Thoughts on marketing, creativity and innovation.

We Are Up is a strategy & innovation consultancy.

Well, hello to you all and goddamnit isn't it a beautiful day to be alive.
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"There is nothing more difficult yet more gratifying in our society than living with sincerity and acting from a place of largehearted, constructive, rational faith in the human spirit, continually bending toward growth and betterment."

Maria Popova, Brainpickings.

Martech & Reinvention

It’s a mad time in marketing, as we lurch forward through a great blurring of marketing, tech and platforms. The shift, despite what many might say, is pretty seismic.

This new report from Scott Brinker and WPP on Martech 2030 is unmissable. The report describes the age of the augmented marketerl, using 5 key trends, 1. No code, 2. Platforms, technology and marketplaces, 3. The great app explosion, 4. From big data to big ops and 5. Harmonising humans and machines. Illuminating stuff.

These trends, among others, are forcing people to reinvent what they do and how they do it. 
Here’s a few recent examples of people and brands actively reinventing how things are done:
  • 440k people tuned in to watch Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez live streaming herself playing the game “Among Us” with some internet celebs on Twitch. Meeting the people, where they are, to encourage them to vote. Watch it here. Awesome.
  • Gordon Ramsey has 13m followers on TikTok and over 10m views on 32 of his 50 TikToks like this one here. It's entertaining stuff.
  • The reinvention of Gucci, as articulated by @zoescanmon is unreal and has tech, platforms, creativity, collaborations and invention at its heart.
  • Or look at Billy Eilish's ticketed livestream concert that she ran, with support from Spotify and Verizon and a host of celebs also via @zoescamnmon.

Creative Culture

Appreciate we waffle on about creativity a lot here but still's awesome. Right?

New ideas, directions, perspectives. Brings change. Brings progress. 

This was a good read on how creativity became the engine of our economy. Over time, our understanding of creativity evolved from a godlike power, to a human one and then, an integral part of economic growth. In 1963 Theodore Levitt wrote an article in the HBR, where he defined creativity as coming up with new ideas and innovation as the realisation of an idea to achieve a valued organizational outcome. An important distinction. Creativity needs space to breathe. Space to be crap, weird, wild and then wonderful. Innovation can make it happen and deal with the politics, the limitations, approvals and investment. Leave creativity wild.

This piece was also a good reminder on how creativity isn't a gift but a way of operating, in an open, wild and playful mode. Being relaxed, expansive and less purposeful and fearlessly getting ideas out there is also key. As Picasso says here "To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing”.

This is very much the culture fostered at Pixar under Ed Catmull and a good read on that here. He said "Part of our job is to protect the new from people who don’t understand that in order for greatness to emerge, there must be phases of not-so-greatness". Sometimes, you have to squint to see.

5 things we read this week:
  1. A restaurant staffed by dementia patients “the restaurant of mistaken orders”.
  2. I think I’ve forgotten how to socialise. Funny.
  3. 11 immutable laws of advertising. Number 11, have fun underwater.
  4. Wow. Ex groceries, e-commerce is currently 40% of UK retail.
  5. Long but enjoyable read about submarines 36 thousand feet under the sea.

Listening: This cover of Bowie and Queen's Under Pressure by Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeah's and the country great Willy Nelson, is everything you need to hear right now. Madly relevant right now, feels like a song for this moment.

It's the terror of knowing what the world is about
Watching some good friends screaming
'Let me out'
Pray tomorrow gets me higher, 
Pressure on people, people on streets

Chipping around, kick my brains around the floor
These are the days it never rains but it pours've got this far.....good hustle....

Just to say, this newsletter is a labour of love. If you have any feedback, good or bad, it's welcome. Also. if you have a challenge or you're feeling a little stuck, we'd love to help. 
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