Mark Brill Q and A

1. What are you looking forward to most about the event?

This event is important in helping to address some current, crucial issues in digital media. Above all I’m looking forward to hearing from a really great line up of speakers. Rory Sutherland is always insightful and funny (go and watch his TED talks) and Aurasma are really pushing things forward in Augmented Reality technologies.

2. What particular opportunities in the Digital Revolution excite you the most?

I would say this, but it has to be the rapid uptake of smartphones. Their use is disrupting traditional and other digital media channels. Consumers are accessing brands through smart devices in almost every situation and location. Trends such as showrooming may be seen as a threat, but inevitably it creates some significant opportunities for really innovative, consumer-focussed engagement. The confluence of smartphones, social media and other trends such as Big Data has the potential to create a real meaningful impact on our lives.

3. What is the most unthinkable, unimaginable concept you can think of happening in the future with regards to the industry?

Our view of the future is as much a view of ourselves right now, so it’s hard to say what the unthinkable will be, but let me give it a go… 3D printing means that products become free. Think how the internet and has made information and much of our media largely free.Then imagine what will happen when 3D printers can work with almost any material and are cheap enough to have in your home. Printing your own spare parts for your washing machine or your car are obvious applications. It will be simple to do, as 3D files for just about every object will be distributed on the internet, for free of course. But what if you could also print food or clothes or even spare body parts? There is already a machine that prints with chocolate. Products will loose their value as objects and will essentially become free. That will have a massive, disruptive impact for many brands, particularly product brands. Old product brands will need to re-invent themselves and there will be new kinds of businesses to service our needs.

4. If you could have one super power to sort out all the problems you see, what would it be and how would you use it?

My superpower would be Photoshop. That’s real life Photoshop. If I had a rough night, I could use a bit of gaussian blur to smooth my eyes over in the morning, or add a tan. That’s a pretty obvious use, and women of course have make up that does that kind of job. I’d also like to be able to use my Photoshop superpower everywhere. The day’s looking a bit overcast? I’ll just paint in a blue sky. Better still, if I’m in the pub and there’s an annoying bloke opposite, I’ll just use the magic wand tool to select him and delete him form the picture.