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Welcome to the Creative Age: Bananas, Business and the Death of Marketing

Welcome to the Creative Age: Bananas, Business and the Death of Marketing

Mark Earls

ISBN: 978-0-470-84499-1

Aug 2002

292 pages

In Stock



This book chronicles the dawn of the age of creativity in business, when new ideas and practices based on creativity will drastically change the way we do business. Starting with an overview of the age of marketing, the book winds its way through the past and the present to show us the future of business, backed up with insights from sociology and psychology.

Foreword by Adam Morgan vii

Acknowledgements xi

Introduction: Bananas at Dawn 1

The ‘added-value’ banana 1

What’s it all about, Alfie? 3

Marketing hilarity 4

Resistance is futile 7

The death of marketing as an organizational principle 8

The War for Talent and how to win it 9

The Creative Age as a new organizing principle 9

Too ambitious by half? 10

Talking to the preacher man 11

How to use this book 12

Structure 12

Creative Age heroes 13

And dear reader … 14

1: Creativity Is Our Inheritance 15

The value of creativity 18

The man who knew too much 19

Creativity sees what isn’t (yet) 20

Creativity is our greatest inheritance 21

Creativity in the public services 22

But I’m not very creative … 23

The creative individual 25

The creative personality 27

What are we to make of the ‘facts’ of creativity? 29

Memories of the future 29

Team creativity = creativity to the power of N 30

Working together creatively 31

Leaving your agenda at the door 32

Diversity rules 33

Impro madness 34

Be kind to your fellow creators 35

Enjoy the journey, not the destination 35

Conclusions 37

Some questions 37

2: The Glorious Revolution 39

Looking forward and looking back 41

Change is a snowball made by many hands 42

Like frogs in a pot of water 43

The problem of history 44

The fertile ground 45

The Marketing Revolution and the doughboy 47

Something to believe in 48

Changing the world 49

The rise and rise of the brand 51

The final frontier? 55

What had happened? 55

Conclusions 56

Some questions 56

3: Tsunami 57

You’ve never had it so good 59

Tides of change 60

R-E-S-P-E-C-T 68

DIY careers 72

The importance of people 75

Tsunami and after 75

Some questions 76

4: Who and How We Are 77

It’s over 79

I am not who you think I am 80

The brain in action 83

Engaging the disengaged mind 84

Emotions and decisions 85

Humans as herd animals 87

The end of the individual? 92

Conclusions 93

Some questions 94

5: Ideas, Ideas, Ideas 95

Ideas and attention dollars 98

Home is here 101

This is the sound of the suburbs 102

‘Don’t be so English’ 104

Ideas and B2B 105

Ideas and microchips 107

Key characteristics of the Creative Age Idea 109

Conclusions 112

Some questions 113

6: All that You Can’t Leave Behind (but must) 115

Learning to let go 117

Tea with Andrew Ehrenberg 120

Asking silly questions 122

Shaky foundations and empty promises 123

More shaky foundations 125

Opinions aren’t much use 127

So where does this leave market research? 128

The brand and the snake-oil salesmen 129

Problem 1: brand gets in the way of the real problems 130

Problem 2: the claims made for the importance of the brand are overblown 133

Problem 3: the brand ties you to the past 134

Conclusions 134

Using the ‘bnard’ 135

Some questions 135

7: How to Have a Creative Age Idea 137

Not the idiot’s guide to ... 139

Concept 1: purpose, not positioning 140

Concept 2: interventions – it is what you do 144

Applying these concepts – what to do? 144

Conclusions 151

Some questions 152

8: Interventions – It is What You Do … 153

Catalytic conversions 155

Ideas and interventions 156

Control is an (un)helpful illusion 157

The science of complexity 159

What this means for business 161

More modesty, please 162

Interventions as the expression of the purpose-idea 164

Benchmarking your way into a corner 165

Interventions as instinctive actions 167

Management interventions 169

The intranet fallacy 170

Conclusion 171

Some questions 171

9: Advertising is Not Communication 173

The big question 175

Advertising as communication 177

What’s wrong with the communication model? 180

Advertising and politics 181

No market for messages 182

Other effects of advertising explained 184

Implications for advertising 185

Advertising a promotion can be an intervention 186

What advertising can learn from PR 188

The only good ad is an intervention 189

The end of specialisms 190

Conclusions 193

Some questions 193

10: The Shared Enterprise – Putting purpose ideas at the Heart of Business 195

Changing the world 197

Pornography for the Creative Age employee 199

What this costs business 200

A sense of purpose at the heart of the company 203

(not to be confused with) Mission statement mania 207

Purpose-ideas and humans as herd animals 208

Back in the Apple hot seat again 209

Purpose-ideas and self-alignment 210

Conclusions 211

Some questions 212

11: A Place You Want to Work in 213

A purpose-idea is not enough 215

Something for everyone 216

Fulfilment and flow 218

Flow and the workplace 220

It is what we do 223

Enter the accelerator manager 224

Thinking-by-doing 227

A new model 228

Why don’t we ‘do the do’ more often? 229

Choose your weapon to avoid the doing 230

Who needs complete control? 231

Conclusions 232

Some questions 232

12: Us – Together 233

Architecture as intervention 235

So what is a company? 236

The company anthill 238

Basic programming in the machine company 239

And in the Creative Age company? 240

The value of networks 241

Making this useful 245

I’m special, me 246

Mr Blandings and his dream house 247

Advertising’s 80:20 rule 248

What are we to do with the ad agency? 252

The new 80:20 rule 253

The network company 254

Our house 255

Opening up our house 255

Mutuality 256

Ideas, ideas, ideas (again) 256

Conclusions 257

Some questions 257

Postscript 258

All changed utterly 258

The most powerful force on the planet 259

A fresh start 259

Endnotes 261

Index 272

""... Using ingeniously insightful witty examples, mark Earls embarks on a radical and comprehensive critique of the fundamental principles of business and marketing..."" (Marketing Business, September 2002) 

""…a highly entertaining and thought-provoking denunciation of what’s gone wrong with marketing…Mark’s easy-flowing writing style will encourage you to try to spend the evening reading it at one sitting…"" ( 4 November 2002)

""…anyone interested in our industry (marketing), and the society we help to create, should read this book…"" (Research Magazine, February 2003)