What is Functional Creativity?



Agencies traditionally assess ideas from a proposition or narrative viewpoint. When creating things for a lean-back, content-consuming user, this makes sense. But when making things for a lean-forward user of products, services and experiences, this isn’t very helpful.

There needs to be a greater understanding for “functional creativity” which means employing creative thinking to a physical or digital product or service so that it delivers a specific or set of outcomes better.

Functional creative ideas need not be dry and boring, mind you. They can bring users a world of delight. A prime example is the iPhone – it changed how we interact with and what we expect from phones, forever.

For instance:

  • How do we improve a drive-thru service?
  • Functional creative solution: Start the drive-thru experience enroute to the drive-thru itself with the power of artificial intelligence.
  • How do we make an automotive sales presentation more engaging?
  • Functional creative solution: Utilise augmented reality to bring a car engine to life.
  • How do we enable a food ordering experience for a group of people who aren’t in the same location?
  • Functional creative solution: Enable group ordering with a Facebook Messenger application.