The Future of Innovation and Technology is Creative Collaboration

An article by Anne Keane, originally published on Isobar US’s blog.

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From where I sit, the most exciting technology and innovation can be discovered with just a tap or click.  My Twitter feed recently dropped me into a rabbit hole of links filled with anything and everything from massive clean energy improvements in Massachusetts to the rise of experiential retail.

Isobar has an innovation NowLab, where our team is exploring and pushing the boundaries of emerging technology. About a year ago, the NowLab held  an office-wide VR hackathon. The team competing on behalf of the Boston office didn’t include a Developer. We chalked it up to a win because they were able to focus on the idea, rather than the limits of technology. Following that, we collaborated with Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Capture Studios, Viacom and Tiltbrush artist, Danny Bittman to produce Aeronaut, a Virtual Reality music video for William Patrick Corgan’s latest single (a.k.a Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins). For this effort, Isobar was a finalist at the MITX Awards (Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange) in the Best AR, VR or Mixed Reality Application category.

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The Boston-based award show, in its 22nd year (!), shines a bright light on innovation and technology pioneers. Amy Quigley, President of MITX, was impressed by the overall diversity in entries this year: “We are seeing amazing ideas coming from a variety of verticals, including financial services and healthcare. Brands and agencies are pushing what is possible creatively, and as a result consumers are winning.”

Headed into the award show, we were curious to learn how others in Boston felt about the future of innovation and technology.  And, as experts in assessing emotions, we of course knew we couldn’t just “ask” a simple question. Instead, we polled the award show attendees using our proprietary nonconscious emotional testing tool, MindSight© Direct.  MindSight is typically used to uncover the emotions that bring consumers into a category, that drive brand preference, and that create interest in an ad, product or experience,  In this case the tool helped us capture how attendees really feel about the future.

We uncovered an interesting dichotomy of emotions surrounding the future of tech innovation in Boston. While there’s excitement about the future and all its possibilities there’s also some question about how the growth will impact folks individually. Some may question, “Growth is good overall, but is growth good for me?” or  “Will we become like everyone else?” and “Am I still special and will this limit my potential?” One thing is certain, attendees felt strongly that by working together – collaborating and empowering one another – the future of technology and innovation in Boston will be bright.

Steve Myers, Vice President at Isobar (and Boston-based ad guy for 25+ years), shared his thoughts on the topic: “Given the growth we are experiencing, I’m hoping that as an industry we will look ‘inward’ and leverage all of this amazing thinking to help solve for the challenges we’ll face as the population and footprint of our city continues to grow.”

In Boston, innovation isn’t a novelty. It’s the norm. The results of the MindSight study prove that we as an industry are not shying away from this, but rather embracing this exciting future. At Isobar we believe the toughest questions are best answered with collaboration and creativity.

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Isobar’s Academy Programme, BeNeLux edition

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The Brussels and Amsterdam offices of Isobar are co-organizing the September edition of the event, just one of Isobar Academy’s many global program packages that all have a common aim of exchanging experiences, knowledge sharing and encouraging cooperation within the network. This edition will be held in Amsterdam, an ever-inspiring city.

Flying in from several EMEA markets; multiple talents from the agency’s network (among them Strategists, Creatives, Art Directors, Copywriters, Accounts and Creative Directors) will work on a real-life Cubanisto (AB InBev) brief together with the client.

The workshops will be on Experience Design and based around building optimal experiences for brand activations, customer service, brand’s digital destinations, mixing digital and the physical world.

The Programme starts today September 27th and will last until Friday 29th, 48hrs and then some of intense and exiting creative work from 25 people.

 

We’ll update the blog as the event goes on, along with a summary next week.

Why major US movie studios are pulling off from Netflix.

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Twin Design / Shutterstock.com

In case you missed it, it’s been a long time since Netflix was just a streaming service.

Founded in 1997, its business model was mainly focused on DVD sales and rental, but a year later Reed Hastings (Netflix’s founder) dropped DVD sales to focus on the DVD rental by mail business. In 2007 the streaming service was launched and it rolled out to 160 countries as of January 2016.

One of Netflix’s key moments takes place in February 2013, when they debuted their first original series. 13 episodes long, starring acclaimed actors Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, produced (and partially directed) by renowned filmmaker David Fincher, House of Cards quickly became an international sensation and the first of a long series of “Netflix Original” content.

And although there are some turds in their original catalog (see the recent War Machine starring Brad Pitt), there is a very long list of critical and commercial successes (series such as Orange is the new Black, Sense8, Narcos, Black Mirror, Stranger Things, Marvel’s DareDevil and Jessica Jones; feature films like Beasts of No Nation and Okja to name a few).

Recent productions have attracted major talents such as Will Smith, Robert Redford, Tilda Swinton, Jennifer Jason Leigh or Jake Gyllenhaal.

Last week, Disney announced their intent to launch their own streaming service in 2019 (à la HBO Go). This means that the current deal with Netflix that allows the platform to stream hit franchises such as Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbeans, but also the whole Marvel MCU catalog (Iron Man, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc.), is coming to an end.

A few days later, 20th Century Fox revealed they were considering a similar move.

It’s evident that studios are looking to cut off the middle man and make a bigger profit by distributing content themselves. However, the biggest development is the fact that Netflix is not just a partner anymore.

They are competitors.

And as always, consumers will have to chip in, waiting for the dust to settle while retaining access to their favorite content. Or revert back to downloading for some.

 

Edit August 18th, 2017

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple will invest approximately $1 billion in acquiring and producing original TV shows over the next year. The investment could result in as many as 10 new shows, a source told the publication, with the iPhone-maker looking to match the high-quality output of networks like HBO.