Creativity’s role in marketing celebrated in new book

A new book from marketing consultancy Oystercatchers features portraits of marketing leaders alongside their thoughts on creativity.

Marketing consultancy Oystercatchers has partnered with photographer Rankin and influencer marketing agency The Fifth to launch Creative Influence – a book celebrating creativity’s role in marketing.

The book features photos of more than 40 senior marketers from some of the UK’s biggest brands shot in Rankin’s studio, alongside their thoughts on the role of creativity in business.

Here is a selection:

Michelle McEttrick, group brand director, Tesco

“Creativity is that unexpected thought, turn of phrase, piece of art/music/fashion/protest that makes us sit up straighter. It can deepen our passion for something or someone, or throw open the door to an entirely new one. It inspires equal amounts of awe and envy. And when it’s at its best, like the B-side of Abbey Road, it’s endlessly enjoyable.”

David Wheldon, CMO, RBS Group

“Creativity. More important than ever before in marketing. A product of discipline, rigour, great use of data and imagination. To connect, inspire and move, great art, architecture and advertising all need to put the heart before the head. As Maya Angelou so beautifully said: ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forger how you made them feel’.”

Sharry Cramond, marketing director, food and hospitality, Marks & Spencer

“Creative is an adjective not a noun. That means it isn’t a job on its own, it’s a measure of how you do whatever job you do: creative marketer, creative strategist, creative executive.

“In communications, creative is what separates the extraordinary from the ordinary and that will be different every time – there can’t be a formula for that. But a good guide is, if the work doesn’t make us feel slightly nervous, then we haven’t pushed ourselves far enough.”

Syl Saller, chief marketing and innovation officer, Diageo

“Creativity is something we all need, and very few of us think we have. But that is simply not true. It is down to us to find within our own kind of creativity and nurture it. From a very young age, my brother, an illustrator, had magic in his hands that I didn’t. I found my way in taking up pottery, with an eye for form that I developed over time.

“Today, in the marketing world, I am in awe of our creative partners who dream ideas beyond my imagination and who make magic beyond my vision. I try not to get in their way. But still, I am aware I need to nurture my creativity and that of those around me to do the best work of their lives.

“It’s looking for that special something in each individual – whether it’s creativity in problem solving, in having a vision of the future, or in connecting the dots in ways that surprise and inspire. Creativity is within all of us and there is nothing more satisfying than creating an environment in which it can flourish.”

Ellie Norman, marketing and communications director, Formula 1

“Creativity is the ability to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s an incredibly powerful and valuable skill that helps find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems.

“Creativity connects things together in order to derive new meaning or value. It’s a phenomenon, a spark of an idea that you need to achieve your goals. Never easy, often bloody hard; however, when nailed, it connects with people on different levels and leaves an impact.”

Catherine Kehoe, managing director of group brands and marketing, Lloyds Banking Group

“Creativity catches in your throat, makes the hairs on your neck stand up, brings a tear to your eye and puts an extra beat in your heart. Creativity is the story you can’t forget, the inspiration you can’t ignore.”

Margaret Jobling, chief marketing officer, Centrica Group

“Real creativity is a gift, it is about creating a strong emotional connection with people, bringing to life the world in new and insightful ways. Easy to say but hard to do.”

Please contact Oystercatchers’ Rebecca Lalonde at to purchase a copy of the book.