We’re asking some of our industry’s leading figures to nominate their digital hero and to explain what’s so special about them.
Who is your digital hero?
Phew, I have too many to select just one. Lots of inspiring folks that make it hard to choose! But if I was going to land on only one, Phillip K. Dick would be that hero. The American writer who has stamped his future vision on so many books, films and adaptations.
What has he done to win hero status in your eyes?
‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ (AKA Blade Runner), ‘Total Recall’, ‘A Scanner Darkly’, ‘The Adjustment Bureau’, ‘The Minority Report’, the ‘Valis’ series, ‘Impostor’, ‘Ubik’, the list goes on and on.
Even the recent ‘Black Mirror’ series has had his influence in the mix. Enough said.
How has his heroism helped drive digital?
Innovation and challenging the normal is something at the heart of digital folks and most modern-day innovations.
Phillip’s legacy of fictional futurism asks a lot of colossal questions that have helped fuel thought-provoking ideas on how we engage with people, the future and technology. Sure, his work is on the dark dystopian side but if you look through the surface level, it is blended with interesting questions, digital products and concepts that make you think.
As a creative it fuelled countless inspirations for me. I look at him as a sort of dark hero (kind of like a Batman Dark Knight-type dude) that looks for answers to some very big questions.
For me his works and his countless film adaptations are interesting creative and aspirational ideas for all sorts of future digital marketing campaigns and products.
What the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?
Pow, that’s a billion-dollar question!
For me, it’s how do we ensure more humanised solutions as technology races ahead. Often we find business people and engineers driving digital from a pure tech stand point and they too often forget the consumer.
The other week I did a D&AD panel talk entitled ‘Can AI Humanize Us’? If I was a young creative in digital now, I would be looking at that and developing the skills to take it on.
As advertising powered by AI facial recognition starts to re-edit the 30 sec ad narrative around audience facial expressions, your interfaces changes depending on your mood, knowledge or entry point. Or as screens disappear completely and brands still want to have a personality, it’s the next generation of creatives that will need to think of solutions in a whole new way.
Holding onto old crafts but embracing the new digital tools to play with.
What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?
The next thing to come. Then the next one after that and so on.
Despite doing lots of famous stuff, I am always asking myself if I could have done better. I am always questioning is this good?