We’re creating more assets for more digital channels,
and we’re thinking more strategically about how to use
them. From the clients’ perspective, it’s no longer: We
have some assets [such as images], let’s just put them
somewhere. We almost never repurpose assets commissioned by one of our partner agencies; we’re creating our own assets because we have to create messages that work within many
different channels and formats. I don’t just mean digital channels versus offline
channels. I think we do better if we think ahead and know exactly how and where
the assets will be used.
Also, if you’re trying to create a rich and engaging story, but you’re just reusing assets people have already seen everywhere, you’re not giving the audience a reason
to dig deeper. They’ll say: I’ve already seen that.
Above: The Dance Central 2
Dance*Cam app allows Xbox
KINECT users to star in their
own music videos. Below:
The Golf R Drivers Forever
iPad app from Volkswagen.
PDN: Do you find that creatives in traditional advertising feel anxious about
digital advertising? Is that anxiety justified?
KS: From the seat I’m sitting in, I’m meeting people who are eager to work in
digital. Maybe there are people who still think in terms of the big Super Bowl spot,
but people with more flexible minds can get excited about creating lots of ongoing content. One of the reasons I was excited about going into digital is that
I liked the idea of creating meaningful engagement. Often traditional advertising is driven by a brand’s agenda, but digital puts the power in the hands of the
people, and I think that allows us
to create much more powerful
advertising than we ever have.
Everybody looks back to the
days of [David] Ogilvy and [Bill]
Bernbach as a golden age, but I
think now is the most exciting
time in advertising.
118 King Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
© dance central 2
PDN: You took time off for a while, before you joined AKQA. Do you recommend
taking a break?
KS: It was great for me. I had a really good career in traditional advertising, but I was
getting bored with it because I wasn’t engaging in traditional media as much.
Advertising is a tough field if you’re not in love with it or inspired by it. Taking time
off allowed me to make an excited decision to go back into advertising. And of
course in my mind AKQA is one of the best agencies in the world, and luckily for me
many digital channels had become more robust and more cross-platform. In my
time off, looking at a few options showed me that advertising has spoiled me for
working in any other field. Things are constantly developing, and no two days are
alike. I think it’s a fantastic industry to be in.