Tom Eslinger: “AI Will Mess With The Creative Industry Like The Internet & Social Did”

Tom Eslinger: “AI Will Mess With The Creative Industry Like The Internet & Social Did”
SHARE
THIS



Tom Eslinger is a New York-based multiple Cannes Lion jury president and award winner and former global chief creative officer at the integrated communications agency Burson Cohn & Wolfe. Even better, Eslinger’s coming to Sydney in March 2019 to speak at Australia’s premier advertising and technology conference, ad:tech. Here, B&T goes one-on-one with Eslinger to find out why his ad:tech presentation’s a must-see, why he’s no real fan of brand activism, and why he thinks AI will prove a boon for creative agencies…

You’re top of the speakers list at ad:tech in Sydney on March the 12th and 13th, 2019. What can us eager attendees expect from your presentation?

I’m going to be talking about technology, being creative with technology, the threats and opportunities associated with rapidly evolving communication technology, and did I mention technology? In all seriousness, AI and speed of change is going to mess with the creative industry in the same way the internet, mobile and social made huge impacts in the last 20 years. This is just as big and twice as fast.

As a creative, what still works?

With a great really connective idea, you want to believe that the marketing spend doesn’t matter as much and that an idea will be embraced and shared and championed. Unfortunately, when that happens it lasts a very short period of time and people say, “Thank you, next.” I think of ideas like a great classic suit that might need a trendy shirt and shoes to make it super-of-the-moment, but still makes sense and doesn’t go out of style.

And what’s a media you don’t really bother much with these days?

Just when I thought I’d never make another flyer or postcard, I get asked to add them to the mix. I’ve kind of given up on guessing where I think ideas should go and prefer to bring smart media planners and buyers in to the process as quick as I can.

In light of the whole Colin Kaepernick/Nike affair, how has that impacted creative thinking among US agencies?

I have strong, usually unpopular views on bringing politics and activism into brand advertising. But Nike has a history of doing this kind of work and has respect for the tone and temperature surrounding this debate. The work – which also featured Serena and LeBron – made an impact in the media and gave Nike stock a lift and shook a few trees, but did it sell lots of product or was the US Open and NFL season opener responsible? Either way, it doesn’t matter. It’s Cannes-tastic.

What SHOULD the modern creative agency look like these days?

Small, diverse and fast and stealthy.

There’s a big push in Australia at the moment to get media and creative back under the one roof. What’s your view of that?

When I started out, media was in-house and I had those teams in creative sessions, reviews and everything else. It’s like hiring the decorators and then bringing in the architects and construction company later on. It’s always been motivated by driving revenue, not making great work.

What’s a brand that you’re loving at the moment?

Casper (see video above), All Birds, Quip, ShopStyle and any shopping aggregator. And these brands are driven by very strong strategy and light, nimble creative executions. I think fashion brands like Celine, Gucci, Balenciaga, Vetements have the right idea, aren’t tone deaf and take some risks: big massive brands with high-quality products and distinctive images that drive sales through social and mobile, sponsorship and experiential and weird partnerships. Gucci (see below) and the NY Yankees, Supreme and Louis Vuitton, Apple And Hermés – bring it on!

Your tip for the next BIG thing in advertising?

AI is going to be seriously exciting for creatives that are less about credits, love iteration and speed. And science. Want one thousand ideas in a minute? No problem. I don’t expect lines of code to be able to pick the best idea to solve a business problem, but I do expect some weird, out of the box stuff that will happen through mistakes, interpretation and that code isn’t afraid to blurt out an idea and worry about sounding dumb. It will be chaos, but creative. I’m stoked.

The next big industry disruptor we should all be on the lookout for?

See above.

Brands all want to be loved, they want to do social good, but should many of them get back to price, product, promotion and place?

I think we’ve given “proper” brands human characteristics and needs since we’ve entered into the age of the person-brand. Companies and corporations that create and build brands do it for one reason. We are much more attuned to when social issues and making the world a better place live alongside the need for businesses to sell stuff to keep the lights on and the shareholders happy. Sometimes the desperate need to be liked and that’s a turn-off for a product or service – the same way it is with people. The brands that keep that balance of do good for people, the world and the shareholders keep the longevity they deserve.

Your favourite campaign of 2018?

Are we still doing campaigns??? I love ‘It’s a Tide Ad’ because it’s a great idea, super-cheeky and of-the-moment and I know how hard it is to get things with that scale and integration made.

Back to a previous answer, this is where media, execution, idea and strategy all sing from the same song sheet. The shallow art director in me spends hours pouring over all of the Gucci campaigns: fully realised stories riffing on classic horror movies, 80s video game mash-ups, art history, 1960’s student protests and hoarding – and that’s just the last year!

2019’s ad:tech conference is on the 12th and 13th of March at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel. Speakers include Zenith USA’s head of innovation, Tom Goodwin; Thinkerbell CEO, Adam Ferrier; and IBM’s head of marketing, Mari Kauppinen. For full details of the event and to purchase tickets, click here.

Please login with linkedin to comment

adtech Burson Cohn Wolfe Tom Eslinger

Latest News

28% Of Display Advertising Spend Goes To Ad Tech Services: ACCC Inquiry
  • Technology

28% Of Display Advertising Spend Goes To Ad Tech Services: ACCC Inquiry

The ACCC has released the findings from its inquiry into the digital advertising supply chain, revealing there is a lack of competition and transparency that needs to be addressed. Regarding transparency, the inquiry suggests that pricing is a key concern for the industry. A lack of transparency means advertisers and publishers are unable to make […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nielsen: Top 10 Media Owners Reach Over Half Of The Australian Population Each Month
  • Media

Nielsen: Top 10 Media Owners Reach Over Half Of The Australian Population Each Month

2020 was a boom year for digital content consumption with digitally active Australians engaging with a diverse range of content on platforms, communities, sites and apps across screens, this resulted in an increase to their digital time pent of 19 per cent on the year prior. IAB Australia endorsed Digital Content Planning data, released by […]

Dr Elaine Stead Wins $280k Damages In Defamation Suit Against The AFR’s Joe Aston
  • Media

Dr Elaine Stead Wins $280k Damages In Defamation Suit Against The AFR’s Joe Aston

Venture capitalist Dr Elaine Stead sued the Australian Financial Review and their columnist Joe Aston for defamatory statements, which included calling her a “feminist cretin”. The Sydney Federal Court has ruled that Dr Stead must receive $280, 000 in aggravated and ordinary damages based on comments Aston made in in 2019. Defamatory remarks were found […]

Tim Robards Stars As Tim Tam Genie In New Arnott’s Campaign Via The Neighbourhood
  • Campaigns

Tim Robards Stars As Tim Tam Genie In New Arnott’s Campaign Via The Neighbourhood

A new integrated campaign launched this week from Publicis Groupe via The Neighbourhood renews the tradition of genies appearing in Tim Tam ads, with Tim Robards trading roses for Australia’s favourite chocolate biscuits. The new television spot explores the familiar, playful dynamic between genies and their masters, as wishes rarely turn out the way you […]

McCann Sydney Snares Lucy Gavan For Senior Strategist Role
  • Advertising

McCann Sydney Snares Lucy Gavan For Senior Strategist Role

McCann Sydney has announced the appointment of Lucy Gavan as senior strategist. Gavan joins McCann Sydney, part of independent network, HERO, after five years at brand consultancy, Interbrand, building and reimagining the identities and experiences for many Australian iconic brands, including Telstra, Westpac, Federation Square and Sydney Opera House. Executive strategy director Roshni Hegerman says […]

VCCP Sydney Adds Tilly Treloar, Nathan Pashley & Heath Sims
  • Advertising

VCCP Sydney Adds Tilly Treloar, Nathan Pashley & Heath Sims

VCCP has kicked off 2021 by adding Nathan Pashley and Heath Sims to its creative department, and Tilly Treloar to its the strategy department. Pashley and Sims are an established creative team who previously worked together at 72andSunny, creating campaigns for the likes of Tooheys Extra Dry, Byron Bay Brewery, Google Nest, Amaysim, and Kosciuszko […]

Dentsu’s Ad Spend Report Forecasts 5.9% Growth In Australia In 2021
  • Media

Dentsu’s Ad Spend Report Forecasts 5.9% Growth In Australia In 2021

Global advertising investment is forecast to grow by 5.8% globally and 5.9% in Australia in 2021, according to the dentsu 2021 Ad Spend Report. The report combines data from 59 markets and anticipates that $US579bn will be spent globally with all regions enjoying growth to offset a fall of 8.8% in 2020. Australia’s forecasted growth […]

David Pullinger, Former JC Decaux Sales Director, Appointed QMS Media GM
  • Media

David Pullinger, Former JC Decaux Sales Director, Appointed QMS Media GM

QMS Media has appointed former JC Decaux national sales director (independent agencies) David Pullinger to the newly created role of general manager, independent agencies and direct sales. The appointment comes in a bid to further drive growth in what QMS describes as the “significant independent agency and direct sales market”. With more than 20 years’ […]

Stan Officially Announces Pricing For Stan Sport
  • Media

Stan Officially Announces Pricing For Stan Sport

Stan has today officially announced pricing for its new add- on Sport package in the lead up to the Super Rugby season kicking off. Stan’s add-on Sport package will be available for $10 a month and Stan will be the only place to watch every match. Consumers can enjoy Rugby ad-free, live and on demand […]

?stanbul, Turkey - February 10, 2014: Businessman figurines standing in front of Apple iPad monitor  displaying start-up screen of Facebook application. Facebook is one of the most visited social networking website in the world.
  • Media

Facebook Introduces New Measures To Stop The Spread Of Holocaust Misinformation

Facebook has introduced new safeguards to limit the spread of misinformation around the Holocaust. The new measures, announced on International Holocaust Rememberance Day, will see any Facebook user who searches for terms associated with either the Holocaust or Holocaust denial recieve a message from Facebook encouraging them to connect with credible information about the Holocaust. […]

Busting 6 Of The Biggest Ad Tech Myths
  • Partner Content

Busting 6 Of The Biggest Ad Tech Myths

When it comes to header bidding and wrapper solutions offered by sell-side platforms (SSPs) – it can be a pretty confusing landscape out there. The technology itself is complex, and this is further compounded by a lot myths doing the rounds. Before we start, if you need a quick refresher on the basics – what […]

Partner Content

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Droga5 London Rolls Out New International Visual Identity For CUPRA
  • Marketing

Droga5 London Rolls Out New International Visual Identity For CUPRA

Droga5 London has launched a new corporate and visual identity for CUPRA, the new high-performance car division of SEAT Group, challenging the conventions of design in the car category. The identity is part of the new brand platform, ‘Another Way’, and provides CUPRA with an unexpected modular visual language that shows both the car and […]

The acquisition of TurboSquid establishes Shutterstock as the premium destination for 3D models.
  • Technology

Shutterstock Acquires 3D Marketplace TurboSquid

Global creative platform Shutterstock has entered an agreement to purchase TurboSquid, considered the world’s largest 3D marketplace. For more than 20 years, TurboSquid has been a 3D industry leader, offering a unified 3D workflow, and operating a marketplace offering of more than 1 million 3D models, a 2D marketplace derived from 3D objects, and a […]

M&C Saatchi’s Timothy Ng: “To Those Who’ve Thought About It”
  • Opinion

M&C Saatchi’s Timothy Ng: “To Those Who’ve Thought About It”

M&C Saatchi’s webinar series Open House kicked off last night, with an introductory session from Justin Graham, Group CEO AUNZ and Timothy Ng (pictured below), Account Manager. Open House is an initiative that consists of a series of free webinars, as well offering participants the chance to secure a paid internship, aimed at career movers, […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
WPP Named In Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index For Third Year In A Row
  • Advertising
  • Media

WPP Named In Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index For Third Year In A Row

WPP was today named in the 2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) for the third consecutive year. The Index recognises companies committed to advancing gender equality in the workplace through policy development, representation and transparency.  The 2021 GEI is made up of 380 companies from 11 sectors headquartered across 44 countries and regions, all raising the […]

Australian Road Safety Foundation Utilises Geo-Targeting Technology To Protect Kids In School
  • Media

Australian Road Safety Foundation Utilises Geo-Targeting Technology To Protect Kids In School

The Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) has teamed up with Spotify and some of Queensland’s leading musicians in a national first that will geotarget drivers within school zones. The Slow Down Songs campaign, which is being piloted in Queensland, will work to keep kids safe within school zones by dramatically slowing down songs and serving […]

Tokyo, Japan - July 29, 2019: The skytree tower is illuminated at night announcing the olympics of Tokyo 2020 with a hashtag.
  • Uncategorised

Florida Financial Officer ‘Offers’ To Host Olympics With “Bonkers” Pitch

Florida’s chief financial officer on Monday (local time) told the International Olympic Committee that Florida would be happy to host the Olympics amid speculation that current host Japan may back out. Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC, as Agence France-Presse reports, “to encourage you to consider relocating the […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
When You Do And Don’t Need AI
  • Technology

When You Do And Don’t Need AI

Here's top tips for when you do and don't need AI. Alternatively, ask Alexa if she thinks it's worth reading.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine