Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the 4As CreateTech conference in Santa Monica, CA at the Lowes Hotel. Over the course of two days, I learned a lot, met great people and had an awesome time. Having it in beautiful Santa Monica was a bonus but getting to see the Endeavor shuttle fly by, that was an added bonus :)
The focus of the conference was to bring togther Creatives & Techologists and the Creative Techonogists at agencies and brands and from other interesting walks of life. In it’s second year, the brainchild of the 4As CTO - the awesome Chick Foxgrover, CreateTech, literally was that, an opportunity to see what happens when creative technology get together.
What you got was Andrea Harrison from Pepsico, kicking things off with a great presetnation on the collaborative client - yes, they exist and they don’t have to be scary, they can be great partners to their agencies. A great example of this was between Ed Brojerdi, from, kbs+ and Michael Jobst from BMW North America to create awesome campaigns, like the Electronauts and a tease something they’ve got brewing with lasers, coming to NY in the fall.
Andrew Ianni, founder of AppNation spoke about how the power of mobile is continually increassing and posed an interesting question: Where does mobile web fit in, when we’re in a native app world? Following up on this was Todd Lefelt from Huge LA with mobile, discussing that 89% of mobile usage is at home and people’s priorities change. Users are more task oriented when they are on their mobile devise and people’s tolerance for mobile has changed. People will watch a two hour movie on an iPhone and want to be able to sync whatever they are doing across all their device. The next profit frontier? Consumer grade apps for enterprise level brands.
One of my favorite speakers was Hank Leber, founder of the GonnaBe app, which aims to be the social channel of ” I’m going to….” It’s a social planning sharing platform, which is not going the large scale event route but rather the indivuduals who are planning something right now and want to get together with friends. As someone who has seen a ton of these apps (RIP Plancast) and plans things for a living, I’m very intersted in seeing how this works out.
Got a great lesson in experience design, from the awesome Lynn Teo, CXO of McCann. Her message was simple yet powerful: experience design is good marketing and good marketing is problem solving. If you do things to understand your customers, you can create products that can help them. It’s an important message, that we as marketers, need to keep top of mind, as we’re coming up with that next big thing that will blow people’s minds :)
It was neat to hear from David Slayden, Director and Bree Thomas from BDW talk about how they are educating the next generation of creative technoglists and how the methodology; agile & lean, can and should be put into agency culture.
Okay, it takes a lot to impress me, but when I tell you the coolest technolgy I’ve ever seen was brought by John Underkoffler, the Chief Scientist from Oblong Industries, I’m not lying. Bascially, all that cool stuff from Minority Report - his team built that. Think of the XBox Kinect on the most powerful steriods and then multiply it by 1,000. Gestuaral interfaces are here and it’s all about the pixels. The best message John gave #MakeBetterThings - we can all say amen to that.
For all the great talk about creative tech, one of the more important covernsations was about the legal hurdles you face as an agency, that makes products. Candice Kersh from Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC and Peter Kosmala, SVP, Government Affairs, 4A’s gave these lessons: get a good lawyer, CYA and hold your ground on indeminty.
Tiffany Rolfe, Chief Content Officer, co:collective, gave a great talk on collobarating and inspiration - titles aren’t what its about, its about the great work you produce with your teams.
Chris Meija from IAB reminded us all of the power of ads and to think of the most memorable ad you’ve seen? Is it a digital one? If not, go out there and make one, it totally is. To demonstrate this, he showed this awesome ad from Pencils of Promise, that was superbly well done.
On Day 2, the awesome presentations continued but there is one that will still with me and everyone else in the room from Mick Ebeling, CEO,ECD,EP, The Ebeling Group. He and his team made a promise and come hell or high water, they made it happen. In a nutshell, they built a tool that gave, graffit artist Tempt, who’s had ALS for years, a way to draw again, by using his eyes. Not with fancy tools or tech, but with sheer determination and one kick ass team. Read about the documentary they made to tell this incredible story: https://www.facebook.com/gettingupdoc
If this story doesn’t inspire you to be BOLDER, RISKIER & UNSTOPPABLE, nothing will.
I get the opportunity to go to a bunch of conferences all over the country and I really enjoyed the 4As #CreateTech- great speakers and networking. The best way to sum up my experience at CreateTech, I resolve to MakeBetterThings, NOW.