...curious syntax and miscellaneous crimes against grammar
Work recently asked me to write a price for the monthly newsletter, which happend to coincide with the launch work we were doing for the new Jag F-Type. A great excuse to wax lyrical and bedazzle folk with my techno-hack dexterity I thought! I'm now regularly asked, "So what will you be doing to give us all a smoother ride today huh, Chris?" Here's why...
Cogent View: Digital Insider
We have all become digital animals. Our personalities extend in microwaves and fibre-optics. As a race we are networked together more profoundly, more synchronously and arguably more harmoniously than any of us could have imagined prior to the digital age. Over two billion people are online, that’s the majority of the developed world. The result is mass hyper-consciousness. Our collective emotional state ebbs and flows as the value of our newfound globalised social media currency washes over broken economies with the gluttonous immediacy of ‘digital’, moderated only by our willingness to partake and the burgeoning socio-economic gap that is the digital divide.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, British Telecom former Chief Technical Officer, Peter Cochrane, recently prophesied that if the UK did not significantly increase investment in the infrastructure to support cloud based computing, our economy will fall much further behind. Like Peter, I firmly believe that that gap between rich and poor will be defined by connectivity (or lack of it). This is why I get up in the morning. This is why I come to work. And this is why I work in advertising as a Creative Technologist, a native digital animal, slave to technology and the idea that driven by creativity it can engage everyone, embrace new markets and develop new opportunity.
I guess the reasons many of us do what we do date back to our childhood. For me, my calling to Cogent Elliott, the UK’s and indeed one of the world’s oldest advertising agencies, began in a bedroom in Blackburn as I meddled with synthesisers, marvelling at the seemingly endless possibilities provided by electronics pioneer Mr. Robert Moog. This early fascination with creative technology took on new proportions when I later graduated from Uni and joined Cable and Wireless. It was 1993 and the Internet was just emerging as the transformational bridge between the electrified 80’s and the unknown pleasures of the twenty-first century… a glistening digital landscape of fortune and glory!
Like many of my contemporaries I was seduced by the dot com bubble, imagineering a society dominated by virtual, rather than physical interactions. We ignored the symptoms until the venture capital ran out and we all had to face the music. The digital divide, you see, is a peculiar virus, born of information overload and the resulting periphery psychosis that the Internet splurges on the developed world, often blinding its proponents to the need for integration in order to harness the full value of the web. We went too fast. We became over-excited about augmented reality and forgot about reality. In short digital technology, and in particular the Internet, became too exclusive.
Thankfully our collective consciousness reminds us the world is in fact unharmonious. I say thankfully because herein lies the opportunity. Having set up and run a dot com through recession 1.0, I feel privileged to be able to address it as part of an accomplished agency with such an incredible creative heritage.
As marketers, governments and corporations grapple with big data, perhaps in many ways the Internet is still too exclusive, ostracising those who do not wish to trade with their privacy. My role as Creative Technologist at Cogent is not to clone peoples’ identity with data modelled virtual reality but through new initiatives and strategic partnerships, explore innovative ways to connect to people in the real world, creating a better reality, a more delightful ‘customer experience’; a smoother ride (Jaguar Land Rover, Triumph, Network Q), a more efficient energy (Calor, Puragen), a more enchanting destination (Club Med, Atos), a better equipped day out (Halfords), value you can trust (Poundland), a more precious stone (Mikimoto, George Pragnell), a more engaging surface to walk on (Amtico) and ultimately, help our clients maintain a tangible competitive advantage. It’s an exciting challenge.
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