Does advertising industry lost its soul?

According to Mumbrella Asia, when I was five, I was most happy when I got to draw and paint with my grandmother. When I was 14, I was most happy during still-life art class staring at an eggplant trying to capture the light on its curves.

When I was 21, I was most happy when I quit university to join art school, disappointing every member of my family. When I graduated from art school, I was happy even if I thought I would be designing greeting cards for the rest of my life.

Till today, I never doubt that this is who I am and what I was meant to do. I believe many people in our industry would feel the same. Like musicians, we are the lucky few in the world that get to make a living from just being who we are and doing what we love. We may not be the next Michelangelo but we have the gift of creativity, which not everyone gets to hone. We have this special ability to solve problems with a heart.

As our industry advanced to find solutions more efficiently with programmatic, machine-learning and more, we stood by and watched with ignorance for a long time. Until today, we live in uncertainty and fear that we will be replaced. It is more important than ever to remind ourselves of why we are in our roles today, the gift we have and the value we bring. We cannot and should not ignore the role of technology. But if brands need to speak to people, only humans can do that best because:

  • Machines have data. But we have feelings.
  • Machines will predict. But we have instincts.
  • Machines will repeat. But we surprise.
  • Machines can make moving images. But we create films.
  • Machines mix sound. But we create songs.
  • Machines perform jobs. But we build relationships.

Technology is here to enhance our lives, not replace it. But more often these days, we’ve become just great ‘salesmen’ of machines. In the flurry to embrace technology, we’ve completely lost ourselves.

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