By Orville Williams
Innovation – once seen as a rare talent for a gifted few – has evolved into a vital survival tool, amid the devastating Covid-19 pandemic. With this in the back of their minds as well as their repertoire, the principals behind the immensely successful Caesar’s Army are making a big step with Caesar’s CreatiV.
The Caesar’s Army brand is synonymous with entertainment and euphoria, having made Caribbean carnival a hub for their colourful, large-scale events. The CreatiV side of the brand, however, will not necessarily be the ‘feathers and powder’ that their fanbase has become accustomed to, but will take on one vital component – the creation of experiences.
Speaking to Observer recently, co-owner and Chief Operations Officer of Caesar’s Army and CreatiV Hasani, Lesedi Wattley, was keen to explain that the move was not necessarily ‘closing the chapter’ on Carnival, but was instead a creative bit of diversification to adapt to the evolved marketplace.
Described as “experiential agency”, CreatiV aims to assist corporate brands maintain and improve their consumer and market engagement, through the execution of one-of-a-kind experiences.
“We call it an experiential agency, a hybrid of a traditional advertising agency and a creative agency, but [with] the understanding that we could help you manipulate and create experiences that your customers could engage with, to understand your brand and your product further,” Wattley explained.
Wattley said, with the changes that have come over the past few months, their plan is to harness technology and marry it to their expertise in events, to create something brand new.
“Looking at the pandemic and how it has impacted the world, you would have seen that technology is playing a big part in this and we had to try and determine two things: How could we make technology a part of experiences moving forward – whenever live experiences could start or even now – and how could we get the corporate Caribbean to now think like that as well?
“We felt that – being one of the [groups] that normally bring disruption to the norm – we would have been the best people to now try to guide the Caribbean corporate sector in how to navigate this new normal,” he said.
Though the Covid-19 pandemic has affected their operations like the rest of the region, Wattley said the enforced break prompted deep introspection and strategising, which led to the creation of Caesar’s CreatiV.
“This is when we started to take a look at our internal strengths as team members within the company and seeing how best we could pivot to [other methods] of generating revenue.
“The traditional parties were no longer there, [so we had to] analyse what else we could do and that is how we came up with Caesar’s CreatiV. It was a matter of analysing our strengths, understanding how we could still maintain our presence within the Caribbean community and then build from there,” he explained.
While plans are still in the early stages and continuously improving, Wattley disclosed that the group has already secured commitment from clients, some of whom were prior partners under the Caesar’s Army brand.
Looking ahead, he expressed confidence that the move would be a success, saying, “I think 2020 was really a year for us to survive and 2021 is for us to now adjust and to thrive”.
Wattley heads the Caesar’s Army and the Caesar’s CreatiV brands, alongside co-owner and CEO, Jules Sobion.