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At Microsoft, Everyone Contributes to Creative Process

Microsoft’s Global Creative Director Jeremy Grubaugh explained his approach to embracing chaos as part of the creative process this way: Be aware of all your options.

“Every year there are new ways to communicate with an audience,” Grubaugh said. “And their expectations for how you communicate with them are heightened.”

Grubaugh was part of the Creative Innovation Roundtable on Sept. 26 at the Times Center Hall during Advertising Week, and he praised the inclusive culture of Microsoft which enhances his own approach to managing. For example, Grubaugh believes that a person need not be a designer by training or even have used a piece of design software in order to contribute ideas about how Microsoft products should work.

Consumers have an inherent sense of how hardware and software should function depending on what they’re trying to achieve, he said. Therefore, Microsoft’s internal creative environment is an inclusive one in which people are often pulled into any of the numerous “idea rooms” from other departments to contribute ideas. “If the white boards aren’t full, we’re not doing our jobs,” Grubaugh declared.

When panel moderator Dan Chandler, Associate Creative Director at Sid Lee, asked the panelists when a new product is ready for the public to see and use, Grubaugh answered: “I’m of the as-soon-as possible mentality. The sooner we can test [products], on a small scale and a large scale, is the best way we can evolve more rapidly.”

His fellow panelists concurred, saying consumer expectations have risen so high that organizations must be much more nimble in addressing their dissatisfaction quickly.

Earlier, Grubaugh told The Hit Board, that he considers himself a “miner” of sorts.

“I scour MSN, Bing, Xbox Live, Skype, Windows 8 and all our other platforms to discover all the features and how to leverage them on behalf of a brand or advertising experience.” His team is working closely with Skype right now to understand how brands might have a synchronous dialogue within the intimate connection between two people having a face-to-face phone call.

Click the video below to hear what Grubaugh thinks has not changed about the consumer-brand even in the chaos of this digital age.

Dan Chandler, Associate Creative Director, Sid Lee, moderated the panel which included Christoph Becker, CEO & CCO of Gyro;  Tim Cronin SVP Global Sales, Mocean Mobile; Arianna Orland Creative Director, Zynga Global Brand; and Shawn Poe Creative Director, InMobi Creative Services North America.

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