Raahil Chopra
Sep 29, 2014

Spikes Asia 2014: "The greatest 'technology' we have is the creativity in our brains" - FCB's Ed Bell

FCB's Ed Bell and James Mok on why creativity is more important than technology

Spikes Asia 2014:

In a session titled ‘Unleashing potential: Creativity & Innovation”, Ed Bell, CEO, FCB Greater China, and James Mok, ECD – Asia Pacific, FCB, spoke about the importance of innovation and creativity.

Bell noted that until digital came in (which he estimates was seven years ago), the buzz words in advertising used to be 'innovation' and 'creativity'. When digital came in, the conversation changed to 'technology' and 'innovation', he observed.

Citing the example of Sunkist Juice, he said, “Farmers had the problem of oranges not selling enough because people were apparently using them in the liquid form. So following that insight, Sunkist launched an Orange Juice.”

He used the example to underline, that 'true creativity challenges conventional practice and established thinking'.


Bringing technology into the picture, Mok said, “We’ve got a tendency of using average ideas and leveraging them with technology. “It’s remarkable how we are seduced by the tip but we don’t look at the fundamentals.”

He screened a ‘spoof video’ to back this point.

So what is FCB’s point of view? “We believe that innovation and creativity is the fundamental. Technology is just an outcome.”

Examples of work reiterating the above thought followed.

Sony Bottled Walkman

Utec – The first billboard that produced drinking water out of air

Coca Cola – Rainbow Nation

Brothers in Arm: Bank Job

CNA Speaking Exchange

Mok said, “We have gotten people to do something using this technology. But, it’s about the idea in all of the above ads. If you look at ourselves as consumers we can see the changes in the world. Technology is amazing, but how it can be used only depends on the idea.”

Bell surmised, “You need to question things around you. You need to open up profitable areas and then use technology to innovate. The greatest technology we have is the creativity in our brains and we must look to use that.”


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