Reclaiming Innovation Day 2021

Last month, the smartclip EU Marketing Department held a virtual team-building event called Reclaiming Innovation Day #rid2021. This team-building workshop was designed to “rid” our team’s minds of the erroneous notion that “innovation” only pertains to the technology side of our company (and hence our product and development teams), and encourage our smartketing crew to dig deep and explore what innovation means to us, our function, and our department. Ultimately, the purpose of the day was to reclaim the word “innovation”, and inspire thought for an innovative 2021.

The “art” of innovation

Shira Leffel, Executive Director Europe Marketing at smartclip, kicked off the event with a warm welcome and introduction. Shira picked apart the pervasive left-brain right-brain myth and why it’s harmful for marketers, and called out the fact that there is no one function in our company that is more innovative than the other.

Afterwards, we were honoured to have Shona Fraser, Head of Entertainment at RTL Zwei, as our first guest speaker. Following a career as a music journalist, Shona was a member of the judging panel on Deutschland sucht den Superstar (the German version of American Idol) and now oversees entertainment and unscripted development at RTL Zwei. Shona shared practical tips on how her team comes up with creative and innovative ideas in the fast-paced broadcast industry.

Ready, set, innovate!

The main speaker, Odile Lueken, a local Hamburg artist, inspired us to think deeply about what innovation means to us and express this in the form of print and collage. Odile’s workshop, which she calls THE BOX, is the epitome of what it means to be innovative, especially for an artist during COVID-19. All materials needed for the workshop were found in THE BOX, which Odile sent to each team member’s home ahead of the event.

Odile first covered the basics of silkscreen printing, with a fitting tailor-made silkscreen in the shape of a brain. While the prints were drying, she went over basic collage techniques and walked us through a collage booklet she crafted especially for our workshop. Odile later surprised us with printed postcards of our artwork delivered to our homes.

After two inspiring sessions, the team discussed what it means to be creative and innovative, and in what ways our department should be both. And of course, what’s a team-building event without a couple drinks, eh? We closed the evening by sharing a few drinks and laughs. 

“In my experience working within technology companies, there is a tendency to perceive the marketing team as the ‘right-brain’ creative ones, while product or dev teams are more often seen as the analytical or innovative ‘left-brain’ thinkers. However, especially in today’s data-driven world, marketing requires a balanced capacity for both creativity and analytical thinking — and we need to rethink what it means to be innovative in our function. Hence, I found Odile Lueken’s brain-themed silk-screen workshop a fitting way to explore that concept through creativity, while Shona Fraser gave the team unique insights in terms of a more operational application of ‘innovative’ thinking. I look forward to continuing this event as we invite more colleagues from the RTL universe for a knowledge exchange between creative departments.”
Shira Leffel, Executive Director Europe | Marketing at smartclip

If any of this sounds appealing to you, and you would like to join us for our next discussion on what it means to be innovative in a creative function, please contact

Lizzy Curry was formerly a Content Marketing Marketing Manager at smartclip.

Lizzy Curry
Content Marketing Manager Europe