TED Talks for Marketers to Boost Creativity in 2022

5 Must-Watch TED Talks for Marketers to Boost Creativity in 2022

Saadiya Munir
7 min readDec 30, 2021

“Many campaigns are built around a media platform. Sometimes marketers forget that media platforms are enablers of big ideas. They aren’t the big ideas themselves.” -Tom Fishburne

Whether you are a student working on a science project or a manager looking for a new marketing strategy, sometimes we are all stuck at some point sitting in a brainstorming session with a looming deadline looking for some great idea to work on & can’t come up with a single topic.
With the recent development in digital marketing & social media platforms, the production of high-quality and relevant content is becoming more essential for brands. Content plans & strategies which took months to approve and then execute now need to be right on the tip of your hands. With this increasing demand for ideas, how can one keep up his brain flowing with fresh ideas?

Many social media managers ( read as “humans who have to be as receptive as bots”) working in the marketing world, can understand the ineptness when you have a boss who is never wrong, clients that mostly act like your wife, an approaching deadline, a week’s worth of content scheduling & there you’re sitting with a coffee, staring at the graphs on your screen with no idea what you’re going to post.

We all have been there, stuck in a creative rut.

Many theories are trying to uncover the truth behind the fact that why some of the best creative ideas come to you in the shower or while folding the laundry, or at 3 am when all you need is sleep. There is a whole mechanics of human creativity which is being discovered, researched & addressed to help you dodge a creative roadblock.

TED Talks are one of them, a not-for-profit conferences where you can find people who have been at the point where you are right now, sharing their human experiences on how they overcome the difficulties they’ve been facing in their respective fields, discussing ideas, trends & innovations. TED Talks encourage the idea of taking the complex concepts & delivering them in a digestible way for everyday audiences. Following are some of the TED Talks that can help a lot in getting those ideas flowing & support digital marketers to think in a better way to manage their social media.

1. The Happy Secret to Better Work

Starting with Shawn Achor, an American positive psychology expert & bestselling author’s TED Talk on “The Happy Secret to Better Work.” Shawn Achor starts it with a sweet & funny childhood story about how he convinced his 5 years old sister that she was a unicorn after she had fallen down from the bunk bed while playing & got herself hurt. Later on, he comes up with a graph-based on some data, but not as you might expect.

Explaining the concept of “The absence of disease is not health,” this TED Talk is definitely going to give you a fresh mind & a different lens through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality. As he explains that if you change that lens, you can change every single outcome at the same time. The overall talk is about finding the way to be happy in the present to make our brains work harder, faster, & more intelligently with some science related to happiness psychology.

Happiness is the joy you feel moving towards YOUR POTENTIAL. -Shawn Achor

2. How to Get Your Ideas to Spread

Seth Godin, a well-known author, blogger & former business executive, gives this Ted Talk about getting your ideas spread out.
The consumer doesn’t care about you at all, they just don’t care.

Maybe this sounds a little weird to you, but as you listen to him talking about the limitation of time & increase in choices, you will agree with his critical thinking about the societal trends. If you’re a digital marketer or social media manager, then this talk is surely a must-watch. The essence of idea diffusion is to make it remarkable & bear with him with his definition of remarkable to get the best marketing advice of your life. Here is a little wrap-up of rules from him.

  1. “The design is free when you get to scale.
  2. The riskiest thing you can do now is safe.
  3. Very good is boring & average, it is one of the worst things you could possibly do.”

“If it’s very good, it’s not going to work, because no one is going to notice it” –Seth Godin

3. The Theory of Creativity

For all those who have been pointed by someone & told that you’re not creative & you believed them, need to watch Duncan Wardle’s theory of creativity to stop relying on that. According to Duncan Wardle, Creativity & Innovation Keynote Speaker & Business Consultant, he has never heard in his training to people across the world, the answer to “Where do you get most of your creative ideas?” is these two words “At Work.” He explains further the four states of brains & why we hear ourselves saying “I don’t have the time to think” & can’t have that big idea.

“Our river of experience & thinking is a massive barrier to innovation & creativity.”

Imagine someone asked you to draw a house in 7 seconds, we all know what we’re going to draw, right? The same house with a triangle roof, the door in the middle & cross windows.

That’s what the leading architects drew when they were asked to by Duncan, & that’s how he further explained to get out of the river of thinking with a naïve expert. Nobody on earth would dislike Walt Disney or Disneyland, but even if you do so, you’re still going to love the way he takes the example of Disneyland & explains the reframing of challenges.

#4. The Art of Innovation

Guy Kawasaki, marketing specialist, author, venture capitalist, delivers his best in this TED Talk of “The Art of Innovation.” Worked in apple, an entrepreneur, an advisor to Google, this guy has done a lot of things & have learned a lot about innovation, which according to Kawasaki, he wants to pass on to you now so you can change the world.

Starting off with how you can change the world, he gives some of his insights from a career that is worth listening to for marketing geeks or a start-up. Here is a little of a summary of steps towards significant innovation:

  1. “Truly want to make meaning
  2. Make a Mantra: why your meaning should exist?”

Don’t Make a Mission Statement, Make a Mantra -Guy Kawasaki

  1. “Matter of perspective: Great innovation occurs on the next curve.
  2. Roll the DICEE: “Am I creating something that is Deep, Intelligent, Complete, Empowering, & Elegant?” “Am I rolling the DICEE?”
  3. Don’t worry, be happy or “Don’t Worry, Be Crappy.” It’s OKAY to have elements of crappiness in your revolution.”
  4. Letting 100 flower blossom “Positioning & branding ultimately comes down to what the consumer decides, not what you decide.”
  5. Polarize People: Great products polarize people, don’t be afraid of polarizing people.
  6. You need to ignore those people who say, it can be done, it shouldn’t do, not necessary.
  7. “To be an innovator, you need to be in denial.”
  8. “If you’re an engineer you make a product that is unique & valuable if you’re a marketing person you communicate to the world that your product is unique & valuable.”
  9. Perfect your Pitch: “Customize your introduction, use 10 slides in your presentation, don’t let the bozos get you down.”

5. Enter the Cult of Extreme Productivity

The last TED Talk on our list is the most dangerous TED Talk in the world apparently. Here is a satanic inversion of all the motivational speeches you have heard on YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. with this funny-looking guy Mark Adams who is also a Vice President & Head of Innovation at VICE.

Mark Adams first TED Talk was banned, as they say, the ideas in it were dangerous. Mark starts this one by declaring him a loser, & confessing all he & his brother used to do was pranks & practical jokes. According to him, if he can change then anybody on this planet can change, which is precisely what you need to hear right now. He further explains how we need to update our human operating systems so that the rate of change will not get ahead of us & leave us in an unpleasant situation.

We all have done this in our lives, thinking that this is the real meaning of being productive, ambitious, or passionate. Listing the goals, thinking to achieve them through “willpower,” chanting “My name is Will Power” for the next few days, reading books for inspiration on “Productivity Hacks,” getting into the hacker mentality, or start eating food which people eat in Silicon Valley & that’s where life hits you.

Thankfully, you’re not the only one, Mark Adams also admits it as another “trap,” and it doesn’t work. According to him:

“Tomorrow is a fictional land where 99% of all human creativity happens, but when it actually comes, it’s just the now again”.

Bear him for the next few minutes & you could literally relate to him with the procrastination issue he is talking about & how his life changed.

Adding these TEDx Talks to your watch-list for2022 will surely help you out in being more productive, creative, & open up to new ideas, as that’s what a marketing person is asked for his whole life!



Saadiya Munir

Computer Science graduate, learning the new curves of digital marketing.