For our upcoming PSFK SALON at SXSW this year, we’ve invited Aaron Sedlak to discuss the future of mobile marketing. Aaron is the Creative Director at SarkissianMason. Here are a few questions we asked him in preparation for the event.
What is the most interesting challenge that SarkissianMason (SM) is addressing right now?
The most interesting challenge we face is finding the intersection between technology and reality. Clients and agencies alike tend to get caught up in games of technological one-upsmanship. Far too often we get myopic and focus on the technology, instead of the application of that technology. The danger is that you can create something that is outrageously cool yet has zero significance to those that don’t wake up and log in to their lives before they shower. We never advocate putting the brakes on innovation, but we do think it’s always a good idea to give pause… and think… would someone that doesn’t use buzzwords use this?
Where do you find inspiration outside of your industry?
Inspiration comes from just about anywhere. It’s often said, but that’s because it’s absolutely true. Though with the office being busy, my “anywhere” these days mostly comes through my laptop. A recent exception was during a small symposium I was part of in New York at MobileActive.org. Another guest, Carlos Gomez De Llarena, had created an experimental art project called “Urban Speaker.” The tech side of it was incredibly simple—a mobile phone, a megaphone and an auto-answering device. This genius little mash-up was set up in public squares, and allowed anyone to simply call the mobile’s number and broadcast a short monologue (or more likely, rant) out loud at passersby. It was essentially the digital evolution of Speaker’s Corner in London. On the analog side of things, I’m a huge fan of Lapham’s Quarterly—it is just too gorgeously crafted to be read online.
What emerging trend, idea, or technology are your excited to see develop in the future?
The most exciting trend is towards making marketing into something people embrace, enjoy or find useful in their lives. Great work has been done in the past (I love a brilliant television spot), but the difference now is that the future of advertising is opt-in, so the quality of ALL the work just has to be better. I know this is not new news. But it is good news. For everyone involved.