The Power of Creativity

A Seasoned Professionals Perspective 

Marty Kohr writing in my HUB visitors journal after his lecture

Marty Kohr writing in my HuB visitors journal after his lecture

 Who is Marty Kohr? You may not know him personally, but you know his work. Remember the ‘Whassup!’ Budweiser advertising campaign?  He was one of the masterminds behind that.

Rich Sweir owner of the HuB invited Kohr to speak on February 15, 2013. The complimentary lecture and luncheon included approximately one hundred creatives from   the community. Kohr who usually speaks for a full day, condensed his talk to an hour and a half.

View from one side of the HUB filled room with Marty Kohr.

View from one side of the HuB filled room with Marty Kohr.

Personally, I enjoyed his enthusiasm and energy in engaging an audience. As Michael Muscarella pointed out to me,” He uses his hands in way that pulls you in and keeps you interested.” What I walked away with wasn’t new fresh ideas, but a few quotes that will stick with me in my creative process:

“The most creative people are the most curious.”

“Look big, look bigger, than look micro.”

“Look to the familiar and then to the unfamiliar.”

Having a natural curiosity, I wanted to see what some of the other people who attended the lecture walked away with.

Packed house for Power of Creativity Lecture (photo by Cr*

Packed house for Power of Creativity Lecture (photo by

BIO:  Marty Kohr: Lecturer and Senior Associate Director of Employer Engagement.

Marty began teaching at Medill IMC program in 2008 after a 34-year career in integrated marketing communications at DDB, Y&R, Hal Riney and Leo Burnett on brands that include Budweiser (“Whassup!”), The Chicago Tribune, Heinz and Kellogg. He teaches persuasive messaging and entertainment marketing courses for undergraduate and graduate IMC students. Marty is also part of the Medill Career Services team working to strengthen employer engagement for the benefit of Medill students today as well as tomorrow.

Marty Kohr explaining his ad campaign.

Marty Kohr explaining his ad campaign.

Rich Swier – HuB

What I thought was interesting, the ability to bring somebody who grew up studying creativity from a traditional sense as part of an ad agency and traditional media. It’s cool to get a retrospective view-point and have him come here to the HuB because primarily the people who work here, have a completely generational different view-point from a digital perspective. To see the makeup and how ideas form is kind of the same, and applying it to traditional like the (“Whassup!”), and Budweiser in a war room in a big ad agency or a digital campaign your constructing inside an incubator in Sarasota, that the processes are very similar – that is what resonated with me.

How did you connect with Marty

Marty has connections in Sarasota through his work with Budweiser. John Saputo; owner of Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, L.P.  is a part of a small group that works with these agencies and the connection he has to Sarasota has been growing. We crossed paths because he teaches creativity and those who know Marty thought, “Oh wow you need to talk to the HuB because that’s kind of our creative epicenter,” so I literally just met him a couple of months ago!

 Assunta Swier – Three Kitcheneers

Inspiring, Marty was humble and I really appreciate him visiting the HuB.

 Raymmar Tirado –Cr8inc

The books and perspective were big for me, I like to see how others perceive creativity. I wish he would have had longer. I like how he tied everything back to a real life example and a campaign.

Barak Hirschowitz – Hospitalio Recruitment

It was an amazing experience, great to hear a very accomplished ad guy. He gave me some new ideas to think about. What was nice, is to have someone at his level validate the things we’ve been doing right and what were not doing right.

 Sharon Hirschowitz – Hospitalio Recruitment

Inspired by his thoughts on stepping back and letting the process happen and you get the most out of creativity when you’re more relaxed and not overworked and dialed in. That is what I got out of it.

David Daly – Sarasota Day

It was a luncheon that reminded you on how to grease the wheel and to think outside the box. What stood; out he said – Think big think bigger think macro – When you look at a project you have to look at it from 10,000 feet but also look it from ground level – I thought that was important. (Marty used the analogy of looking at Google earth then zooming in all the way to the marco).

A Quinton Taratino quote he showed in his presentation stuck with me, “Every movie I make is stolen from every movie I have ever seen.” It’s true, nothing is original and I thought and related most things to music – every song I write I am pulling from this artist or that artist and a combination of artists that move me. Whether you’re making ad campaigns or your making music, you have people who influence you. It reminded me that it’s okay to pull from these influences because your supposed to, there is nothing original, it’s all looking at the same things just different ways of spitting it out. Everything is a combination of all things

Michael Muscarella – Shift Design Haus

Not to say that I’m smart, but its basic info for the creative.  As Marty said, “A lot of the books you read are the same, they are written from different people, everyone steals ideas from everyone.” I found it as a refresher in creativity and learning – creativity in the process, as a creative, I do that everyday. I like that he said to shelf the sun, then look for more stuff to go with that idea. The problem with us is that we think we have ‘the’ idea, and we focus it on that instead of connecting the little dots. It was cool, a lot of info we knew, he was fun, light and I appreciated it.

Whether it was a refresher course for some, or new lessons learned Marty Kohr was a breath of fresh air for everyone who had the honor of hearing him speak. Thank you to the HuB for continuing to keep Sarasota informed and ahead of the curve.


One thought on “The Power of Creativity

  1. Dayle, I’m pleased you and others found my presentation worthwhile. It was great meeting you and I look forward to our paths crossing at the HuB again soon. All the best, Marty

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