

Diversity also lends itself to ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of yourself. It’s not about meeting quotas, said Jones. The goal is to aggregate and blend an array of experiences, and then mine for the right ideas.

Audiences are drawn to authenticity and deeply-rooted connections. Keegan-Michael Key said that a few years ago he was in a McCann spot for an auto company based in Detroit, his hometown. This connection enabled him to deliver a genuine message during the shoot. It’s obvious when there is no chemistry between a celebrity and the brand he or she is endorsing; they sound like: “Money, money, money, orange juice, money, money,” said Key.

A diverse group of people inspire a range of insights and ideas for all stories from comedic sketches to 30 second spots. These experiences become fodder for content, and told correctly, have the potential to reach and impact a global audience.

Natalie Meade
Natalie Meade
Natalie Meade is a media investment buyer at ID Media and a (very) recent graduate from the Columbia Journalism School. She’s a writer, yogi, foodie and music junkie. You can follow her on Instagram & Twitter