Being creative means being nosy. Curious if we’re being polite. Rule-breaking 1600’s style.
I discovered this brilliant fact about the humble mince pie today and love how it demonstrates human ingenuity, creativity and rule-breaking. The mince pie has a long history. The original pies were large and shaped like a manger, usually filled with minced mutton and spices. The Christmas pie became frowned upon by the puritan authorities. It was banned as it was considered it to be Catholic ‘idolatry’ in the 1600’s.
So to get around the rules the pies became much smaller – to the size we know them today – and over time became filled with fruit and spice fillings. I must confess that I’m not a mince pie lover but I do love the history and creativity behind this festive tradition.
Rule-breaking is a tried and tested creative technique.
Business for Punks
In Business for Punks: break all the rules – the Brewdog Way, James Watt, co-founder of the company explains how this small Scottish craft beer has had startling growth due to the irreverence and controversy at the heart of its brand.
Brewdog uses stunts to generate media coverage and outshout its competitors. These include “…packaging a 55 per cent alcohol beer in stuffed road kill animals, and parking a tank outside the Bank of England. They employed a dwarf to petition for a two-thirds pint measure and naming a drink after the drugs cocktail that killed Hollywood star River Phoenix. Watt says
“Put your conscience and morals in a drawer, lock it, throw away the key and join the revolution” (FT.com)
Eschewing traditional advertising to market their products Watt told Marketing Magazine “I would rather take my money and set fire to it…it’s the antithesis of everything we stand for and everything we believe in. It’s a medium that is shallow, it’s fake and we want nothing to do with it’ (2013).
If you like its rule-breaking ethos, you can invest in the company via its innovative and unconventional Equity for Punks scheme, as Brewdog were early adopters of crowd funding.
Our Creativity in PR report has highlighted how big a part fear of failure plays in holding great ideas back. While in-house PRs said that courage was one of the three biggest drivers of great PR, they also said that their bosses’ unwillingness to try anything risky stopped more adventurous ideas in their tracks. Over two-thirds of agencies, meanwhile, agreed that their clients’ play-it-safe attitude was a barrier to delivering great work. (Holmes Report & Now Go Create Creativity in PR Report).