Skip to content
March 26, 2013 / davebirss

Testing to see if alcohol makes you more creative


Last week, I conducted an experiment on behalf of The Drum magazine to see if alcohol does, in fact, make you more creative. Those of us old enough to remember the three-pint lunch have a sneaking suspicion that it can play a positive role. As long as it doesn’t turn into the six-pint-and-a-chaser lunch, of course.

So I’ve written a little piece in The Drum about it – which you can read on their website.

And, thanks to the film-making skills of Tom Baker, I can also share with you this lovely little teaser video:

We’re just about to put the ideas into testing to see if creatives work better with or without alcohol.

Once we know, you’ll be able to read about it in the magazine – and enjoy a full-length documentary video of the shenanigans.


November 21, 2012 / davebirss

Let’s talk about creativity – my interview on last night’s AWSC chat

Last night I did a Google Hangout show with the fantastic Doug Zanger and Newbear from Advertising Week.

They’re the main men behind the brilliant Advertising Week Social Club (or AWSC, for short).

They wanted to talk about creativity. So they put some questions out to their audience before giving me a grilling.

The four posers for the evening were:

• What do you think makes creative people creative?

• What’s your most important ingredient for creativity?

• Can you teach/create creativity – or is it an naturally-occurring talent/gift?

• Do you feel as though you *understand* creativity? Why or why not?

And here’s what we had to say:

You can also see what they had to say about the shenanigans right here.

November 20, 2012 / davebirss

My open letter to clients is up on The Drum

I forgot to blog about this!

It went up yesterday and is currently the most viewed article on the site!

Some people tell me they hate it. Others tell me they love it.

Go and read it on The Drum. And leave a comment to tell me what you think.

November 19, 2012 / davebirss

Are you ready for your 4 Minute Warning?

I’m doing some talky stuff again in a couple of weeks at The Drum’s 4 Minute Warning event.

I’ll be talking about innovation and how to make it work in business.

And as much as I’m delighted to be at the top of the speakers’ list, I know that I only made it to that lofty position because of an alphabetical quirk.

So here are some of the other people who’ll be outshining me on stage:

  • Laura Jordan Bambach – ECD of Dare and one of my favourite people in the industry
  • Rory Sutherland – Vice Chairman of Ogilvy, TED talker and tip-top raconteur
  • Russell Buckely – one of the founders of AdMob
  • Justin Cooke – Chair of BIMA and founder of Fortune Cookie
  • George Prest – ECD at R/GA
  • Ken Robertson – Head of Mischief at Paddy Power
  • lots more incredible people

If you’ve not got your tickets yet, it’s not too late.

Go along to the site and grab them now.

November 16, 2012 / davebirss

I wrote something for Advertising Week Social Club

A couple of weeks ago I was having a transatlantic chinwag with my chum Doug Zanger at Advertising Week. I’m helping them out with something exciting that I’ll be announcing soon – but in the meantime Doug asked me to write a piece for their blog. And because I sounded so excited about the time I spend at the School of Communication Arts, he wanted me to write about it.

So I did.

And you can read what I wrote right here.

November 7, 2012 / davebirss

What makes you more creative – beer or tea? Lab-rats wanted.

This isn’t a joke. I’m working with The Drum to conduct a little experiment. And we need some advertising creatives happy to be tested upon.

We’re calling this The Newt/Judge Experiment (work it out yourself). And it will go like this:

  • We’ll have two teams (each made up of one senior creative team, one middleweight team and some students).
  • Everyone will be given the same creative brief.
  • One team will consume lots of free booze while they work. The other team will be tea-total.
  • At the end of the night, everyone submits their work.
  • The work is then judged by top creative directors (to be announced soon)
  • Our findings are announced.

The whole thing will be covered by The Drum (who will also be picking up the bar tab!)

We’ll be conducting the experiment in 3 or 4 weeks. Think of it as practice for the Christmas party season.

All we need now are the creatives!

If you’re interested – or you know others that would be – send an introductory email to

Spread the word!

October 12, 2012 / davebirss

My Silicon Beach talk on how to kill creativity

Thanks to my book, I’ve spent much of the last year explaining the creative process to people and showing them how to have more ideas.

And during that time it’s become clearer and clearer to me that most organisations are actually set up to destroy ideas. Every part of the process leads to compromise, adequacy and the destruction of anything truly fresh.

That has led me to starting work on another potential book about how organisations destroy creativity; and what they can do to help it flourish.

So I decided to do my Silicon Beach talk about these very issues. But – to make it more interesting – I decided to do it from the opposite point of view. This talk is an instructional guide on how to murder ideas before they can have any effect on a business.

I’ve recorded a voiceover so you can hear most of what I spoke about. It’s less than 10 minutes. Enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: