Limitation drove innovation during the coronavirus pandemic

A montage of Olympic athletes celebrating victory
A montage of Olympic athletes celebrating victory
Image courtesy of Nike

For the most part, the COVID-19 pandemic was a dumpster fire, and we’re still a long way from getting out of the woods yet. But among all of the negatives, one thing is for sure: We saw some exceptional creative work emerge during 2020 and the first part of 2021.

While others may say that this work happened in spite of the pandemic, I’ve long held the belief that creativity feeds on constraint and that this work emerged because of the pandemic.

There were so many clever and creative campaigns, so here I’ve…


Bridgerton cast
Bridgerton cast
Image via

ICYMI, Bridgerton is Netflix’s latest hit show created by Shonda Rhimes, of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” fame. Inspired by Julia Quinn’s bestselling novels, it follows the story of eight close-knit siblings of the Bridgerton family as they search for love and happiness in London high society.

The show has been a huge hit (Netflix estimated it was streamed by 63 million households in the first two weeks) thanks to its diverse cast, lavish costumes, steamy romances, and the oh-so-dreamy Duke. …

Photo courtesy of the author

During the Campaign Masterclass, we have been learning about the customer experience (CX), and much to my delight, it always prompts a few a-ha moments and changes to how the participants approach their marketing.

CX is by no means marketing 101 and therefore takes a bit of work to really wrap your head around. So, after a not so great experience with an Airbnb property at the weekend, I thought I would explore CX using a case study. …

Except for one crucial part — that negates all the rest

Photo by Jason Briscoe via Unsplash

Love them or loathe them, Hello Fresh is the largest meal-kit provider in the world. When it comes to their marketing, there is a bunch we can learn from them, but there is also one critical fault which other brands would do well to avoid.

Referral Marketing

“Your friend Holly Murphy has given you up to $139 to spend on food this week.”

I’d heard of Hello Fresh before, how could I not? …

Does your marketing hit the right notes?

Supplied by author

The other day, we were flicking through Apple TV looking for a movie to watch with the kids. We were spoilt for choice with Frozen 2, Onward, Toy Story 4 and one we’d never heard of before: Abominable. It was hardly the front-runner amongst the other heavy hitters. That was, until we watched the trailer.

As soon as I heard the hauntingly beautiful cover of the Fleetwood Mac classic You Can Go Your Own Way, I immediately got goosebumps. Rational decision-making would have seen us purely won over by Toy Story 4’s 97%…

Why you should turn to your customers for powerful marketing content.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

There are many losers and very few winners as a result of the global Coronavirus pandemic, but one trend to emerge as a standout performer amongst the doom and gloom is user-generated content (UGC). Instead of creating their own original content, brands are turning to their users, who are some of their biggest advocates, to create it for them.

The global crisis really set the stage for UGC’s meteoric rise. With creative teams working remotely and at the mercy of government restrictions, shooting content has proved challenging. At the same time, many people have been stuck at home or restricted…

The future for online business models has never looked so bright.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

We had a headstart on all the face-to-face service businesses who were forced to adapt to a sustainable online format when the crisis hit. Nielsen’s latest consumer research demonstrates how the pandemic experience has already permanently altered the way we work, think and buy. It is the companies who recession-proof their services through eCommerce today that will thrive in a post-pandemic tomorrow.

We found ourselves in this adapt-or-fail position 18 months ago for entirely different reasons. Both military spouses and Creative Strategists, we spent half a decade working together in a creative marketing agency, servicing clients predominantly face-to-face, alongside the…

How small brands can do better when it comes to DIY marketing.

Fernando Venancio Da Silva via Unsplash

I miss the Mad Men era, not for the chauvinism and relentless chain-smoking, but I do miss a time when marketing started with a “big idea.”

That golden era of advertising saw the birth of campaigns like ‘Think Small’ by Volkswagen and ‘Got Milk?’. Campaigns that are forever imprinted in our psyches for the simple reason that they were seamless. It was the combination of language and design, of every brand interaction meeting this “big idea” that made them memorable.

#1: If you do it well, social media is all you need

Photo by Mathieu NEUILLY on Unsplash

The web is now brimming with so-called experts and spin doctors, and audiences today are bombarded with so much conflicting advice, they can hardly discern fact from fiction.

I teach small brands and up-and-coming marketers to DIY their marketing and hear my fair share of absolute doozies. As a career marketer with over 20 years of experience in both brand roles, agency-side, and running my own successful marketing startup, I’m here to dispel some of the most common fables going around in 2020.

1. When Done Well, All You Really Need to Focus on Is Social Media

I’m going blue in the face from preaching the perils of an over-reliance on social media and…

Inject a sense of ceremony, and your customers will enjoy your products more

Photo by SHAYAN IZADI ️ on Unsplash

Rituals are how humans mark many life events, both big and small. From clinking glasses before a celebratory sip of bubbly to bowing our heads in thanks at the end of a yoga class, established sequences of behaviour are being used to elevate even the smallest experience into something memorable.

Rituals hold universal appeal. The development of routines, habits, and traditions is deeply rooted in human behaviour dating back all the way to the most ancient civilizations. It plays a particularly prominent role when it comes to food, and there are countless rituals around the world all tied to consumption…

Mia Fileman

Creative strategist, educator and cofounder of, a campaign marketing platform.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store