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August 7, 2022

About “Creativity Connects Us”

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When we worked on our new brand, we got the fun challenge of being our own client. Sometimes, this can feel like weaving an elaborate braid on the back of your own head. You know what you’re trying to create, but you can’t always see every angle.

After many sessions locked in a room going through interviews and brainstorms, we landed on a company belief statement that passed our test.

At only 3 words, “Creativity Connects Us” has a gravity that speaks to why we work in this industry, but also a directness and simplicity that makes it memorable.

For me, this statement felt right. I got into advertising because I always liked writing and drawing, but also because I wanted to create the next Meow Mix jingle or write a tagline that would be riffed on in Wayne’s World.

And yes, the chance to create pop culture is fun. Advertising, unlike more celebrated and prestigious arts, is partly beloved because it’s in the public domain. It may be absurd, it may be beautiful, it may be annoying, but it’s a ubiquitous part of everyday life.

But many modern agencies, like Superhuman, aren’t really in the mass communications space anymore. We’re more often in branding, consulting, business strategy, design thinking, experience strategy, product prototyping, software management, the list goes on.

And the brands we admire are no longer the ones who create the catchiest anthems during the Superbowl. They’re more likely brands that:

1. Use technology to level the playing field

2. Shift the means of production to small business owners

3. Challenge homogeneity

One of the brands I admire the most right now is Omsom. Named after a Vietnamese phrase used to scold children for being too noisy, Omsom is dedicated to “bringing proud, loud Asian flavors to your fingertips” with “no more cultural compromise.”

Founded by Vanessa and Kim Pham, daughters of Vietnamese refugees, Omsom injects a vital new perspective into food. Aside from products that bring East Asian flavors to more home cooks, their social media content aims to challenge American beliefs about Asian cuisine. Their Instagram slideshows approach big topics, from the idea that MSG is harmful, to the assumption that high-end Asian food is less authentic, to the credit Asian cuisine is due for modern vegan and vegetarian diets.

Superhuman, to be clear, had nothing to do with creating the Omsom brand. (You can see the case study from Outline here.) We just admire them from afar, and often think about the high standard of strategy, branding, creative and marketing they deliver.

Omsom, like any great brand, truly connects people through creativity. They tell stories, they build empathy, they create community and they inspire home cooks. What more could you want!?

At Superhuman, we believe all brands can elevate their category by bringing this level of strategic meaning and creativity to their story. Our clients live in very complex spaces, from government software to in-home healthcare to online security. But nothing excites us more than being able to immerse ourselves in these companies, understand their people, mythologies and roadmap, and turn it into a brand that feels uniquely their own.

You’ll see across our website that we’re focusing on our inspirations. For many of us, creative inspiration doesn’t necessarily come from the advertising and branding industry. We find it in painting, farming, sewing, cooking, writing children’s books, cultivating plants, spinning wool, acting in plays … the list goes on when it comes to our staff’s side ventures.

There’s a lot to learn in the smallest creative act, but as long as we can understand how it connects us to the world around us and challenges our biases, we’re doing something right. To put it another way, the best brands aren’t inspired by branding. They’re inspired by culture, philosophy and people. And that’s what we seek to pursue as we launch our new brand and belief.