Let’s face it: When we’re tasked with creating a ton of content for our brand, it’s hard to sustain a high level of creativity. The stories we tell start to sound stale to our own ears, and the technology that’s supposed to help us unlock our imagination ends up restricting us to a few content types that leave us feeling uninspired.
When our creative wells run dry, we need to look outside of ourselves for inspiration—and what better place to find it than other people who are creating beautiful, meaningful digital content? That’s why, using NewsCred’s curation knowhow and our creative team’s killer design instincts, we’ve partnered to create an Inspiration Lookbook for your viewing pleasure.
This interactive site showcases 30 content pieces that bring together creativity, technology, and storytelling. We looked closely at these innovative brands, organizations, and individuals to find common trends among them, and came away with 5 key lessons.
Lesson 1: Curated Content Allows Gems to Shine
6 of the 30 featured examples are projects that involve curated content. Sites like Behance, Niice, Illustration Age, and Webdesign Inspiration provide a forum for the creative cream of the crop to share their projects with each other and the world. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is curating original art critiques from famous artists over the course of 2015. And Miranda July’s “We Think Alone” video pulls back the curtain on the private lives of celebrities with personal emails curated around particular keywords.
Lesson 2: Social Awareness Thrives on Stories
Documentarians, nonprofits, and social justice leaders have long known that storytelling fuels the social awareness engine. From corporate giants like IKEA, to startups like The Empowerment Plan, Donors Choose, and Data for GOOD, to indie storytellers like Banksy, to news syndicates like The New York Times, organizations and individuals are leveraging the emotional power of stories to drive awareness and change for people in need.
Lesson 3: Partnerships Can Spark Creativity
When brands get stuck in a creative rut—or when they simply want to venture outside their creative comfort zone—they’ve seen great success by partnering with artistic individuals who bring something original to their brand message. 3 of these partnerships that inspired us were:
Miranda July’s video “Somebody” for Miu Miu.
FKA Twigs’ “#throughglass” music video for Google Glass.
Paul Dano and Jenny Slate’s video “Spring is Weird” for Gap.
Lesson 4: Stories Are Bigger than Stereotypes
Everyone loves stories that have a compelling plot twist or take an expected trope and turn it on its head. Three of the featured examples tap into this trend in different ways. For artist Kehinde Wiley, challenging the status quo came in the form of classical portraits that feature neoclassical subjects and patterns found exploring urban streets. For Always, bucking stereotypes happened through the compiled interviews in its “Like a Girl” commercial. For Refinery 29, dispelling stereotypes took the form of interactive stories, videos, and data highlighting transgender rights by state in its Trans America series.
Lesson 5: Amazing Content Brings People Together
Whether online, in person, or some combination of the two, content has the power to bring people together from all corners of the planet. From Google’s Year in Search, to the Lowline underground park project, to Periscope’s real-time streaming video, to BuzzFeed’s Brother Orange story, we’ve seen that creativity and storytelling can unite people around the world as they learn, play, and watch together.
Check out our Inspiration Lookbook to explore all of these great examples in more detail.