Blogs & Comment

This Luddite has been converted

Ramsey Naja is chief creative officer, JWT MEA

“I’m getting fond of technology these days. In fact, I’m not just getting fond of it; I’m giving it hugs and even being seen in its company. Believe me, this is quite a statement from someone who only needs to look at a computer screen for it to go on the blink and who still believes that Space Invaders will never be bettered as a game.

From something that was associated with the military, space exploration or Inspector Gadget, technology has become an all-pervasive presence in our lives and, more to the point, our industry.  From über-nerds, technologists have become advertising’s rock stars, commanding the attention of legions of headhunters and assorted talent managers. A creative technologist is now being looked upon with the same awe as a D&AD award-winning art director used to be, and carrying the salary negotiating power of Lionel Messi’s agent.

For many, this is a natural fallout of the digital age, as we suddenly realised that the dot.coms were not just sources of astronomical income for infuriatingly shabbily-dressed geeks, but part of something huge… and as coherent as a forgetful Glaswegian drunk with a stutter giving a lecture on quantum mechanics. In came the technologists, translators of a language that is deeply foreign to most of us or, at their best, purveyors of technology-based communication solutions to business problems.

And it is this that makes them so endearing to me today. As solution providers, today’s technologists – or at least those with whom we now collaborate – are the democratisers of what we thought was only available to James Bond and Jean Michel Jarre. These guys are not just making NASA-style innovations accessible to the man in the street, they are actually making them useful to him. And, by letting brands – and advertising – virtually sponsor them or work with them, they are adding an extraordinarily exciting dimension to the possibilities at our disposal. One of my favourite pieces of copy comes from a Honda ad that describes technology as “making better, better”. I couldn’t think of a better way to describe their job.”

1 Comment

  • This feature, Ramsey, comes at a great time. I have been interviewing some senior creatives and agencies for my Middle East based ad blog (www.CopywriterJournalist.com) and see how even having a Twitter account is still a leap for most.

    But as your conversion indicates, the times they are a changin’ – and the days of having digital as an afterthought are over.

    Hoping more senior creatives realise that digital is not just another medium – it is another way of thinking. It isnot a monologue like a TV or radio ad but a conversation. And if we are the persuasive communicators we claim to be, now is the time to really shine!

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