On Halloween and Unconventional Creativity

On Halloween and Unconventional Creativity

Strange things tend to happen at the Switch offices, especially during Halloween Month.

It might be what happens when you plonk a digital marketing agency in the middle of the bermuda triangle of Mriehel: surrounded on all sides by industrial sites, real estate agencies, and a few very good coffee places, Switch tends to attract attention, in multiple ways. It might also just be the result of cramming 24 creative people into one open-walled office, and seeing what happens when you tap the glass.

The ‘Tyrannical’ Haunting.

Neon-bright post-it notes, scrawled with ‘tyrannical’, manifested in odd places. To date, Teri has found about 30, all with ‘tyrannical’ scrawled in the same long-stroked hand; she still finds post-it notes to this very day. This troublesome haunt has not managed to be rid of yet, as post-it notes are still appearing on top of the water fountain, or underneath a mouse-mat, or floating ominously against the glass door to the balcony against a background of void.

Dark Pablo

Our sweet-natured office pup Pablo brightens up the office with his slightly lopsided treat-fuelled canter, sheer enjoyment of sunbeams, and protective crane-warding tendencies, but on a bright, clear morning in October, the Pablo that came to the office was not the Pablo we knew. It looked like our Pablo, but it wasn’t.

This Pablo did not canter, he strode – with a purpose. He growled and snapped at offending ankles. This Pablo saw the crane coming, and let it menace the office.

Dark Pablo has an intense dislike of the colour red, and an uncanny ability to strike without being seen. He visited the office for an afternoon, and zealously hunted our lead designer’s ankles, only to disappear at the end of the day, leaving us with more questions than answers.

The office waits in fear for Dark Pablo to return.

Phantom Noises

It’s a quiet day in the office, and everyone is at work. Words are being written, images produced, and projects managed. Pablo is asleep. Peace and harmony are with us.

Then the fire-alarm goes.

People look up, dazed. Someone sensible (possibly Anne) urges everyone up, and towards the door to follow proper safety protocol – but then the alarm stops ringing as suddenly as it starts. The Switch team drifts back to their desks, unmoored for the rest of the day, waiting for another ringing bellow of that hideous alarm.

Spooky, Scary Digital Marketers

With all the creepy goings-on at the office, is it any wonder that Switch takes Halloween very seriously?

Up to a week before, Halloween was the shiver down everyone’s spines, with the main topic of conversation being what everyone was wearing to the office on Wednesday. Some people were happy to share; others were more secretive. Some had to be secretive as their costumes required three levels of meme history and an advanced degree in Maltese linguistics (looking at you, Alba Camilleri) to understand. Pablo’s costume was the most protected of all: Teri Camilleri refused to give us even a hint, insisting that everyone be surprised on the day.

Dramatis Personae

Wednesday dawned. The Mallia building saw a procession of the following characters going up to the Switch offices:

  • Newly crowned Miss Mriehel, complete with sash.
  • A velvet-chic Argus Panoptes, the Lithuanian version.
  • The literal definition of prawn on the barbie.
  • Satan, as dreamed by John Milton if ‘Paradise Lost’ was set in 2010 Sweden.
  • A content writer.
  • Drake Malfoy, humming his hit single ‘One Dance (For The Dark Lord)’.
  • Pablobus.
  • Cancelled Oktoberfest.
  • No-Face in 0.66 DPI.
  • Rick and Morty on their Maltese tour.
  • Santa Claus, overestimating the clock change.
  • Danika shipped herself into work to avoid traffic and didn’t have time to change.
  • Lovecraftian beer can.
  • Alba, mentioned above.
  • 60 Shades of Grey.
  • A witch, missing her lion and her wardrobe.
  • Strawberry Fest 2018.
  • The Portrait of Thomas Camilleri, Banksied.

Halloween only comes once a year, right? When else to show off our hands-on creative spirit than the day when costumes tell a story?

Memento

Some highlights included:

  • Alba, whose costume led to a spectacle of Switchers coming into the office, and everyone else stopping what they were doing to see if they’d guess what Alba was.
  • Mike who came up with a costume so complicated that he had to explain it to the office.
  • Pablobus getting really into the spirit of Halloween and turning into the embodiment of Cereberus, guarding Teri’s ankles and snapping at Santa Claus.
  • Matt for participating by dressing up in costume for the first time; the power of Rick and Morty compelled him, just this once, to be someone else.
  • Everyone’s sheer delight and backstory-building and explanation of both their costumes, and other people’s.

Outside of the costumes? It was just another day at the office. Meetings were held. Blog posts were written. Food was ordered and readily consumed. Dark Pablo resurfaced. Work was finished, and new work was started. The only thing different was a different coat of paint, and a chance to flex our creative muscles with paint and latex, silk and googly eyes, tinfoil and fizzy drink labels.

It’s Halloween. We might not be children of the night, but we’re always up for a challenge. 

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Elise Dalli's Story.

When she's not writing about the history of the semi-colon or researching her next short story, Elise likes to play videogames, scroll through pictures of cats on her phone, and buy too much makeup. She's been writing creatively for around seven years and has used about 2 million commas in that time.

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