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'Immersive tech is a double-edged sword': AKQA creative head on emerging tools


By Imogen Watson, Senior reporter

April 2, 2020 | 3 min read

Resh Sidhu, AKQA NYC’s group creative director believes immersive technology can be a double-edged sword for brands and agencies hoping to tap into emerging tech.

'Immersive tech is a double-edged sword': AKQA creative head on emerging tools

'Immersive tech is a double-edged sword': AKQA creative head on emerging tools

“They come with an amazing promise, but also a tremendous amount of challenges,” Sidhu explains at The Drum’s Digital Transformation Festival during a conversation regarding the tools creatives are using to create success in today’s market. “Especially within the current landscape.”

As group creative director for AKQA – an agency that specialises in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) – Sidhu has had her fair share of conversations with clients on the benefits, and challenges, of working with tech.

“We want to empower our clients to use these new mediums in the right way and to make sure that the content is really truly adding value,” she insists. “It's so easy to jump on the bandwagon,” she says, referring the hype around VR in 2017 to 2017. “We saw a lot of brands doing experiences without thinking about the long-term impact or how they fit it in with a wider brand strategy,” she remembers. “Or even how consumers would react and respond to them.”

Sidhu explains that moving forward, tech can an interesting challenge. “It's new, exciting and definitely uncharted territory,” she explains. “Though at the same time, it's immensely challenging for teams to navigate in this ever-changing landscape. Every night, it's like having to wake up and do your homework again, because there's a new headset and there are new updates.”

Sidhu recommends brands and agency’s who want to get into immersive technology to “partner with somebody that is going hold your hand through this process. A good partner isn't just about finding the next shiny new thing. What it should be about is seeing those technologies and understanding how they play into your brand and how they play into the way you want to communicate and tell your brand stories to your customers and your audience.”

Further, she insists you need to have an understanding of what is your audience and how are they reacting to this technology, and see if they are they engaged by it, if they even care or if they even have it?

You can watch the full interview here and view more content from The Drum's Digital Transformation Festival here.

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