As an advertising writer, my job is to influence, enlighten and engage people.  I could point to a multimedia Lexus campaign I wrote which sold every vehicle allocated to the dealer and say ‘that was the most creative thing I’ve ever done.’ Or I could tell you about the campaign I wrote that helped reduce the euthanasia rate in Mecklenburg County by 25% that was pretty freaking creative. Or, I could go on – but won’t. I’ve got 300 words and need to get this out. 

My point is, making people think about a thing differently, or applying emerging technology to media is not creative. You want to be creative? Create a completely new word for an idea that no one has ever even heard of before. Go ahead. I’ll give you a few minutes. 





Did you create the word? Cool. Now try and sell it. 

Sadly, humans are not creative. Creativity only exists at the ‘divine entity’ level. I wrote a couple of blog posts on this last year and stand behind them. But what I’ve noticed watching thousands of advertising people from across the globe on Twitter is that we’re kind of attached to being ‘creative.’ It helps us justify getting our elbows pierced and our eyelids tattooed. It means we’re able to be “different” from others and get away with it. Trust me, I’ve done it. I know. 

But believing we’re creative is a deception caused by the ego. Am I clever? Yes. Innovatively clever. But unlike true creativity where you ‘create’ a completely new idea that has never been conceived before, I have rules to follow. Lots of them. I just think differently than most people, within the rules. 

That’s why the most ‘creative’ thing I’ve ever done was have two orgasms that resulted in the creation of two humans who, despite having all the normal human parts, are distinctly original souls. 


Jim Mitchem/@jmitchem

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Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.