The Top 10 Muse Essays of 2019

See our most-read guest columns of the year

Guest essays are a key part of the lifeblood of Muse. We are proud to publish columns focused on creativity from all corners of the world—on topics ranging from business issues to personal inspiration. 

Pageviews are hardly a perfect metric in determining the quality of essays. But they do obviously show which essays from 2019 broke through and reached the most number of people. So, from among the almost 200 essays we published in 2019, take a look below at the 10 most-read. 

And if you'd like to write an essay for Muse in 2020, please get in touch. We have lots of different column franchises, and would love to hear your thoughts. 


The Game of Thrones Characters in Every Ad Agency

By Mark St. Amant
May 5, 2019

Which GOT characters are roaming the halls of your agency? Mark St. Amant broke it down for us, as a salute to the final season of the iconic HBO show. Read the story here.


Why Brand Purpose Is Everything, but Not Everything Is Brand Purpose

By Patrícia Weiss of
Aug. 21, 2019

What really matters isn't what or how brands do things, but why. Patrícia Weiss took a deep dive into the phenomenon of brand purpose, offering four guideposts for how successful brands are embracing their reason for being—through compelling brand storytelling. Read the story here.


5 Ways to Train Your Brain to Be More Creative

By Bas Korsten of JWT Amsterdam
July 24, 2019

Elite athletes train their bodies to be stronger and more agile. Why don't ad people train their brains to be more creative? Bas Korsten looked at some ideas and techniques for doing so that could benefit brands and agencies alike. Read the story here.


Swimming With Confidence in the Sea of Self-Doubt

By Ben Shaw of BBH London
July 15, 2019

Creativity is all about confidence, yet so many creatives are haunted by self-doubt. Ben Shaw looked at how we, as an industry, might make room for the quiet, for the new, for the frequently unheard? Read the story here.


Your Strategy Needs a Soul, Now More Than Ever

By Baiju Shah and Bill Theofilou of Accenture
Aug. 19, 2019

Shah and Theofilou argued that business strategy needs to become more human-centric, using empathy as its enduring compass, in order to stay agile in an unpredictable modern world. Read the story here.


Who Is Going to Make Us Laugh Now? Thoughts on the Closing of Barton F. Graf

By Anselmo Ramos of GUT
Aug. 12, 2019

When Anselmo Ramos was thinking of launching an indie agency, he sought advice from Gerry Graf. Upon hearing of the closing of Barton F. Graf, Ramos wrote this eulogy for the beloved shop—and offered some advice of his own in the wake of its demise. Read the story here.


20 Lessons I've Learned in 20 Years of Running David&Goliath

By David Angelo of David&Goliath
Nov. 19, 2019

In November 1999, David Angelo moved his family from New York to Los Angeles to start an ad agency called David&Goliath. Here are the 20 lessons he's learned in the 20 years since then. Read the story here.


What Creative Account Leaders Bring to Advertising Today

By Jeff Graham of Barkley
Oct. 14, 2019

Jeff Graham has long espoused a creatively oriented style of account leadership. In this piece, he offered five ways for account people to bring creativity to their jobs like never before. Read the story here.


I Took the Anna Wintour Creative Leadership MasterClass So You Don't Have To

By Greg Hahn of BBDO
Sept. 25, 2019

Still haven't gotten around to watching the Anna Wintour Creative Leadership MasterClass? That's OK—Greg Hahn watched it for you. Here are his key takeaways from Ms. Wintour's lessons on leadership. Read the story here.


The Gillette Ad Is Full of Shit. Actually, Four of Them

By Max Lenderman of School
Jan. 15, 2019

Gillette took heat in January for its ad addressing toxic masculinity. But Max Lenderman defended the brand for giving a shit—four of them, in fact. Read the story here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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