menu

Nigel Rahimpour: What Today’s Generation Of Creatives Need To Know About Tech

Nigel Rahimpour: What Today’s Generation Of Creatives Need To Know About Tech
Advertising

The Global Planning Director of Saatchi & Saatchi discusses the tools and behaviors that the young workers today need to adopt.

Nigel Rahimpour
  • 25 august 2013

In today’s creative industries it is obvious that technology plays a critical role, but what is it? Is it simply apps or social media? Or is it more pervasive and how can the next generation of workers in this marketplace use it well and to their advatage. Nigel Rahimpour the Global Planning Director of Saatchi & Saatchi speaks to Tomorrow Awards Magazine about his vision on the latest trends in the marketing and visual communications industry.

What are the things you are doing to stay in the forefront of the latest trends?

I check out industry-specific publications and award shows.  But it is equally important to look at trends beyond our sector. That’s the way you create something new. You cross-pollinate and put things together that, at a first glance, have little to do with one another. For example, look at the rise of the solar industry. Then consider all the poor places around the world that can’t afford to pay for electricity. Now, what if an advertising billboard made out of solar panels can power a clinic, a street market or an entire Brazilian Favela? That’s what I’m talking about.

Young creatives coming into our industries have a very different vision for the role of technology in our industry. What would your advice be to them as they come in?

First of all, I think it is important to understand that technology is not an idea. The photo camera is a tool. If you know how it works, then that’s great. But you’ve got to have an idea first, one that is interesting enough to move people, that’s how things go viral. So don’t mistake technology for an idea. The mobile phone does not spread an idea. It takes a human to press send. So the real question is how do you get into the human brain and get an unfair share of mind over all the other noise that is out there? If you don’t get into the human mind, then it does not matter whether you have TV, OOH, digital or social at your disposal. People often believe that the latest technology will spread their idea. But that’s a mistake. It can help spread it, but takes a human to do it. This means, that people are the real media and getting into the human mind is the real challenge. For that you need to have an idea, not just technology.

A lot of technologies have trended, come and gone like augmented reality and second life. What new technologies do you think will suffer the same fate?

That’s a tough one. I think augmented reality is here to stay just like GPS. It’s just in its infancy. It will be a great way to immerse you in movies, music and all other sorts of entertainment – with glasses, contacts or headsets.  For example, it’s a fantastic way to showcase a product in retail, to learn about a place in tourism and procedures in hospitals. We are just seeing the beginnings of what AR can do.

We are very proud to be the first show to implement the 50/50 initiative. How are women contributing to your team and how will they change the creative industries in the future?

Claudine Cheever is our chief strategy officer. Women across the agency make enormous contributions. They are represented in big numbers on all levels. In fact, I think that as we move more and more into a service-oriented society, women are more likely than men to prevail, since they are much better at what I call soft skills.

 A lot of people that work in creative industries don’t even have TV’s anymore. How has personal behavior changed as it relates to how brands reach you?

Part of the answer is digital, but it’s also experiential. I’m thinking of experiences in the real world – events, stunts and of course utility and entertainment. For example, think of Red Bull, the Citi Bike project in New York or how Crispin kicked off the whole gamification trend with its Burger King video game years ago. That’s an agency creating a product that people want to spend time with. A lot of time! Not just 30 seconds like a TV-ad at best, but hours on end, because it has become an integral part of their lives. In fact, this is the way forward.

We travel a lot and we’ve seen the trend of seating people in different groups ever-changing positions like “Chief Innovation Officer” and “External Relationship Director” as everyone tries to adapt to the changing world. If you were to build your own company tomorrow, how would you structure it to best suit the future?

I would set out to solve business challenges, not just communications problems. In fact, I would be the most entrepreneurial agency in the world! To do so, I would abolish the term creative department, which has hindered account folks and planners from being creative. Agencies are simply not making use of their full potential. You see, the real entrepreneurs in this business – the Saatchi brothers, John Hegarty, David Droga, Alex Bogusky, Carl Johnson, Adam Stagliano and Dave Trott – exceed their job definition. That’s what makes them so great. Moreover, in a world where clients continuously cut their agency partners’ fees, I would sell intellectual property, not just time. I would pitch new products and services to my clients, share the R&D costs, and more importantly, the profits. That’s what I mean by entrepreneurship. Lastly, I’d be solutions-neutral, not media-neutral. My response to a business challenge would not necessarily be an ad campaign. I’d offer my clients whatever it is that solves their business issue – the right medicine. And if I don’t have a certain expertise in my agency, then I will strike a strategic alliance with someone who does, as long as it solves my client’s business problem. That way, my agency would be invited to the big conversation that a client is having versus just solving communications issues.

Follow Nigel on Twitter @_nigel_0

This interview has been reposted with the kind permission of Tomorrow Awards Magazine

Advertising
Trending

PSFK's Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Brand Development
Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Arts & Culture Today

Transforming Light Waves Into A New Art Form

An artist uses glass treated with layers of metallic coatings to create a unique installation called lightpaintings

Trending

Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Work

See All
Design Today

This Windbreaker Lets You Explore The Outdoors While Charging Your Phone

The apparel includes solar panels that allow the wearer to stay connected through the power of renewable energy

Asia Today

The Goal Of This Game Is To Not Get Laid Off From Your Job

A hit mobile app has you working really, really hard to not get fired as you climb the corporate ladder

PURPLELIST EXPERTS

Shaila Ittycheria

Entrepreneurship, Apprenticeship, Education

Advertising Today

Movie Critic Bot Guides Viewers Through Festival Offerings

The Toronto International Film Festival has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help attendants curate their schedule

Food Today

Disable Your Wi-Fi For Family Dinners With This Pepper Grinder Hacking Device

Dolmio has created a gadget that shuts down internet access so you can eat without being distracted

Entertainment Today

Nosulus Rift Delivers Horrible Smells Just For The South Park Videogame

Ubisoft has developed a unique peripheral for the upcoming title that will put players to the test

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed august 24, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs august 24, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: The Annual Review Becomes An Everyday, Collaborative Activity

Our Future of Work vision is a web-based platform through which teams can collaborate on and monitor performance reviews across all channels, ensuring a happier workplace

Europe Today

Netflix’s Newest Programming Is As Slow As It Gets

Norwegian network NRK is coming to the streaming platform with their successful 'Slow TV'

Media & Publishing Yesterday

CNN Launched An Entire Drone Division Of Their News Network

CNN AIR incorporates aerial footage into the corporation's ongoing news coverage

Advertising Yesterday

Uber’s Breathalyzer Cards Let You Know If You Are Sober Enough To Drive

A new campaign from the ride-sharing service raises awareness about the importance of a safe trip home

Design Yesterday

Milk Proteins Could Be The Packaging Material Of The Future

A newly discovered casein-based alternative is biodegradable, sustainable and even edible

Technology Yesterday

Intel’s New System Will Help Technology See And Understand The World

Joule is a tiny board for developers designed to bring powerful computer vision to cheap and easy-to-make prototypes

PSFK LABS REPORT

Innovation Debrief: Boston
Business Concepts Born In 'The Hub'
AVAILABLE NOW

Design Yesterday

This LA Hotel Is Designed Specifically For Cocktail Drinkers

The Walker Inn is a new Los Angeles "Bed and Beverage" experience that offers guests an intimate setting for their night cap

Education Yesterday

Bringing Virtual Reality And Telepresence Robotics To E-Learning

This Learning Management System is embracing new technologies to reallocate teaching resources to where they should be going

Advertising Yesterday

Interactive Art Exhibition For Dogs Provides Endless Fun

Installations created by artist Dominic Wilcox are based on activities loved by canines, such as fetching tennis balls and splashing in water

No search results found.