Soul Creative Virtual Reality (VR)

The creative spirit in technology, according to The Drum Roses Creative Awards’ judges


By Dani Gibson, Senior Writer

February 20, 2018 | 6 min read

The Drum Roses Creative Awards strive to find the hidden gems in advertising, design and digital. We speak to some of the judges for 2018 to talk about how creativity and technology are converging in the ever-changing landscape.

From Snapchat, to AR and VR, to Facebook newsfeeds filled with bountiful creative led posts, it’s not hard to see that creativity is merging with technology. But are we in danger of losing the story behind the concept when applying technology? Our Drum Roses Creative Awards’ judges discuss this and more.

Creativity is at the heart of all marketing, but how does technology affect the opportunity to tell engaging, effective stories about a brand?

Emma Scott Robsinon, creative director, SapientRazorfish: Creativity and technology truly complement each other. Emerging products give creatives new ways to bring our ideas to life. It’s about expanding our tool box. Technology also lets us mix and match concepts, search, play and test more than we’ve ever been able to do so before too. And that allows us hone our ideas, so they become sharper and more relevant.

Wayne Deakin, independent creative director: Technology is becoming more ubiquitous in our lives. Screens and interfaces are starting to be removed more and more. Or the way we access information is changing and we now digest things in a whole host of ways. Increasingly this changes our relationship between creativity and technology. Both are becoming equal and necessary partners in brand storytelling and create new and exciting opportunities to engage people.

Shaun Moran, creative director, Soul: Yes, technology can greatly enhance your ability to tell stories about a brand (it can put you in the story, it can give you the option to change the story, it can make the story personal to you). However, you still need a good story (you still need a good idea).

Is there sometimes a disconnect between creative and technology?

ER: Perhaps. I think there’s still a ‘them’ and ‘us’ culture in many agencies – that opinion that only creatives can bring the inspiration and the empathy and the technologists merely bring the efficiencies and build capabilities. Understanding what each discipline can offer to the other is essential. We should be more collaborative.

WD: I personally don’t believe in building walls. Consumers just want frictionless experiences without walls in their life and the two working together lets you create meaningful connections. Data, technology and creativity means there’s an awesome world of opportunities to connect not disconnect. To quote Bruce Lee or the legendary Kung Fu Panda “Be Water, my friend”. Both forces need to work seamless together and its amazing force that can achieve game changing things.

SM: When using any medium – and in many ways technology is a different medium in which to communicate – we should consider technology when thinking of how ideas work with a certain technology (just the same as if we were, say, writing for the medium of TV). What we shouldn’t do is use technology for technology sake, it needs to be relevant.

Is creative (as we know it) adapting to technology?

ER: Creative has always adapted to technology. Look at the plethora of apps, startups, film content, IOT products, immersive games – all springing from new tech opportunities. Technology has opened the floodgates and creativity responds with a rush of beautiful, wonderful and extraordinary ideas.

WD: People choose how they want to access, interact and engage with a brand. If you aren’t adapting your thinking to be consumer centric you may as well just pack up and go home right now. Both creativity and technology need to adapt around this reality to succeed. It’s absolutely essential to nurture traditional creative craft skills but it’s about adapting those skills into new and exciting possibilities.

SM: Being the first to use a piece of technology isn’t creative (although creative awards have been won for being the first to use the latest tech). Using technology to say something in a new and interesting way is creative.

How do you see VR and AR evolving, with creative at the heart of it?

ER: I remember the first time I put on a VR headset. It was cumbersome and made my forehead itchy. And I felt slightly sick afterwards. Perhaps not the best feelings for any brand to be associated with. I’d love to see this tech evolving to enrich the way we teach kids and broaden their horizons even more, like the extraordinary Home : A Space Walk from the BBC and VR production studio, REWIND. We need to keep creating ever-better content with compelling narratives to show what this tech is really capable of.

WD: VR and AR will start to create work with better narratives for brands. The extra dimension they bring will see more examples of deeper stories or better utilities for brands. We will also see more creativity in leverage different kinds of biometrics to deliver more meaningful and personalised experiences - that’s going to open up really interesting opportunities for creativity.

SM: I remember pitching an idea to a well-known retailer about seven years ago which used Aurasma AR technology. It was a simple thought that allowed you to place items around your home, so you could try-before-you-buy when shopping online. The client loved the idea but weren’t willing to commit ‘just yet’.

I think the uses for AR in marketing are massive and surprised it isn’t being used more. Simply being able to display your product on any surface or person has huge commercial benefits. A few retailers leading the way include Home improvement store Lowes with its ‘holoroom’ and fashion retailer Rebecca Minkoff with its ‘magic mirrors’ in the fitting rooms. I’d just like to see more retailers following.

Robinson, Deakin and Moran are judges for The Drum Roses Creative Awards, which recognise the very best creativity in advertising, design and digital. Each year sees the best regional agencies compete for a gold, silver or bronze accolade, awarded by the prestigious judging panel.

The deadline for entries has now passed, but you can apply for an extension by contacting

Sponsors for the awards include Become Recruitment and Chesterfield Group.

Soul Creative Virtual Reality (VR)

More from Soul

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +