David Droga at SxSW Sydney on creativity and AI


David Droga is absolutely someone I wanted to hear from at SxSW Sydney (among many other claims to fame he is the most awarded creative ever at Cannes Lion and CEO of the $16 billion agency Accenture Song).

Creativity was long supposed to be last bastion of human dominion over machines,. Yet over the last 18 months that has been cast into doubt. So what is the future of creativity in a world in which AI is – in some ways at least – becoming creative? It’s best to get it in David’s words. Here are some of most interesting quotes I captured from the session.

“My starting point is I don’t think all creativity needs to survive.”

“I just think that creative is going to thrive and survive no matter what duress or what rears its head.”

“You know what, it’s just going to amplify and enhance.”

“We have to let go of being nostalgic about what creativity is. Success is not nostalgic, neither is creativity.”

“The CEOs and the CTOs and growth officers… are looking for these creative people because clearly these people ask different questions. If you ask different questions, you get different answers.”

“We’ve all probably been lectured by some client or someone’s told us the triangle of speed, quality and cost: pick two. I grew up with that whole thing. Three, you know what you, need all three now. Technology can allow us to do all three, you can do things at pace, you can do things that are high quality, and you can do that at an affordable cost.”

[In the context of selling his agency Droga5 to Accenture to create Accenture Song] “I don’t want people to have to choose between the march of technology and the purity of creativity and only one of them could survive. They both need each other. Creativity needs technology to be real. Technology needs creativity to become to be more relatable and human.”

“AI could write the next version of Fast and Furious, you could plug that in right now and I’ll give you 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14. Gen AI is not going to write Barbie. It’s not doing because that’s that’s a different take on things, that takes a type of mindset that is leaps and irreverence and quirks and all these different things that make us who we are.”

“Look at the sort of industries that disappeared within our industry as it merged typesetters, storyboard artists, all these things that were crucial and part of the ecosystem just evaporated. Many people found new ways to position themselves; technology is irrepressible. So when we accept that it’s irrepressible. Then you start to work out’ “okay, what’s my take on that?’ That’s why I say to the creative people, stop thinking about what’s going to make you redundant, start thinking about how you could shape it and influence it. Because that’s what it needs.”