Thanks to the Coronavirus, Creativity is Replacing Linear Logic

Mark Kooyman
6 min readApr 8, 2020

It’s been about 90 days ago when the media world proclaimed it…

“The Interactive Digital Community has arrived.”

They went on… “More people are using their smart phones, iPads and mobile lap-tops to interact with one another than on a human-to-human level.”

Long before the start of 2020, the mindset of America re-shifted to a digital world of organization and logic.

If I hit this menu option… if I key in this password… if I touch this picture on the screen… if I tell Alexa to do this… everything happens on a linear sequence of logic, fact and predictable sequential flow.

God love the Millennials. As a generational group they transitioned with technology. Many of them actually started school when Internet access was done with the dial-up phone line.

Boomers and GenXers might have their own quirks, but they jumped quickly on the band-wagon of linear logic and predictability.

Zoomers… might actually be the most creative of any generational group out there despite literally being raised in a totally mobile, totally interactive, totally accessible world of technology.

More about Zoomer later.

As I wrote a couple of blogs ago, the cracks are beginning to appear among the Digital Diadem.

In the last several weeks, the dam has collapsed and the flood of confusion, fear and uncertainty has taken hold of many in the world around us.

The media has been the catalyst, but the media is not the what has fueled the fears.

I have shared multiple times in the blog posts about how at EXPERIENCE we view the challenge of brands today…

Essentially all organizations and businesses are sitting in very dark rooms and the mission is to get out and into the world outside. But the challenge is doing so without running into the stuff that junks up the room.

You can strike a match and light a candle over here… and invest and turn on a light over there, but the room will never be fully lit.

At some point in time, you have to form a strategy to get to the door and be brave enough to start the journey to it.

And then I read what the media promoted 90 days ago…

“The Interactive Digital Community has arrived.”

The mindset of the global public whether housed in Beijing or London or Rome or New York… the digital world is linear… it is logical… it is predictable… it formulaic.

If I ask Alexa, she has an answer.

All I have to do is click onto Google and it directs me to the content to solve the challenges and problems of the world.

I don’t make this up.

I have had several meetings with digital ad agencies in which I was told that they did not need market insight because they operated within a community of rich datasets that “tells them exactly what to do.”

Life is linear. Artificial Intelligence is the next market driver. Nothing is unsolvable. Just ask and the answer will be there.

And then came the Coronavirus.

As I write this blog, there are many more health conditions where we do not have a cure… cancer, heart attacks, HIV/AIDS, Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Epilepsy, Leukemia, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy and Parkinson’s Disease.

When I have raise comparative numbers over the last few weeks with colleagues, friends and peers, the knee-jerk response is that we have flu shots for it.

Okay… well so far this season that started in October of 2019 through today, we have had more than 50,000 Americans die from the flu. As I write this bog, at 3pm in the afternoon on April 8, 2020, we have had 14,250 deaths from the Virus.

I feel for individuals who are battling the Virus.

Nearly 80% of those individuals not only never step into a hospital, the vast majority do not even interact in-person with a medical team — no docs, no physician assistants, no nurses, no diagnostic technicians.

Many actually participated in the test from their cars in a drive-thru.

I feel for individuals who are battling the Virus because many of them sit with the “V” in scarlet letters forever branded on their records… alone… for a mandatory 14 days.

As much as the 400,000+ individuals encountering the Virus have battled through it, there is more profound psychological impact upon a society hell-bent on linear logic in which the answers should logically be there.

There is just no reason that we can solve this Pandemic with a click.

I am not writing this blog to promote gloom and doom. The press commands that badge of dishonor.

I am writing this to actually showcase a revolution that is taking place right before our eyes. And surprisingly, the initiators of the revolution just might be the Zoomers.

Yes. Generation Z…the Zoomers…those born into not just technology, but mobile technology.

In this calendar year, the leading edge of Generation Z has entered the college student life and the trailing edge is in first grade.

They are the kids I showcased leading into 2020.

I spend a lot of time with Zoomers. My niece and nephew are both Zoomers. One of our clients whose concept is underwritten by Disney is immersed with Zoomers.

As much as they interact with technology day-in and day-out, they have integrated it as just a part of world around them.

Unlike the Millennials that focus on the mechanics of mobile technology and psychologically separate the digital world from their human world, the Zoomers see it all as one.

When the linear process flow fails to arrive at answers, it is the creative process that steps in. A process that divorces itself out of the model of logic.

If you have studied much of European history, it is amazing to see how post the past times of pandemics and plagues, there was a resurgence of the arts and innovation.

Zoomers are the individuals right now that are dropping conventional parameters and taking local action.

They are coming up with ingenious was to get food, medical care… even craft supplies to those in need. They are setting up stands where folks can come by and pick up scarfs to wear as masks or drop off canned foods and toilet paper for others in need.

I try to avoid politics in this blog… but maybe networking together a group of Zoomers across the U.S. might provide better Presidential counsel than advisors rooted in Washington, Wall Street and San Francisco.

And the Millennials are the next generational group to follow in the foot-steps of the Zoomers.

Believe it or not, but the Millennials are beginning to shed their addictions to the linear logic of the digital world.

Leading into this past weekend, CNN did a story that showcased Millennials shopping at the grocery stores during stay-at-home lock-downs.

The highlight of the story was what they are NOT buying and what instead, they are buying.

They are NOT buying the prepared dinner kits, nor the already cooked meats, nor the frozen foods. What they are buying are the fresh vegetables, fresh meats and fish, fundamental baking products like salt and seasonings, milk and butter, eggs and flour.

A story ran in Reuters today that Millennials are now even baking bread from scratch!

When I was at an Atlanta Super-Kroger yesterday, I was amazed at how many Millennials were shopping the aisle with the pots and pans.

But what is the most fascinating is how Millennials interviewed in the CNN story talked about “personalizing recipes.”

Just as Millennials gravitate to the run-down houses where they can add their personalized statement of décor, they are doing the same thing with recipes and what they cook up to put on their dinner plates.

The next time you go to a grocery store, go check out the aisle of where the cleaning supplies are kept and see how many empty shelves there are in the dish washing section… NOT the dishwasher section… the dish washing section.

When I was at the Kroger and went to get some nice organic dish washing lotion that was also good for the hands, I was struck by how empty the shelves were. And then a Millennial couple came by and grabbed a bottle of Joy.

I asked them if they were really washing dishes or were they using the Joy to wash their hands.

And they quickly replied that they were actually washing dishes and pots and pans each night and that they found the time to be special time.

They went on about how during the time that they spend washing dishes they have some of the richest conversation between one another. They added how much more depth there was in the conversation than a set of the few words they read when texting.

Amazing how revolutionary it gets when linear logic falls short.

If you are reading this and now pondering just what might be evolving from your brand’s perspective, unplug Alexa and give us a call.

We are not sitting behind walls locked in and doing nothing… we are out and talking with people… masked and unmasked folks alike.



Mark Kooyman

CEO & Discovery Chief at EXPERIENCE Insight Group, Inc. In the business to discover and craft brand experiences that humans seek out and engage in.