David Droga: Creatives will be ‘obliterated’ without AI acceptance

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 20 October 2023
David Droga.

Creatives need to stop fighting the fear of technology and continue to remain distinctive, according to David Droga, CEO of Accenture Song and one of Australia's best known and most awarded creative exports.

95% of global leaders believe their customers are changing faster than their businesses but Droga said he's never seen creative people be more valuable.

“Stop crying over the fact that we're going to have less TV commercials or the traditional team structure and be blown away by the fact that you can have a technology person sit at the table with you,” the Advertising Hall of Fame inductee said in an interview with Industry leader and commentator Sunita Gloster.

"If you're a creative person trying to cling to this iceberg that's shrinking, go find a different industry."

Afterall Droga believes most of the advertising world’s damage is self-inflicted.

“That’s why I tell creative people to stop thinking about what’s going to make you redundant and start thinking about how you can shape it and influence it,” Droga said.

“A lot of people are fucking petrified about what these new tools mean but I don't want to see the swath of our industry be obliterated, and all these different talents be taken away.”

droga and Sunita Gloster

Droga and Sunita Gloster.

While Droga pointed out that some aspects of the creative process will be replaced by technology this doesn’t worry him because there is still enough room for creatives to show their relevance.

“Creativity fits into whatever shape there is and creatives need to let go of being nostalgic about what creativity is because success is not nostalgic,” Droga said.

“AI will get rid of the messy mediocre middle of creativity and will make everything be best practices.”

But when best practices are the norm, creatives who are distinctive will become even more valuable than the technology itself.

“AI can’t capture the nuance, imperfections and flaws of what make creative people creative,” Droga said.

“When everything becomes formulaic, even though the standard will be higher, that standard will seem to drop because everything will be the same.

“That's where the opportunities are because as people we are drawn to things that are distinctive and make connections to us.”

Businesses in all categories - from a trillion dollar company to a startup - are faced with headwinds and changing consumer behaviours. Combine creative thinking with technology and Droga believes we’ll have the solutions to most challenges.

“Technology can allow us to fulfil all three aspects of the speed, quality and cost triangle which we’ve all been lectured by a client at some time,” Droga said.

“Technology and AI in general allow us to get things out of our heads faster, allow us to iterate more and amplify things at a high quality and at an affordable cost.”

This philosophy is why Droga sold his company to Accenture because he truly believes creativity and technology need each other.

“I don’t want people to have to choose between them - creativity needs technology to be real and technology needs creativity to become more relatable and human.”

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