The cost of creativity? Priceless.


Forbes Australia has a sneak peek at the contenders for this year’s Rigg Design Prize 2022.
Rigg Design Prize 2022 entrant | Image source: Jane Lindhe
Creativity and business are not mutually exclusive | Image source: Jane Lindhe

For the first time in the National Gallery of Victoria’s history, the Rigg Design Prize national exhibition will focus on advertising and communications – and how creativity inspires innovation.

Spray on skin, WIFI, IVF and Google Maps – these might seem like unrelated innovations. But the one thing these life-changing inventions have is that they all exist because of Australian creativity.  

Creativity and business are not mutually exclusive. In fact, a growing body of research shows that creative companies are not only more innovative, they’re more successful.  

The value of creativity is a concept that the NGV has focused on for its triannual Rigg Design Prize 2022. For the first time the prize – which awards $30,000 to the winner – has focused on advertising and communication and how to convince people of the value of creativity.  

“The value of creativity is everywhere – it’s in everything we do and it all stems from someone having an idea. It’s not only having the idea, but telling people about the idea too, so that’s where communication comes into it,” NGV curator contemporary design, architecture, Gemma Savio [pictured at top] told Forbes Australia.   

The NGV – in conjunction with Deakin University and Cicely and Colin Rigg bequest –  invited eight leading Australian advertising and communication agencies to create a campaign around the topic of creativity. 

Entrant, DBB Group Melbourne – in collaboration with advisory firm Jarden –  has created an Australian first, The Creative Index , to illustrate the value that creativity brings to the balance sheet. The agency says creativity is a key driver of competitiveness and innovation and is “core to the way Australia develops ideas and solutions”.  The index tracks creativity on the Australian share market, demonstrating in real-time its dollar value.   

Rigg Design Prize 2022 entrant | Image source: Jane Lindhe
Rigg Design Prize 2022 entrant | Image source: Jane Lindhe

“Creativity is a powerful financial force; however, its value is generally considered unquantifiable,” DDB explained in its campaign. “Unlike mining, construction or agriculture, the economic value of creativity has been generally left out of the collective conversation around prosperity building in Australia.” 

NGV’s Savio says  putting a value on creativity, from a business perspective, is something that the NGV wants to promote. “The Creative Index … makes the value [of creativity] visible and tangible. It shows that creative companies have better creative revenue – it [creativity] has a return on investment.” 

Clemenger BBDO Melbourne’s “Creativity was here” campaign consists of series of posters with powerful images of varied topics, from medical innovation to cultural reform and law reform. Viewers can scan a QR code on the posters to activate an augmented reality presentation on each image, and how creativity led to each innovation or change. 

The Frost Collective took a different approach to its campaign, using its social media network to tap into the creativity of its followers. The campaign “Any ideas”, uses Instagram polls and a website to generate ideas around common problems: from reducing single-use plastic to improving public transport and breaking society’s tech addiction, through one powerful open-ended question: “any ideas”.   

Agency, The Royals, focuses on creativity that has led to world leading Australian-made innovations are invaluable tools in our lives today. Its quirky concept: The Without Store, is set out in the exhibition as a kiosk of products that are integral to our way of life. The kiosk sells through vending machines, small boxes with innovations such as Google Maps, wifi and IVF on them.  

“One of the interesting things is how innovative and creative we are here in Australia,” NGV’s Savio says. “The exhibition really highlights all of the innovation that has come about through creative Australian minds, and most people wouldn’t realise half of these really well-known things are Australian. I didn’t!”  

The Rigg Design Prize is a legacy of the late Colin Rigg (1895–1982), a former secretary of the NGV’s Felton Bequests’ Committee. Previously known as the Cicely and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award, the prize was established in 1994 to recognise contemporary design practice in Victoria.  

The Rigg Design Prize 2022 is a free exhibition on display from October 3, 2022, to 29 January 2023 at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Fed Square, Melbourne, Australia. 

Update: On 14 October, Leo Burnett Australia was announced as the winner of NGV’s Rigg Design Prize 2022, and was awarded $30,000 for its concept of Can creativity make you bleed?, a blood donation campaign.