Byravee Iyer
Sep 25, 2014

FCB simplifies the creativity-versus-technology debate

SPIKES ASIA - Is focusing on technology the right way to become creative, asked Edward Bell, FCB’s CEO for Greater China, and James Mok, ECD for the network in Asia-Pacific.

FCB's Bell (left) and Mok
FCB's Bell (left) and Mok

To illustrate the point, the two men began their presentation via FaceTime, scrapping the idea a minute into it. “This is a really bad idea,” Bell said. “Just because the technology exists, doesn’t mean we need to use it,” Mok agreed and the two men appeared on stage.

  • Thinking back to Cannes, Bell said, true creativity challenges conventional practice and established thinking.
  • According to Mok, there’s a tendency to mask a bad idea around cool technology.
  • Complicated tech ideas make it harder for the consumer. Cannes proved that advertising celebrates technology, but that technology wasn’t the hero. It was really the ideas that impacted people.
  • FCB thinks about innovation as a way to connect a brand to an opportunity were relevant. Admittedly, the way we think today has to be different from what we did in the past, Mok added.  He went on to share video case studies of work from FCB that exemplifies this.
  • When you address business problems with technology, it opens up many more profitable areas and is much more authentic. Can’t say it’s true for the reverse

Campaign's observation: We enjoy video-led presentations. High five to Sony and FCB New Zealand for this great piece of work. We wish Mok and Bell shared examples of tech ideas that didn't work. Also, kudos for trying, but for us the FaceTime gimmick fell flat.


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