Are you just plain boring?

Are you just plain boring? By Kev O’Sullivan, Executive Creative Director.

“When will my life begin?” Mandy Moore laments via sing-a-long song in 2010’sTangled. If you haven’t seen it, now’s kinda the time.

Based on the German fairy-talepro Rapunzel, by the Brothers Grimm no less, the protagonist knows a thing or two about being isolated – and while she didn’t have Microsoft Teams, Uber Eats or even a Bob Iger Masterclass subscription, she pulls out plenty of creative pursuits to tide her over: from painting all over her walls to, of course, brush-brush-and-brushing her hair.

And as many of us may wonder when our lives will re-begin, the truth Is that this is probably life at its purest. And the only rescuing we may need is from ourselves.

It’s not just purer for those on the front line, or those in deep meditation or reflection, those furloughing, those freaking out or those recovering from or suffering the virus. For those of us simply waking, working, eating, working out, watching TV and sleeping, life just got very pure.

Yet whether you’re a young Alpha or proud member of the silent gen, there appears to be a slight issue with pure. An undistracted, uncontaminated, unsocial existence secluded at home is simply uncomfortable and really weird. We’ve even taken to clapping for a distraction.

Our biggest societal fear of all may not be COVID-19 or the potential end of days. It may not be economic meltdown. Something far scarier (or at least universally scary) is the notion of becoming bored. And perhaps living our most pure, straightforward lives might be boring.

Or, it might be exactly what us people, our businesses and our brands need?

For starters, as many a parent has snapped at many a teenager, surely only boring people get bored? If most lives have been reduced to their purest, most straightforward forms, only the truly boring will be rendered bored?

Now, some of the biggest global brands have stayed unboring by not only redistributing their wealth and by redirecting skills and materials to produce PPE but by doing so quickly and openly. And the communications? Unfussy and, yes, straightforward.

Meanwhile some of the more modest brand initiatives have leant into straightforward and sturdy infrastructures. These infrastructures may be workmanlike, pragmatic, proper but in no way boring. Take the UK network of foodbanks, The Trussell Trust has made a humungous difference at a tough time – with many brand partners. These brands deserve every credit for foregoing their usual loud brand marketing for pure philanthropy, and awareness-raising of vulnerable groups.

The largescale gifting to health workers by brands has become much more than just virtue signalling. Fortunately for humanity, brands are being far more tactful and authentic than ever by just doing what they do.

Even fast food brands sharing their recipes with foodies, or performers like John Krasinski hosting makeshift talk show Some Good News (SGN) are winning across social channels, because they are unboring brands AND people being as pure as they can.

But what happens if amongst all this straightforwardness, you find yourself bored or boring?

Well the answer is the same for both people and brands. Either do what you’re best at (like the hilarious John Krasinski) or do what you can (like those production lines). The joy of a purer world is that (most) people values what matters, over flashy marketing.

Fortunately, every person and every brand is good at something. And even the most boring people and brands can lend a hand.

And if not, maybe just stay at home for now. Brushing your hair.

Further Reading

Where else is creativity being seen in its purest form? Why, on TikTok of course. All you need is a mobile and questionable dignity:

Find out about the pure creativity deep inside with this test for Adobe‘s Create Magazine:

Creativity is not confined to the creatives. Here’s how important it is to everybody, and how to learn it:

And if all else fails, surprise yourself: