When Emmanuel started out his career there were convent educated English copywriters who would write the queen’s English with a chip on their shoulders. He survived them. Then the market gave birth to copywriters from the cow belt who wrote, with many chips on their shoulders, in the language of the masses. He not only survived them, but also led his agencies to global fame.

He has worked close to 2 decades at the largest advertising groups in the world WPP (Ogilvy, Contract) and Publicis (Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis Worldwide), and has created work across categories like Fintech, Automotive, FMCG, IT services and Consumer Durables. In 2003-2004 he was ranked India’s #1 creative according to Campaign Brief Asia. He has won every award in the industry including the coveted Cannes Gold.

Emmanuel has judged prestigious awards shows like D&AD, Adfest, London International, Kyoorius and is a regular jury at Goafest. In 2017 he addressed about 1500 delegates from around the world at Adfest, Pattaya. Today as technology is disrupting every industry, it looks like we have entered an age that is programmed for people who can provide solutions with the language of ideas. Looks like Emmanuel was built for these times.

He recently quit a high profile position as CCO at Cheil Worldwide to start something new: EFGH Brand Innovations.

Presentation Synopsis:
Emmanuel will delve into the emergence of technology in the creative landscape, addressing crucial questions about the future of human-generated ideas. He will decode the “Technology of Idea” as a true differentiator in the realm of brand communication. Exploring the premise that Al and technological advancements are tools rather than creators, akin to the revolutionary impact of the Gutenberg press, he will emphasize the enduring power of human-generated ideas in an era where innovation meets automation.

Main Points:
• Understanding the synergy between technology and creativity in brand communication.
• Insights into utilising technology as a catalyst, not a substitute, for creativity.
• Strategies for navigating the evolving creative landscape and leveraging the fusion of technology and human ingenuity for brand success.

Emmanuel Upputuru: Trailblazing the Fusion of Technology and Creativity in Brand Communication

A few years ago, there was a lot of talk of VR and AR. And then crypto, NFTS, metaverse were trending a couple of years ago. But they all played little cameos and either exited or they continue to hang around with little consequence. But AI is the biggest story today that is impacting not just creativity but practically everything. We are living and breathing it already. It’s like when the internet first came into being. And, the scary or the most exciting part is (depending upon how you look at it), this is just the beginning. Every brand is playing with it – it’s like when social media came – you had to have a social media handle. So, brands are doing something, or anything, with AI. The tools that manifest in generating images, videos, and of course copy writing through Chat GPT.

One of the most tangible ways it will change is how we will think. AI will become a sounding board – ‘let’s see what it throws up – or what it thinks of my idea’. It’s like Joaquin’s Her – but in the creative department. When we began our careers, the inspirations used to come from life around us, these would get stored in our memory banks and when the time came these ideas and thoughts would fly on their own to our rescue. Then platforms like Pinterest came along and so did award-winning work – where people could see and then try and get inspired by them. Now we have a live tech partner. Or a live-in tech partner, to be more precise!

There must be loads of them. Allow me to share an example from my previous agency – our team developed Good Vibes for Samsung.  It is a two-way communication app for the deaf and blind. It converts text or voice into vibrations & vibrations into text or voice. Using Morse Code, a language almost as old as Braille, Samsung Good Vibes breaks down the barrier of communication for the deaf and blind. The app interprets every letter of the English alphabets & numbers into Morse Code and Morse Code into English alphabets & numbers. When I sent a message to a deaf and blind girl at a centre in Delhi from my phone and she messaged back, I had goosebumps. It won more than hundred awards globally.

I think we give too much importance to technology. It’s just a tool. We created it, we have every right to use it. And I mean it in the most literal sense of the word “use”. Let technology feel it’s been “used” – if you know what I mean. But of course, it’s too dumb to not have its own feelings. At an individual level, creative people need to be prepared, to be humble to learn and understand the latest in technology and see how to “use” it.

With a traditional asset like film for example – one can guess how much would a film production cost and the timeline. But the same task becomes challenging with innovations. When you are creating, using, working with truly innovative technology it means by default you are dealing with the unknown. Two big factors of the unknown are: costs and timelines. What’s the cost of development and deployment and how do you calculate timelines because there are so many dependencies and variables. Part of the solution and the complexity is also to get the right partners who understand the scope of work and are best placed to deliver. And then deciding the ownership is challenging too.

This is a tough one to answer. I don’t think I am even the right person to attempt an guess. Creative folks are not prophets. We scan what’s happening right now, what’s available at the moment. Our play is to connect two seemingly disparate technologies and tell a brand story. Now I can only imagine Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning growing by leaps and bounds. These are exciting times we are living in.