The New Agency Superstar: The Digital Technologist

AdWeek’s recent Digital Special Report showcased a relatively new role being created and filled by several traditional ad agencies.

AdWeek‘s recent Digital Special Report showcased a relatively new role being created and filled by several traditional ad agencies, to the end of capitalizing on technology to fuel great ideas. The Digital Technologist leads an agency’s multidisciplinary team in creating compelling digital experiences for its clients.  This critical interdisciplinary position may be led by someone with a programming, strategy and/or production background, making them well versed in both strategy and execution, and ultimately knowledgeable in how to lead and inspire a multi-disciplinary team to deliver against an executable, actionable idea.  The report illustrates how agencies are staffing and utilizing this role by identifying four senior agency talents who are redefining creativity in the age of digital.

Among these four is Scott Prindle, Executive Creative Technology Director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky.  CPB has been viewed as one of the leaders in digital creativity – particularly among the more traditional shops – since they developed the “Subservient Chicken” campaign for Burger King in 2005.  However, CPB recognized that technology is a creative discipline, and that digital and technological capabilities needed to be integrated into what was then a more traditional creative environment.  Prindle was thus hired from his role as technical director at R/GA, to help oversee CPB’s digital future.

During his CP+B tenure, Pringle has seen the emphasis on talent shift from the visual (i.e., Flash designers producing microsites and banner ads) to programming.  According to Pringle, the ideal candidate right now would have a solid grounding in IT, would be comfortable working across various technologies and can solve problems creatively.  Additionally, tech capabilities serve to provide this individual with confidence in creative experimentation, and with the ability to comp ideas real time – which is of tremendous value in selling ideas.

This position is relevant and critical for traditional agencies that want to be taken as serious contenders and ideators in the digital space – particularly given recent confirmation that clients continue to deem their traditional shops’ digital skills unimpressive.  It also recognizes the need for both a technology and creative/production background in leading digital creativity, requiring that this lead have both a strong understanding of how to generate an idea – and exactly how it can or can’t be executed. It’s no longer a creative vs. media function.

[via: AdWeek Media]

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