Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Chris Edwards, Director, Business Development, Rakuten Advertising

Chris Edwards is Director, Business Development at Rakuten Advertising. In media career spanning over twenty years, roles have included at Hearst Magazine, AOL, Glam Media and many more.

Who is your digital hero?

Someone who has had the most impact on my digital career would have to be, David Shing who was the self-styled, Digital Prophet at AOL between 2011 – 2019 and continues to advise brands across the globe as well as a regular contributor across the conference circuit.

Although US based, during our time at AOL I was able to work with him across several events and workshops in the UK, even to the extent of rolling him out to our client base for brand brainstorming programmes.

What has he done to win hero status in your eyes?

He may well have been parodied in the W/Bob & David sketch show, but I have to say, what inspires me the most is his unique approach to presenting and delivering his creative messaging.

Whether it be to an audience of 10 or an audience of 1,000 – his skill in being able to tailor his messaging to cater for whatever audience is inspiring.

How has his heroism helped drive digital?

Shingy has been passionate about creativity in digital across various sectors like emerging media, social and mobile technologies for years and has been part of the debate into how these platforms have influenced brand messaging.

What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

On a CTV-specific level, I would have to say at this point, helping to bridge the gap between TV planning & buying with digital planning & buying for a Total TV buy – I think I’ll give Shingy a call!

However, on a broader level I would say regarding diversity and opening our sector to those not privately educated.

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

Having started my media career over 20 years ago in the world of print to transition through digital into the CTV space whilst this industry continues to evolve has been quite a personal achievement even through my parents still have no clue what I do.