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SXSW / Straight or great.

by Danish Chan

Notes from the SXSW Sydney David Droga talk.

The title without context could be problematic. It’s called clickbait. 

But it was just one of many Droga-isms that we’ll steal to make ourselves seem a little bit smarter. Here are my top five.

  1. Straight or great.
    There’s only two types of advertising. Work that says exactly what it needs to. No muss, no fuss. And then there’s great. Work that elevates our expectations. It entertains, changes our perspective, changes a category. 
  2. AI in advertising just raises the floor of what we consider mediocre.
    There was a lot of worry at SXSW that AI is coming for our jobs. But perhaps it just forces us to be better. Technology should replace some of what we do. It should also be a catalyst for us to achieve more.
  3. The famous iron triangle is a thing of the past.
    We all know that triangle of fast, good and cheap. You historically could only have two of the sides. Technology has changed that. Clients are expecting fast, good work, that’s cheaper. And with AI and other technology, it can be.
  4. Average ideas and great ideas cost the same.
    I don’t know if I believe this one, but damn is it catchy. His point is that it takes as much effort and time to create an average idea as it does to create something great.
  5. Don’t make the number the most impressive thing.
    Accenture Song just invested $3B in AI. First thing is wowsers. Second thing is that, David Droga’s response to the factoid was to make the number the least impressive thing about that story. That’s a nice line. 


On a last but serious note.

David Droga, who is now the CEO of Accenture Song, the world’s largest creative technology business, spoke to an optimistic future. That the problems technology enables creative minds to solve is remarkable. And that’s not something that should gut our industry of talent. It should make it flourish.

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Danish Chan

→ Danish is one of the most awarded strategists in the world, having worked on some of the most iconic brands in the last decade including Virgin Atlantic, Coca Cola, and Volvo. Danish spent his career helping to make modern, connected strategy integral to world-class effective work. A co-founder of Untangld, and a founding partner of By The Network, Danish is also a regular judge at the Effies and WARC Global Effectiveness Awards and a contributor to popular industry rags.

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