Time Won’t Let Me

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”  – Kurt Vonnegut


One of my friends sent me a link to the new Starbucks video, probably because everyone knows I’m a Starbucks fan, and partially because it is so good.  It’s the long version of the TV spot you may have seen, called “Meet Me At Starbucks.

I loved it.  And then I hated it.

I loved it because it was a brilliant idea.  It didn’t mention anything close to coffee at any time but sent a clear message about the “specialness” of a visit to Starbucks.  It was the epitome of smart, “talkable”  marketing.

Then I hated it because it was such simple creativity, born from a great idea.  These “coffee people” are being more creative than most of the radio people I know.  We’re so focused on the small picture, what we need to accomplish immediately, that we overlook the bigger picture of what we’re all about.  And we have much more creative ability!

Part of the challenge is an industry trend away from creativity in favor of “efficiency.”  Also the fact that so many of us are busier than ever, with little time for anything more.  Another is the unfortunate fact that we’ve been refocused on this week that we forget there is a next year.

I’m doing everything I can to add “margin” to the lives of the creative people.  I know we have the horsepower and creativity to overcome the much quoted challenges we have, as long as we use it.  But we’re being overworked and micro-managed to the point creativity is living in the land of the unicorn.

If you’re in a position to do so, meaning management who cares, do what you can to bring back creativity to radio.  We’re not going to grow as an industry as long as we’re whipping people to the max.  Please join me in creating enough room for the creative people to create.  it can make a huge difference to our future.