Rachel Barnes on creativity: collide to thrive and reveal your New Thinking

The June issue discusses creative collisions and celebrates the launch of Marketing New Thinking Awards
The June issue discusses creative collisions and celebrates the launch of Marketing New Thinking Awards

As the Marketing New Thinking Awards is launched, Marketing editor Rachel Barnes discusses what 'new thinking' means in a faster evolving landscape for brands and agencies.

We need to collide to thrive. This phrase really resonated with me, and the rest of the Marketing team, when we had a visit in May from the clever people at Iris, who believe this "entanglement" concept is the way forward. It struck a chord not least because it summed up this June issue of the magazine, in which we dive into creativity - where and how it flourishes and what constrains creative thinking.

As anyone who has undergone an office redesign will know, encouraging collisions of people – and ideas – is regarded as a way to get synapses firing and creativity sparking.


As Now's Kate Waters says in The Essay in the June issue, all too often we collude in safe approaches rather than generate genuinely creative thinking. Quoting Maria Popova, she adds: "To truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these pieces." Creativity can come from anywhere, but rarely from the routine and greyness of the mundane, says Will Harris.

We need to collide to thrive

Marketing New Thinking Awards

This idea of creative collisions is at the forefront of my mind right now for another reason. I’m proud to unveil the inaugural Marketing New Thinking Awards.

We’ve designed these awards to cover the strategic, creative and executional aspects of marketing, but, at the core, it’s all about new thinking. This is for marketers, and their agencies, who are embracing change, evolving, creating. As a result they are crafting brands ready for tomorrow, supported by world-class marketing.

New Thinking Logo

We are well aware there is no shortage of awards shows out there. And, as is the same with our magazine and online content strategy, we never want to be contributing to the noise and clutter. Less is more and, as you will see, we have just 12 categories.

As our co-chair of the judges, Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall, sums up, we hope the fact that the categories are designed upon strategic themes relevant to all marketers will mean these awards become an industry benchmark on strategy, ideas, execution and impact – and inspirational work from which we can all learn.

Strategy, ideas, execution and impact

This is exactly it: we have identified 12 important stories – from Cultural Shift to the Power of Partnership – that reflect why this industry is so dynamic and centrally positioned to drive change.

Joining Jonathan as fellow chair of our judges is Procter & Gamble’s Roisin Donnelly. I’m thrilled to have two such influential marketers on board as leading voices in the New Thinking Awards.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and whether you feel, as we do, that it is important to celebrate why marketing is now so much more than a department. Please email me with any feedback. We hope you join in to ensure that, as our esteemed co-chair says, we all get "a front row seat in the classroom of Great British excellence in marketing".

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