Does Booze Help You Be More Creative? «

Does Booze Help You Be More Creative?

Serious question.

I have been known to enjoy the occasional pint of beer or two, although these days it’s quite the rare occurrence. During my formative years in London, I was rarely seen without a beer in hand. England, my birthplace, has a much more relaxed attitude to alcohol than here in the states. Every ad agency I worked in had fridges filled with ice-cold lager. When we had trouble cracking a brief, the CD or account team would often suggest we pop down to the local for a few jars. And we did.

Sometimes, the beers were just what we needed to loosen up and kick the writer’s block. On other occasions, we barely took a sip before things started to happen for us. (And very occasionally, we’d forget why we went to the pub. Before we knew it we were calling last orders and looking for the nearest kebab shop).

Looking back, I suspect it was not the beer but the change of scenery that was the biggest help. Being anywhere other than your desk is often just the catalyst you need to start the creative process. One of the first things my college professor told me to do was get out of the office once I had read the brief. Don’t think about it. Don’t write anything down. Just take a stroll and let your subconscious go to work on it for a while. If only we always had that luxury.

But I’ve also known creative folks who swear by wine, beer, shots, and other drugs. Coke was often on the menu in creative shops around London, and I’m not referring to the fizzy drink. My AD and I never touched anything harder than a pint of beer, but we knew who was doing what, and when.

Now, I’m not suggesting everyone who hits a mental block should go and get hammered. But does alcohol (and perhaps other drugs) grease the wheels of creativity? The Beatles and The Rolling Stones have openly admitted using all sorts of mind-expanding drugs, and I’d say they were very creative. However, advertising isn’t music, and hit records usually don’t have a strategy. So, yes to booze? Or does it only muddy the waters?


  • New ETFs From Scottrade - No Brokerage Fees

    There's no doubt that there are more exchange traded products now than ever.

    classy, black-and-white Corsair Graphite 600T case that says sci-fi, not hot rod. I want to get like eight of these things, ...
    Read More
  • 14 ETF Trading Strategies

    You may have heard of ETFs and some of you even have them in your portfolios, but not many investors are aware of the diverse ETF trading strategies these assets have to offer.

    Read More