Cocktail Vision: the Answer to Great Creative

The Spirit of Spirits Drinking Can Provide the Confidence to Sell Ideas and Prevent Overthinking Them

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Darryl Ohrt
Darryl Ohrt
My friend Wendy was teasing me over the weekend about my vision, and how I need glasses. We were joking about how I see the world through a "two-cocktail buzz." That's not too far from the truth. And this got me to thinking that a "two-cocktail buzz" might just be the best way to run an agency or marketing department.

Two drinks may be just enough to lower your inhibitions, but not enough to get you into serious trouble. With your inhibitions lowered, you'd likely say "yes" to things that you'd typically over-think and turn down, if completely sober. Plenty of brands could benefit from this kind of thinking.

Two drinks gives you the confidence to sell your idea like it's the best thing your organization has never done. Two drinks gives you enough of a confident swagger to tell the client she's wrong.

Almost all of the greatest work in our industry took someone brave enough to pitch an idea that scared them. It took someone brazen enough to not let clients, management or co-workers muck it up with over-thinking. And it took someone drunk in love with an idea to not let a committee get in the way.

Perhaps the executives in "Mad Men" have it right -- we should be drinking. Or at the very least, view the world through some blurry creative goggles.

Our industry has a demoralizing habit of pushing guides (or decks) filled with rules into our campaigns, our processes and our thinking. Too many people say, "We can't because ..." or that "corporate would never go for that." Why not? If you had a two-cocktail buzz, would you be more likely to give it a shot? Could blurred vision help interpret those rules in a more fantastic way? I had the pleasure of co-presenting some daring ideas to a dream client a couple of weeks ago, who remarked "I don't care about making people in corporate happy. I care about creating great work." That's two-cocktail blurry vision at its best.

I'm not advocating "Mad Men"-like liquor-pounding at the office. But I do wonder how things might work if we all walked around with an almost-drunk bravado.

So as you head into a weekday full of meetings and calls, ask yourself how you might do things differently if you had a couple of cocktails spiriting your day. What would you approve? What would you agree is a worthwhile idea? Who might you give some more credence to?

I won't be drinking this week, but I will be going without glasses ... and enjoying my creative, un-limiting, two-cocktail vision.

Darryl Ohrt is a former punk rocker and chief contributor to the greatest blog in all of the land, BrandFlakesForBreakfast. While his official title is president, his business card says he's "Prime Minister of Awesome" at Humongo (formerly known as Plaid). Darryl knows just enough to be dangerous. He's on the internet right now, playing, investigating and exploring. Watch out.
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