‘People get lost in the shiny objects of the moment. But technology is just a tool’


Don’t mistake device proliferation for creativity, warns advertising supremo 

Wong Doody is a top advertising agency in the US. We’ve got a great piece coming up in the next issue of Dialogue with Tracy Wong, creative director at the agency, which has just been crowned Ad Agency of the Year by Advertising Age.

Wong Doody specializes in extremely impactive, sometimes controversial campaigns, like this one – described as “genius marketing” for US drama Gossip Girl:

At the heart of Wong Doody’s USP is the need for innovation in advertising and marketing. Yet Tracy Wong, its creative director, told me that innovation has come to mean technological advance – leading some people to think (wrongly) that simply by using the latest tech they are somehow meeting the creativity challenge.

“It’s so funny because tech has been at the forefront of the conversation,” Wong said. “But very few people will ask how does creativity influence things? People get lost in the shiny objects of the moment… Technology is a tool. It is what you do with the tool! People get lost with that. When people are looking for the latest way to engage with the customer, well you can have this technology at hand, but if you don’t use it in the right way? Well it’s like, ‘I’ve got this new hammer, it’s brand new, but I don’t know which end to use. I’m not using it the right way, I’m not using it artfully.’ Well that’s not really going to help.”

Look out for Wong’s piece in the upcoming issue of Dialogue, out in December.