The Year in Creativity 2019 - Carren O'Keefe

As part of the Muse's "The Year in Creativity 2019" report, Carren O'Keefe, ECD of AnalogFolk Portland, describes the work she's proud of, jealous of, excited by and looking forward to.

I'm proud of

We did an activation called AirDrop1 for Nike at the Super Bowl in Atlanta. It was the first shoe drop using AirDrop, giving consumers a 1:1 experience to customize AirForce1s. Obviously I’m proud of the innovative way AirDrop was used. But what I’m most proud of is how the technology democratized the experience. Typically, participation in brand experiences like these require that you have a lot of influence or a lot of money. AirDrop truly leveled the playing field. If you loved Nike and you were there, you could get the exclusive experience. We talk a lot about diversity in our industry. But we should also be talking about accessibility and how technology can enable it.

Jealous of

From concept to execution, the Teeter-Totter Wall is a project that makes me say, “I wish I did that.” Ronald Rael, an architecture professor at the University of California Berkeley, and Virginia San Fratello, an associate professor of design at San Jose State University, installed seesaws at the border so kids in the U.S. and Mexico could play together. The idea is so simple yet so powerful. And the way they were able to execute it was brilliant. It was a very serious statement on a very serious topic, but it felt lighthearted and hopeful. Even the execution of the bright pink seesaws in contrast to the metallic border-wall beams created a powerful visual statement. It was simply amazing.

Excited by

The rise of vulnerability. It’s no longer a symbol of weakness, but a sign of strength. This cultural trend has led to some interesting and important creative work. Nike launched an initiative called Nike by You. Influencers designed shoes based on a personal story or inspiration in their life and limited-edition pairs were sold. A shoe designed by Liz Beecroft, a psychotherapist and sneakerhead, focused on mental health and overshadowed the activation itself. The design put a spotlight on the taboo topic and demonstrated how a brand like Nike is giving voice to vulnerable stories and causes. The traction it got shows how much people want more of this type of thing.

Looking forward to

How many times have we gotten direction from brands recently for our creative to be “real, raw and authentic”? But the reality is, we’ve all had enough of reality for a while. I predict a lot of work will start moving away from the “real and raw” and more toward bright, cheerful, surreal creative across the spectrum of content to experiences. I predict we’ll see a rise in creative that’s meant to make us feel good and take us out of every day for a little while—like the Museum of Ice Cream.