October 1, 2023

Digital Marketing Education

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Advertising and alcohol—why a Gen Z creative thinks the industry should sober up

As a creative, I genuinely believe you can have better conversations and make better connections when you’re involved in an activity other than drinking. There is a lot more space for intentional conversations. For example, I organized a bowling party for my birthday and two of my friends began chatting—one who worked in tech and the other a stylist. Those people connected afterward and are now collaborating creatively. They both drink too, further reiterating my point that everyone can appreciate spaces where drinking isn’t the main activity.

I believe our industry can do a lot more to steer people away from booze-filled work events. If you’re rewarding employees for their hard work, spending your entertainment money on putting a credit card behind a bar is a lazy option. For those who don’t drink, you’re not getting the benefit of that freebie and you’re not going to be present outside of work if it’s not something that you enjoy.  

More and more Gen Z creatives are rejecting the standard of drinking or at least entertaining the idea of sober curiosity. Given how social media-obsessed many of us are, it’s often in the pursuit of creating more informed experiences that allow us to display our multi-potentiality, rather than fill our feeds with pictures of us looking sweaty with bloodshot eyes.

The industry still has a diversity issue. With agency life based so much on communication and relationships, if so much of that communication happens in a pub, you immediately isolate people who look at the industry and question whether it’s for them.

For agencies, it’s time to think outside the box, cater for different audiences and come up with some other ideas for places for employees to bond. So, whether it’s bowling on a Tuesday evening, running on a Wednesday or chess on a Thursday, there’s something for anyone looking for a sober opportunity to connect.


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