Creativity Doesn’t Require Hiring 12 Agencies to Send 1 Tweet About a Freakin’ Cookie

Seriously, Marketing. We’ve Gone Overboard for Years Now.

In 2013, arguably the worst thing to happen to creativity in content marketing, um, happened.

A few brand representatives of Oreo, plus about 700 members of various agencies, holed up in a castle somewhere to man “the social medias” during the Super Bowl. When the stadium temporarily lost power, they concocted the above tweet.

And the marketing world lost its collective shit.

Ever since then, it’s been clear: Marketers put “CREATIVITY” up on a pedestal. We want these viral hits, big ideas, and lightning-strike moments.

But when you actually talk to anyone who creates stuff for a living, that’s not what you hear about. Spend five minutes with a writer, a designer, a podcaster, a photographer — anyone who creates anything in marketing and media — and you hear about the day-in, day-out slog. You hear about the careful craft they so love. You hear about disrupted routines and entirely too much coffee and agonizing over tiny details despite a boss or client or business that doesn’t care as much as the creator does.

You hear about the “boring” stuff. The everyday stuff.

But it’s RIGHT THERE that creativity actually happens. Inspiration is all around you, in the simple things. It doesn’t require budget. It doesn’t require a huge team. Hell, it doesn’t require that you leave your couch! It just requires that you look around you where you stand (or sit comfortably). It requires that you consider the world in a thoughtful way.

To be creative is to be a constantly exposed nerve. You need to perceive and FEEL the world around you — especially the mundane stuff.

So, no, even in 2013, that Oreo tweet sent by a “war room” containing dozens of marketers wasn’t brilliant. Brilliance is far simpler than that.

And, no, those crazy stunts that cost crazier sums aren’t special. There’s something far more special in the daily stuff.

The boring stuff.

The mundane stuff.

Because that’s where creativity really lives.

And if you agree, I hope you’ll listen to this week’s Unthinkable — stories about content marketers who believe there’s something MORE to this work we do … day in, and day out.

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an award-winning podcaster and keynote speaker. Formerly in digital media for Google, he’s crafted attention-grabbing marketing strategies for exciting new startups and large companies alike. Today, Jay hosts shows and works with teams that break conventional thinking and become the welcome exception to all the average noise in their niche.