Thursday, March 15, 2007


I read two interesting posts yesterday on the subject of culture jamming. The first can be found at wowee, wow, a lovely blog from a copywriter in Germany, written in English and the second from she sees red, a blog from an instillation artist from Australia that I only discovered yesterday through Seb’s blog. Check them both out.

Although the posts were not exactly on the subject of inspiration, it got me thinking about how people are inspired, especially in marketing. Although much of our work here may be strategic, we do get to work on creative projects as well, and especially in my case, I look to many different sources each week to find subjects to write about in our blog.

According to Wikipedia, the word inspiration literally means ‘breathed upon’ and has its origins in Hellenism and Hebraism. It is a sudden burst of creativity which is irrational and unconscious.

So, where do I look when I want such a revelation?

Well, unsurprisingly, often my first stop is the Internet and the posts of my fellow bloggers. I always like to see what has caught people’s attention this week and what their take on it has been. Other sources of inspiration, and what led me from the above posts to my current train of though, is art. Art in its traditional sense, street art, art in advertising, architecture, performance art, cartoons (yes, I’m counting this in the same category), photography, fashion… Some people get excited about words. I get excited by images. That’s not to say though that I don’t gain inspiration from the words I read, many an ad headline has spurned me on, books that I may have read, news stories, either in the marketing world or just in general. And music. How many compositions and songs have inspired generations of other creatives?

What else? Places I have visited, people I have met, the people I have yet to meet. And, through the wonders of the Internet, people who I am never likely to meet but have struck up correspondence with through blogs and social sites. Things that have happened to me through the week that have made me smile or made me fume, and everything in between. Nature and all its glories… I could go on and on.

There are of course countless other things that inspire people, but I thought I would just share a few that inspire me on a frequent basis.

I started an inspiration pinboard a while ago beside my desk. I’ve been neglecting it a bit of late – other things get in the way and you don’t make time to nurture your creativity. I think I will get back to filling it up once again.

But, linking back to the posts which started off this train of thinking (slightly), where art and marketing / media is concerned, who inspires who? How much does art inspire marketing, in particular I suppose, advertising, and how much in turn does marketing and the media inspire art? And with user-generated content increasing so rapidly, how much in the future will creatives outside the marketing industry shape the industry?


I think the next stage of evolution in marketing will be very interesting to watch.

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