What keeps me up at night: FCB chief brand officer David Thomason

  • StopPress + Tech Futures Lab
  • April 16, 2018
  • StopPress Team
What keeps me up at night: FCB chief brand officer David Thomason

FCB chief brand officer David Thomason discusses what keeps him up at night in the first of a new series in conjunction with Tech Futures Lab.

What worries you the most about technology?

It keeps crashing. Anything with software, especially when it’s connected to the internet, is very vulnerable. Yet we’re becoming increasingly reliant on it. Did you notice how many people couldn’t even get out of their garages during the power cut?   

What excited you the most?

I think Uber Eats is a miracle. 

What’s your scariest prediction for the future?

The combination of A.I. with weapons has to rank pretty highly. From an only slightly less immediately dangerous perspective, the quest for immortality combined with rapidly advancing technology is going to get interesting. We imagine tech transforming everyone’s lives, but it’ll probably only be the rich that’ll be able to shed themselves of their vulnerable physical flesh and blood representation and live forever. And it feels very wrong for Trump types to be able to damage humanity for more than a couple of decades.

If you could go back in time, what’s one technology advancement you would rave about to your great-grandparents?

They’d probably be pretty amazed by just a giant flat screen 4K TV and Netflix, but I wouldn’t be able to shut up about Uber Eats. It’s pretty hard to beat. At least until they can do drone delivery.

What do you think New Zealand will look like as a country in 2038?

I’m optimistic that we’ll have very few loud, expensive and poisonous combustion vehicles left on our roads. Wonderful electrical transport, both public and private, will be well on its way to helping save the world.

What’s your social media usage like?

Limited and random. I go through phases of “why am I wasting my (and other’s) time with this?” then back to “ok it’s a good way to pretend I have a broad and varied social life with minimal effort”.

Do you try to limit how much personal information is available about you online?

Perhaps accidentally, as a result of apathy. I’m not very good at posting much, or completing any form of online profile in order to sign up to anything. I’m honestly more likely to wonder what could they possibly get on me that could be of any harm beyond having to do the occasional Unsubscribe.

What will be dead in the next five years? (Products, companies, trends, etc)

I have to separate my wishful thinking (reality shows featuring no people with any discernible talent, The Weinstein Company, Facebook…) from the realistic possibilities. I don’t think nearly as much will be dead as “futurists” keep claiming. And five years isn’t long. But; surely Kodak can’t make another five years? And Unboxing. How is that a spectator event?

What does your ideal robot look like?

Anything but a human. It’s too confusing. I would have said a dog, but an episode of Black Mirror changed my mind.

Will the robots become sentient and kill us all?

Yes. But I’m not sure if it’ll be a violent demise or we’ll just become so sedentary we die through inactivity, depression and, perhaps most likely of all, a failure to breed. (I just watched the bit about pygmy sloths on Planet Earth.)

How likely is it that we’re living in a simulation?

I once read a very long and compellingly logical scientific view on this and, it’s hard to explain, but apparently, the answer is 'yes'. The more interesting discussion is whether that’s a bad thing.

How far should we take human enhancement? (Bionic limbs, computer chips in brains, designer babies)

If you take a broad view of the welfare and longevity of the human race we probably shouldn’t do any of it at all. But if you take a compassionate personal human view, then how can we not? But perhaps introduce some “simple” rule about compensating those with disabilities rather than adding special Iron Man-like powers?

What’s the best use of a chatbot you’ve seen?

Many still tend to be gimmicky, or overpromise and under-deliver when it comes to understanding the subtleties of human problems and language, but they’ll get there. Air New Zealand has a nice one called Oscar who helps you with your travel bookings.

How would you feel about interacting with a chatbot fuelled by a deceased loved one’s texts and social media posts

Is anyone really themselves on social media? Fortunately, they’re nowhere near doing this accurately. And when they are it’ll be very wrong.

What about being a part of a social credit system, Black Mirror-style?

I think humans have always had a social credit system of some form. But completely trust anything like this to technology and, as per my earlier answer, it can crash. It’s bad enough being locked out of your garage by a power cut.

Want to make a change in 2018?

  • Accelerate your career, grow your business, launch your own venture. Grow your knowledge and prepare for our technology-powered age.
  • Check out Tech Futures Lab, one-year Master's designed to fuel your innovative future.
  • APPLY NOW: https://www.techfutureslab.com/master-degree

To read what's keeping other industry folk awake at night, click here.

This story is part of a content partnership with Tech Futures Lab.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

topics
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
In this series, brought to you by Microsoft, we talk to a conceptual photographer, illustrator ...
Insight Creative
Insight Creative
Insight Creative specialises in shaping business stories out the core insights that often lie under ...
20/20 (tele)vision
20/20 (tele)vision
Media consumption is changing. But by how much?
The Hot List
The Hot List
Our rundown of the hottest shows, brands and creators in New Zealand media. 1. magazine ...
Cannes Lions 2017
Cannes Lions 2017
All the winners, the shortlists and the drama from this year's edition of advertising biggest ...
Merger Mania
Merger Mania
All our stories on the nation's two failed mergers in one place
Bauer Beyond the Page
Bauer Beyond the Page
When it comes to creating branded content, there are few better in the Kiwi market ...
The Indies
The Indies
Over the course of this series of articles, we look at how always-nimble indy agencies ...
AdRoll on automation
AdRoll on automation
Marketing automation is tipped to eventually become the only way advertising is traded in the ...
Game Changers
Game Changers
It’s all about PEOPLE. Join us as we discuss global insights, ideas and innovations from ...
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
Celebrating all the winners of the 2015 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards.
Future Tense
Future Tense
In a new series, StopPress talks to a range of newsmakers currently trying to shine ...
Beyond the Page
Beyond the Page
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Up Country
Up Country
In conjunction with News Works, the Up Country series talks with some of New Zealand's ...
Sounding off
Sounding off
As part of a content partnership with MediaWorks, we've asked a few of the company's ...
StopPress Podcasts
StopPress Podcasts
We sit down for a chat with industry leaders to find out what they're up ...
Beyond the Page 2018
Beyond the Page 2018
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Sponsored content

A winning approach: how modern day magazine editors have adapted to the digital age

The modern media environment is characterised by new tools, new channels, new metrics, new audiences and new opportunities. But it’s also characterised by less time, less resource, less expenditure and, in many cases, less readership of the traditional print products. So how has the modern-day magazine editor had to adapt? How are they using their influence and harnessing opportunities? Findlay Buchanan talks to some of the country’s best.

voices

Icebreaker steps into sharky waters for latest ad

  • Advertisement
  • April 17, 2018
  • StopPress Team
Icebreaker steps into sharky waters for latest ad

Icebreaker has released ‘Shark Scientist’, the first of three ads for its latest 'Human Nature' campaign with Motion Sickness. The two-minute spot focuses on marine biologist and shark enthusiast Riley Elliott.

Read more

How is this still a thing: the eccentric advertising underbelly of skywriting

  • Advertisement
  • April 17, 2018
  • Findlay Buchanan
How is this still a thing: the eccentric advertising underbelly of skywriting

The rise of digital advertising alongside traditional print forms feeds off consumers keeping their eyes on the page or screen, but what about those who extend their gaze to the sky? It too is an area for advertisers to make their mark and checking in with Fletcher McKenzie, a feigned Kiwi skywriter and a man fanatical about aviation, it's clear the weather-dependent medium still has its place in the marketing mix.

Read more

Never say 'Never' again

  • Voices
  • April 17, 2018
  • Regan Savage
Never say 'Never' again

Regan Savage reckons there might be something modern brands can learn from the evolution of one of pop culture’s most enduring characters.

Read more
Sponsored content

Walking in their clients' shoes: Culture & Theory's creative collision

There might not be any art on the walls yet, but Culture & Theory is making its mark on its new ninth floor home in Auckland’s CBD with plenty of Post-it notes. What appears to be patterns on the wall are, at closer inspection, carefully considered strategies laid out to tackle the unique problems of clients.

G.J. Gardner Homes aims to go local in new campaign

  • Advertisement
  • April 13, 2018
  • StopPress Team
G.J. Gardner Homes aims to go local in new campaign

G.J. Gardner Homes has launched a new brand campaign ‘We’re locals like you’ via 99’s content production unit, The Workshop. The campaign includes six TVCs shot across the country in a range of community settings.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit