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David Shing aka “Shingy” is an Australian futurist, creative director, strategic consultant, and entrepreneur. He is also called “The Digital Prophet,” with good reason.

“Shingy” is a multidimensional creative specialising in advising brands, companies, and clients about inventive and effective approaches to optimizing brand value within the digital landscape.

David’s story is an interesting one. His long list of accomplishments complement his long list of jobs, starting when he was a teenager. As a youth, David worked at a radio show and sold Levi’s. He also became a bartender at 15 years old while also learning hotel management in high school. He became an avid photographer. He even learned four chords to try to become a band member.

“I’m very interested in so many things,” David said during his sit-down with the RUN GPG Podcast.

David came from a large family in a small town in Australia. He studied both graphic and fashion design, but eventually chose the former as his profession. In his early 20s, David invented some internet technologies that opened many doors for him.

He then moved to the United States where he held many positions in large companies including AOL and Verizon Media. He left Verizon in 2019 because he said he wanted to be a better listener and teacher. That’s exactly what he is doing now, advising and consulting with companies about marketing and branding anchored on empathy.

The RUN GPG Podcast had a diverse conversation with Shing covering a lot of topics. Here are some of the topics we covered in the episode:

  • David Shing’s journey to being a branding and advertising consultant for some of the biggest companies in the world.
  • How he teaches people how to mind map so that people will think about peripheral ideas rooted in a core central thought. “It allows people to capture ideas quickly. Brand communication is lateral, not linear,” said David.
  • David describes himself as a creative with a very strong point of view, but at the same time, he closely aligns with empathy.
  • The pandemic has shifted people’s priorities and hobbies. Bedtime reading, baking, and people’s ability to discover things all went up during the pandemic. Companies have to adapt to these changes.
  • Every brand needs a point of view. Advertising is the business of making people want something, but brands that are smart make things that people want. It’s no longer awareness-based advertising or amplification. It’s actually about alignment.
  • One of the biggest mistakes brands make is that they want to amplify the brand when they should be talking about empathy. They want to do what they have always done.
  • Do we know what consumers are up to? No. We can guess but we don’t really know because there are different types of people with different psychographics.
  • Brands should focus on the “feel” and not the usual performance indexes. You have to focus on the feel and the story and not just hijack the internet with crap memes.
  • The importance of USP’s – What is unique about your brand, and how do you deliver that to your target audience?
  • There are multiple ways to connect with people and you should optimize these tools, whether it is through sight, sound, or motion.
  • A lot of brands are selling to the head to try and drive it to the heart. That’s the wrong way. Artificial intelligence is a great start but it’s not the panacea … yet.
  • What is the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution? Intelligence and Data
  • Advice to aspiring ad executives: Act like the human who is consuming the brand. The #1 ingredient is a surprise, whether they laugh or they cry, the feeling of being surprised by the emotion can take the brand a long way.
  • The people David wants to have dinner with.
  • David wants to be known as somebody who inspired others to do better than they thought they could.

Anyone creating in advertising or branding should definitely pay attention and take notes on this one. David Shing has become an important voice as a ‘Prophet’ in the age of digital technology.

Know more about GREATER PROPERTY GROUP and the RUN GPG Podcast by going to or by getting in touch with us here:

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David Shing AKA Shingy is an Australian futurist speaker, creative director, strategic digital consultant, and entrepreneur known for his performative persona and his Bolden polarizing moniker. That digital profits Shingy is a multidimensional creative who specializes in advising clients about inventive and effective approaches to optimizing brand value.

Within the digital landscape, he is passionate about educating big brands about the unique opportunities afforded by emerging digital, social and mobile technologies. Shing has spent most of his adult life in the digital world, working for both large and small creative companies globally. While also co-authoring several technology related patents.

He recently served as Verizon’s media digital. Profit. And prior to that, AOL’s European head of media and marketing responsible for 11 countries. As I said before, he is also the hardest person in branding to lock down for an interview. That’s a fact, David, welcome to the run GPG podcast. Again. Nice.

Hello. And what a mouthful, obviously, that was all too hard in one breath, but I appreciate and respect the cadence. My man. How’s everything. We’re good. Yeah. We’re good. Shout out to me for getting through that bio. It is your bio. And the fact that you’ve read that out like that. I realized I should probably refine my bio to just does stuff.

It does stuff. I mean, pretty specific stuff, which I’m excited to talk to you about again, had to get you on here because as I was mentioning to you before, you know, branding. Marketing design, something we’re pretty passionate about. And I can’t wait to chop it up with you about all things, digital media, of course, but to begin with and set the stage as we did once before.

But I want you to explain it again. I get a little bit of the Shingy background, the shimmy backstories. The first question is who is David Shing? Where are you from? Where did you grow up? You know, It’s interesting. First it feels like this is an interview we haven’t done because I can’t remember any of the questions.

So I’m going to be as equally surprised as I was last time, by the way. But what I do think is interesting is when you first ask a question about. My first instinct is to say, how deep do you want to go? Because you know, we’re going to definitely talk about this. I’m sure. But there are three pillars to every successful brown on planet earth and the first one story.

So, you know, if you were to find out my sort of recent story, it’s pretty easily found on the interwebs. However, the fact that I’m from Australia and I’m from the country of new south Wales, which is halfway between Sydney and Brisbane and inland three hours from this small little country town. 10 kids and, you know, had the misfortune and good fortune to have some mishaps happen in my early part of my life, where I got hit by a car and spent months in hospital and it was pretty badly damaged.

My parents just decided, Hey man, just let this one be what he wants to be. And I, instead of running off the rails, I kinda, I kind of ran towards, being more of a polymath. So as a kid, I, I had a radio show. I. Used to sell Levi’s jeans. I used to toss a walk cause I’m, you know, I grew up in a Chinese restaurant.

I was a bartender by 15, and I know I did not score for hotel management and I was an avid photographer. So I was very interested in a lot of different things. Oh. And I tried to learn four cords to become a member of a band. And at the same time, you know, do the grit and growth that you’d expect for 10 Ks.

It was really kind of fun. But at some point, I decided I need to make a decision on what I wanted to do in my life. And in Australia, we have you go through school with a definition. You don’t come out and just think, oh, I’ll go into university and figure it out later. You kind of want to, you need to kind of know.

And I did. I came out being pretty designed focused, but also fashion focused. So I had the opportunity to study fashion or. Both, both around design. And I chose graphics because I felt like there was this comprehension around design advertising, communications, PR. And what does that mean? And in fashion, that was just going to be a little bit more challenging.

So I went off and studied design night. That’s my background. And that’s where it came from. And it’s. The core of my, my heart and soul today. And, I got to, I was alive you in my early twenties, invented internet technologies, which enabled me to kind of move to the U S later on and try and figure out how that was organized.

So that explains a lot, actually, you know, you have a design background, but how specifically did you get into the world of branding and advertising for some of the biggest companies? Yeah. So as a young designer, I had the good fortune of working for an outline agency. So some of the big advertising agencies would outsource some of their creative ideation to these small agencies.

And I worked for one. And so I was very fortunate that at like 18. 19 because I did a accelerated design degree. I was in the industry and I was designing for people like Peter. Toyota and, you know, a bunch of big brands at the outset. Not because I worked for a big agency because I wait for a tiny one and that tiny agency represented big brands.

And so I had a taste with big brands early on in life. And that was really kind of, I was really lucky, but in my mid twenties, I also tooled around with brand iconography. Like, what does it mean to actually build brands, icons, and designs, et cetera, et cetera. And it was really, that was my first taste. You know how to actually think about brand architecture.

Which ultimately ended up being things like design thinking and David, in my early twenties, I spent some time in Hong Kong. I tried to reclaim my Asian roots. I’m half Chinese. I look like I can speak that language, but I can’t. So it wasn’t incredibly, fruitful for me because they really just want to speak people in their native tongue and.

No, I can barely speak English as you can tell. But what was most interesting for me was I learned this technique of capturing ideation called my mapping. I teach it today. Actually I teach people how to mind that because what it does, it helps you think about a peripheral of ideas by, you know, starting with a core central thought and you just branch off.

And what that allowed me to do is capture ideas quickly and start to understand, you know, a brand communication isn’t linear. It’s gotta be lateral. And so if it’s lateral, if I’m thinking like that and how do I make a brand thing like that? So, anyhow, I got to do some brand iconography when I was, when I was quite young, which was great, but the biggest change in my design career was technology because I’m a classically trained graphic designer, meaning I can talk about hand coding, fonts and spacing and, you know, great things like lifts and all this sort of stuff today.

That is a. Art of craft. And it allows me to come back to that, think about craft, craft, craft, even in the digital experience. But when I self-taught myself, you know, computers and design, that’s when it completely changed my mind and thought, wow, you know, there is so many leverage technologies here that can help create is actually create.

And left brain, right. Brain can be experienced differently. So how do we do that? So that’s, that’s, you know, part of what I did in my early twenties. Anyway, I’m rambling about how I got there, but it was all really about understanding. How do you actually connect with somebody emotionally and how do you technically produce something as well?

So I’ve been very much a practitioner in my career, as well as somebody who talks about the theories of. Mine mappings. Interesting. I didn’t know that maybe I’m doing it wrong. I feel like I’d be really good at mind mapping personally. I think I’ve tried it for some reason. I can’t get through the actual process of brand.

Like I get the idea behind it and you know, I do a lot of public speaking, so I’ve heard that mind mapping can be really good for that. Right. When you’re. Well, if it’s not hooking, you know, it’s a bit like yoga. You have to do it three times for most people. First time. It’s incredibly uncomfortable. The second time, it just seems awkward.

And the third time it may stick. Yeah, there’s a lifetime, but it has been a lifetime for me. And the thing that I like about it, most people don’t know. This is when your mind map, you mix words, colors, pictures, emphasis. So the number of different things that help you in your visual cortex helps your brain recall those things that you’ve articulated around an idea, as opposed to just words.

So most of the world is actually trained on basic ordering of ideas top left bottom, right? And that’s not how the brain necessarily the most fruitful way for the brain to really articulate ideas in small sort of lateral. And that’s why my mapping for me has definitely been, it’s been very sticky mate.

Anyhow. Well, maybe I should apply myself more. Hey, you know, I’ll show you I’ll do it. Come back and make sure I retrain you on it. Oh, a hundred percent. Maybe phone, some bad habits along the way. Well, maybe I did. So, so let’s and the other part is, you know, scripting and fonts and design. I mean, I, I, there was, I went through a period where I was like really obsessed with script, really obsessed.

It it’s some of the best script writers in the world. I reached out to, you know, I wanted to understand, you know, like I, you know, like I said, I’m obsessed with script. There’s some, you know, graffiti writers that now, you know, they showcase their work in galleries and they’re all based on script, based on scripts.

I, anyways, I, I, I feel you. I feel you. now you, in particular, you’ve established yourself as a unique personality, right? In this world, Forbes magazine called you. Check this out, an artist, a globe trotting speaker, and a market seeker. Now the same article also said, David Shang is a storyteller who identifies emerging trends and inspires clients to think differently.

And I’m sure those that work with you would say that that’s accurate, but how would you describe what. Yeah. I think that description from full is pretty accurate. I would just say that EEG, I have a very strong point of view, but at the same time, I closely aligned with empathy, which is very simple. If technology can help move humans forward, then God bless.

Let’s get on with it. Some of the things that. Particularly informs around technology. So I want to spend times at places like CVS is contextualized in technology and the flow referrer of amazing technology. There’s 127 products launched per second. And the category of internet of things, two things, the computation of data is going to have to be much faster and much more interesting and accurate than we’ve ever seen.

And secondly, what are we going to do with that? So if I look at that whole idea of sort of empathy and from the lens of the human, the technology where I find it to be fascinating, Some of the categories haven’t really broken out. They haven’t really become something that people decided to adopt. Cause I find that, you know, to adopt a new habit, you have to be prepared to break one.

And that’s maybe why mind mapping hasn’t, hasn’t stuck with you. We grew up in the world of the internet and then along came social. And obviously autonomy is a big topic right now. And then we have collaboration and we know what that’s all about. So that’s, you know, the heebie-jeebies Uber’s et cetera, et cetera, this world.

And then as well, And then there’s space and health. You know, these are all categories that we’re thinking about in these, in these industries, but they’re the revolution or the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution is really anchored around intelligence. So it’s less about things that distract us.

And it’s more about how things are learnt about us and become convenient. And therefore that convenience could be a helper to brands that help people by the way that they collect their data and feed that back in a unique way. That’s where I think the opportunity is going to be interesting, right. But that wasn’t really to answer a question of yours.

It’s more of a brain fart around things that I care about. And that’s technology helping humans. Yes, it is. Yeah. And that leads me to the next question. Like, you know, I’ve heard you say you have the privilege of looking at things in terms of trends and distilling that down to human terms for brands and companies.

So how do you do that? Like, what’s the process, like how do you help companies and brands relate to the everyday. Yeah, well, great questions, ones that sort of, you know, observing humans in the wild and it’s been pretty wild, man. So particularly in the last 18 months with COVID some of the habits that we think we’ve formed have actually changed.

I read a statistic that said the bedtime reading went up almost 2000. Which I hope most of that is paper. And also when we think about baking went up 35% or something. And the other thing that was, was really interesting is just generally people’s ability to want to discover things went up. And so what has become apparent is in real life is incredibly important to people, to the point of even potentially risking their.

But at the same time, not in the manifestation of what they used to in the past. So a lot of people won’t go back to these massive crowds, they’ll do it in sort of more intimate, safe environments. And how can people translate that? And how can brands take advantage of that? But also, you know, one of those things you asked me, which is how, how does it work?

Well, not just observing people in the world, but I tend to associate. And certainly hanging out with people that online me, I’m married to an artist, which is incredible because she really gives me a different cultural point of view. You know, they help validate some assumptions I have with some of the things that they’re thinking about and their community.

Cause there some times that they have. And they sit on these outliers of, of culture and they create culture that people want to be paddled, and then they have to shift with it because sometimes they get a price to that culture, but we’re on finding this to be fascinating is the group of people that I have as small and we’re connect.

You know, it’s more like a one-on-one dialogue in the old fashioned sense. And then, you know, it just radiates out. The last thing I do is worry about what the internet is thinking about. And, you know, I, I have a small net of people that I get to sort of think about ideas with and see whether that culture is going to translate.

That’s, that’s incredible talking about the, your creative process, how it relates to, you know, distilling brands down to the human terms. Now this is something you’ve been talking about for awhile and you talked about it, right? Like just the pandemic, you know, unfortunately, and then fortunately, you know, baking has gone up bedtime reading.

Is this something you see a lot more companies paying attention to now humanizing technology? Absolutely. And this is why I think it’s an absolutely beautiful time and a conscious time if people want. Be radical in the way that they’re thinking. So for too many years, I’ve stood on stage and have bantered about disruption and that have bantered about brand experience, but the truth is transformation.

So to take that buzzword and contextualize it, you can’t transform unless you’re prepared to one as a person to the organization and the structure of which your organization is, is positioned in. And then ultimately how you actually. Think about that transformation to how you engage with consumers. You know, there’s almost 8 billion people on planet earth and 50% of them have never known life without the internet.

And if you think about the vast majority of people that are walking around the planet with a device, that smart, connected device is pretty amazing when there’s like 3 billion smart phones on the planet. So one of the things that I find to be incredible is what are those connection points really? So today you have a choice.

You can either be left or right. Or black or white or red or blue, and it’s no longer necessarily blended. You have to have a point of view because if you just decide to stay in the middle. You’re going to be in the middle of what I call the care curve. So you have to believe in something, you have to have a point of view as a brand of individual, as a person, as a business, and you need to actually have that ooze out of your brand.

Otherwise people are just going to skim over. And why is that the case? Because that’s what people are believing in today. I never to, regardless of political movement or social movements or religious movements or economic movements, all of these things actually relate to people relating to the world.

And part of that world is consuming brands. We all consume brands. We just have to determine how we’re consuming them. And a big thing that I think is sort of radical in that change is that I was in the business of making people want. That’s ads. That’s radically changed now, too. People feel brands that are smart and making stuff people want.

And if you’re in the other path still of making people want staff, then you have to be very different about the way firstly, you need to change. But secondly, you have to be very different about how you actually connect with people and the biggest thing. And we all have heard about it is empathy. There’s no longer this awareness based advertising.

We really need to make sure that we can have people that can actually align with us. It’s not a valuable. It’s not about amplification. It’s actually about alignment. Can that person come alongside you? Can we change these distinct ways that we connect with people and actually change that mindset as a brand?

And then start to think about that with creatively, how we connect with them because truthfully the industry hasn’t changed enough to radically hasn’t transformed enough or fast enough to radically engage people. Who’ve already. Outpaced their culture. And that is something that’s very hard for us to realize, because look about 20 years ago, we can’t these big holes in the internet and said, this is how we actually connect with people through advertising.

We never evolved those connection points, and I’m not here to rag on those ad units because there was some great experimentation in the early days when those ad units, for example, David. I remember a thing called ban in the box where a band literally made, adds to the size and scale of MPU, which is a Mitch page unit 300 by 250 pixels and a leaderboard, which is 7 28 by 90 pixels.

And the band would stuffed themselves in this box. So you’d have a drummer and a guitarist playing that’s a little tiny square and you’d have a synth player laying down playing, and they did a live concert broadcast across the internet through these banner ads, not thought. We’re on our way to radically revolutionizing this direct mail style infrastructure built across the internet.

Well, we haven’t, what we did is we just decided let’s make it programmatic. Programmatic said, let the robots do all the thinking for us, but let’s just stick them in these spaces and hope to God people realize that there’s still. So we’re changing this whole paradigm to have to catch up to the speed of the culture of the book, what people are actually changing.

And here’s the thing that’s really interesting is that we’re no longer dealing with a consumer consuming. Dead and buried, dude, you’re already classic example of who we’re trying to actually catch up with the creator, the critic and the curator of what an experience, what we’re doing right now is where we are having a one-on-one experience for many people.

How wonderful is that? That’s everybody. Today, attitudinally that decides that they want to be somebody who creates versus participate versus observed. And they’re the three choices pick one. And as a brand . Pick one, cause all three it’s called the internet. And so it has to be fun. We interesting in my mind to think about how that can transform.

I told you this feels like a new interview, man. I talked about last time. I don’t even know what these questions are, but these are the things that I have a top of mind for you today. It’s fantastic. And you know, I’m so glad we’re talking about this. This is something we’ve been preaching for a while now is in our industry, you know, everything’s changed the shopping behavior of consumers has changed incredibly over the last few years, you know, especially in real estate, you know, where people are going to shop for.

You know, properties, how they’re picking a real estate agent, that’s all changed in the last few years. So you have to understand that. And, you know, we say that there’s three big things that have changed everything in real estate over the last few years. And we talk about how to navigate that. And I think you have to adapt and change.

It’s it’s critical. It’s imperative. You must do it otherwise, like you said, you’re going to be left behind, but you know, to that point, maybe that leads into the next question here is, is there one big mistake that you see companies and brands make. Yeah, they’re still talking about amplifying their brand and they’re not talking about the emphasis.

The company alongside people and understanding that, and we talk about brands becoming human or brand speaking human. Is that true? Yeah, it’s absolutely relatable with some, if the brand actually can do that. So I, however, I think the mistake is doing the same thing they’ve done always they’ll, haven’t heard about the last 18 months.

They haven’t listened to what the seismic change could have been and attitudinally that haven’t changed. And that mindset of getting back to where we were. Are you kidding? That is absolutely never going to happen. And second. Who wants it to be like that. If you’re going to be hit with 1500 media messages per day, which ones are you remembering?

And which ones are you consuming to ultimately change your pattern enough to absorb something new? So that’s where I think it’s completely misstepped and also understanding that it is still about consumers consuming content. And they’re not realizing that we’ve got to deal with the creator, the people who consume your brand in a way that allows them to create that.

Better decisions, better cycles, whatever it is that they’re part of that, the opportunity to hand. And look, if you look at real estate, no better example than this, and you know, the shift and move of people around psychologically geographically about their mindset of cities and urban and rural and geographic.

What an incredible opportunity to change because the old days of thinking about how to actually fill out. Has changed because you need to understand that the data you collect on people have to make really interesting decisions that is pointed to the thing that they care about. There’s lots of interesting nuances around it.

Typically never exclusive one, two people are moving for very different psychographic or persona reasons. And so to support all of that and collect that data and understanding that, Hey, these people are looking for to move because they’re really thinking about, you know, the life of their child and they want to be that.

Ultimately that’s the space that they actually occupy. That could be the lowest thing on the list that they’re really trying to understand. And if your job is doing that in ways, it feels really different. You know, I love that such a good breakdown of, you know, the industry has been so archaic for so many years, you know, but from a brand standpoint, from a business standpoint, you know, it’s, you know, Most brokerage models, which we are we’re brokerage, you know, the models were built in the eighties, nineties, early two thousands.

The way that people seek information is completely different. And like you said, you need to connect with the individual, you know, cause they’re, they’re out there, they’re looking, you know, they’re, they’re connected to so much information. So how did connect with them on an individual basis, which is interesting because you do talk about the connected human and how that relates to, you know, brand attention.

So the question is, do we know what consumers are. No, we kind of guessed that they do, or we do, but we don’t really know. And the reason for that is there are different types of people out there, and they’re all have different psychographics. You know, there are people who, strivers or makers or believers or achievers, or however you want to sort of dissect each one of them.

They have a different need. I also have a different use case. So the way that they have connections with brands, particularly digitally throughout the day, China. And what’s fascinating about that. As much as we try and understand how people swipe left right up down, pinch pool, whatever, and how much people like love comment.

We’re trying to understand by this consistent change of intelligence to see if we can know them better. But part of that instinct of knowing them is just understanding how you’re reflecting to them. The second part of that is performing. So you’ve got a great brand story. Wilson, does your brand do what it says it does?

That’s based on its performance ripper, it’s all performance style. And I think that’s kind of a bit rubbish because if it says what it does on the tenant, does it well great. Then that’s the payoff, but the biggest thing that people just don’t focus on it. I mean, what if I look at your brain, what’s the feeling I’m gonna get?

You know, are you urban or rural? Are you going to charge me 15% of brokerage or something? The house that I could have sold directly? You know, what’s the feel for you? Do I trust you when I come to it? All of that is all based on the census of the brand. And you can get that digitally. I mean, there are different ways that you can determine how you want your brand to feel.

We know it in the real world. How do you want. And the digital world. So anyway, Phil, I think people need to spend more time on it. We are going deep on this. I like it. I like it. Um, and you may have kind of answered this, you know, with that question, like what should brands and companies focus on when telling their story?

So it is fair in my mind, not the usual sort of. Performance index is that they they’d run on with, with performance. Because look, if you’ve got a great idea that could be inferred, that creative idea could be inferred by the data that you have. And you’ve just gleaned an insight and your, your gut check, not your head check, but your gut check says this could be a great creative brief, and it feels very aligned with the feel of the brand and you go and see it out there and it starts to be contagious.

Then. And that’s why you decided to pop, you know, tune, tune up the performance matrix. But instead of just coming out and say, I’m going to do a media plan void of an idea. Oh nah, I wouldn’t do that. I think people need to focus on. Also get back to focus on story. Why? Because as we move away from ads and we move into a world where people sort of align with brands differently, because that’s what the social platforms allow us to do.

You have to be very, very, very careful that, you know, you don’t just hijack the internet with bullshit memes. You need to be far more empathetic, as I said, and I’ve used that word a bit too much today, but I apologize. But what I mean by that is. Stories are really good way that you can actually do that because you know, I look at brands, I’m a fan of Chanel, not because it’s the most expensive in its category, but really because I love the story around it.

That makes me feel like when I, if I was to buy a 2.5, five Chanel bag, You know, I know the story behind it is, is mystique is for this mystique and it’s mysterious. And it’s got this incredible little Connie hidden stories that if somebody ever wanted to talk about our bag, I could give them some really interesting knowledge because the story is so phenomenal from the crosshatching on the leather that matters.

The saddle blanket to the color of black, which, which matched the priest in the, all of these things are just incredible little stories that says that brand is incredibly well thoughtful, and it doesn’t matter to him whether it was invented in 1955 or it was invented in. 2025. It’s an incredible story.

Has incredible the Chanel story. If you didn’t know it before. It’s very interesting. Yeah. I love that. Now it’s true that, you know, consumers, they see hundreds of media messages every day, if not thousands, actually right of media messages every day. Can you touch on the importance of unique selling propositions or key differentiators and the importance of identifying them to drive growth?

Yeah. Okay. So that, that whole statement is very KPI, which is fine. And that’s great because it needs to be. So I would say that if you think about USP, the biggest USP in that David, which I think is that’s really the heart of what you’re saying is what is that uniqueness? So how you take that USP and how you actually deliver that to the target audience of which you want.

Be compelling to that’s your decision. The second part of that is what are the things that you actually want to connect with? So there’s a number of those things that just to me, contextualize the whole proposition, cause then ultimately the job should be very difficult for you. When somebody comes in the door and says you came in and you purchased, what are all those things that made you make those decisions?

That person should come back and say, At the end of the day, the pool thread was, it felt like I came in through human language and I came out connecting with a human that made that feel like the biggest decision of my life in a financial purchase decision. It felt like it was aligned. And I had somebody who could support it with me.

And that would be the ultimate reason. Because ultimately what you are trying to do is say in this business of connecting with people, through all these other channels, all these other ways that you can connect, ultimately, they’re going to want to be able to pass it on and say, this person will give you value better than you ever thought you would.

So that’s why I’m using find the next place that you settled. That’s probably one of the greatest breakdowns of what a unique selling proposition should be. I’ve ever heard. That’s a fantastic from the man himself. Now I’ve also heard you talk about the importance of sight sound and motion. So, right.

So in addition to mobile first, like why should companies and brands be thinking about video first? Yeah. Okay. So those three things, right? So if you look at that as a measurement, you want engagement. Why do you want engagement? Because 12 time will allow people to actually hopefully reinforce your brand better than the next.

So video is clearly one of those things that does that, but the other piece, obviously in this visual communication of which way. You know, that needs to be unique as well. I’m not in the more is more category. I like to be more refined about the way that I think about stuff. I’m not an output where it’s like, just, you know, there are many people that go against this, which is just put out as much as you possibly want.

The crowd will tell you that’s fine, but I’m a curator man, which means I actually have a particular point of view about it the way, if you look at my Instagram, for example, so black and white, I shoot. So my phone setting goes to black and white. So I challenged myself before I actually start shooting.

Cause that’s my old, that’s the old photographer in me. So I used that platform particularly for black and white and everything else is in color. So where I, you know, I’m saying all of this, just to say that there are multiple ways that I think that you connect with people and you should be using all of those tools because we are in a multimedia world.

And part of that is. And motion, but sound is equally as important, incredibly impressed by the way that MasterCard has done that, where they engineered a DNA sound. That was a three-second ding, ding, ding at the transaction level, all the way through to saying our brand actually has this much stronger, much more percolated DNA threads.

So therefore this Sonic sound resonance is something that you can recall at the register, or maybe it’s embedded in some of these sounds because answers to pick it up and said, I love the resonance of this day and age. Therefore I’m going to use it in an orchestral piece, but it all came from MasterCard.

That’s pretty dope, dude. And that’s far reaching, but why is it dope? Because if you look at the sound category, smart speakers, et cetera, et cetera, connected headphones. Oh, it’s a multi multi-billion dollar industry of 2020. So we’re not just in this visual based cortex where everything comes in. It’s going to get locked into my Vegas.

No, no, no. We’re in this world. That sound is equally as important. Second most important because yeah, we can connect by vision and that’s incredible. Probably, you know, this, you guys produce incredible playlist, you know, so you hear something sonically, you resonate with you like that is phenomenal. And today that Sonic has to be even shorter than ever before, because back in the day, I’d remember I would buy albums in LPs when I was in the radio days.

And I’d love to sit back and read the liner notes after listening to from track one through 12. Articulated curated by the band themselves. Therefore they’re a, tastemaker, I’m a fan. I’m going to connect and I need to listen to song one song 12 today. If you don’t have built in a cook in your song in about three seconds, good luck that somebody is going to give you three minutes of their time to actually allow them to take that song all the way through.

And I know I even, I found those habits today, man, when I looked for the hook really quick and I like do I still want to get back? And let’s do the whole song now. And you know, that’s three minutes. And then gone to the days when you have an album, you know, how to, you know, five minute drum intro done. So however that said, I do think there is a sort of backlash against that, where there’s elongation for subjects, that people are really interested in allows for that to actually, to have we have room for that, but I’m coming back all of this to say that Sonic is equally as important.

So. You need to make sure it’s visual. You need to have video because you know, it’s part of the context of the world we live in it’s. So is sound and it’s equally as important to think about your Sonic resonance. I miss those days, you know, go into the, the store, buying a CD, bringing it home, listening to the whole thing, reading the liner notes.

I think we’re showing our age, but I do miss it. It, there was something about it. It was a hang on one second. So let me backtrack on that. If you look at all these answers today, launching albums, what are they launching it on? Well, they’re doing vinyl now. They are. Yeah. And there’s more sorry. In 1980s.

Sony closed down their last LP plant in Japan. And they reopened it about two years ago because of the demand on vinyl. And you look at tower records in the UK, in Japan, you have lines around the corner and people actually buying a bottle, which means they are actually going back. So you skim across the surface to talking to you’re interested in, then you go super deep with things that you actually find interesting.

And I find this whole thing to either it’s either. Or it’s just these moments where it just cycles, you see it in fashion, you see it in music, you see it in the fact that everybody thought that everybody in the delivery business sort of had a freak out moment when drone delivery was happening with, with Amazon.

Be kidding me. That wasn’t what they were doing. That was a politically. What they were doing was actually saying, no, no, no, we’re not doing that. We’re going to sneakily over here. We’re building grocery stores in every corner. And over here, we’re building, you know, coffee shops where we allow people to go in and buy books, but we’re going to print them on demand.

You know, it wasn’t about drone delivery. Drone delivery was just a bloody placebo, was more about local, local, local making, but people feel like it’s kind of, they’re connected. And I thought it was genius for those monsters.

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Okay. Here’s the next question. As the world of digital advertising media and branding evolves, you know, everyone’s talking about where artificial intelligence comes in, where AI fits in and exactly where are we going with AI. So I want to get your thoughts on that. The progression of AI, what’s the future of AI as it relates to digital digital.

And when we talk about artificial intelligence, it comes in the capacity of two movements, little tiny ways that it helps make changes. A EEG data collection reflected back. Just a better experience. That’s awesome when it comes to AI. But on the other side, which is the part of your question, which is a leading question about brand’s involvement with AI and what happened that part of it today is called meaning there’s lots of inferred data and insights.

I can go this way. But you still need the human to make the decisions. And what I mean by that particular, when it comes to creative and brand and story, et cetera, the machine can tell you what to do, not how to do it. That’s the role of the human and that’s the role of the creative. So it’s where I’d love people to make sure they’re educated that way through schools and jobs that will exist because the machine is going to scoop up all those things.

If it can be math, it will be math. And so there’s this whole sort of human piece, the emotional piece that really needs to be articulated by head to. Something that says, I don’t think this is right, that my gut is telling me. Maybe we should try it. That’s the head tilt. It also relates back to the sight sound and motion piece, by the way, because ultimately what we’re doing, our job, your job, my job is to drive people’s emotions.

75% of purchase decisions are made emotionally. We sell to the hot, justifying to the head, but a lot of what we’ve seen in brand digital connections, et cetera, selling to the head to try and drive it to the heart. I think it’s the wrong way round. So AI is a great. Start to all of that, but it’s not the panacea yet, because if you go and see some commercials or work that’s been done just, or purely by AI, there’s always something slightly off about it.

And that’s because it’s not driven by that human insight. I’d also say exactly the same thing around avatars. There’s always something a little off about them and that’s because they’re not, there’s this texture that’s missing that can only really come from human issue. Human problems, human mistakes, you know, the grandmasters, I think, I think it was, I’m going to, I’m going to misquote this, but I will say one of the grandmasters said there’s every single one of their paintings has a tiny floor on it, just to make sure that the human brushed it.

And I thought that that’s a really kind of nice way to think about firstly, where is it? Where do I need to go find those? And secondly, it’s just a really nice touch to understand we are human also. But there are, that said there are incredible AI experiences. Particularly if you think about bots that if designed well, can make somebody feel confident because the bot can be far faster than waiting for a human, and secondly can facilitate help.

So if your bots can do 90% of all the support that you need to be done, Before you hand it to the human. That’s great. But if the bot says, now I’m going to hand it to a human, because I’ve now limited my experience with you. I think that’s a really smart transition, so it can be used on the side, on the data side in a way to help get people to where they need to get to then jump it across to the human is a good way of thinking about it.

That’s a fantastic breakdown. You touched on it briefly, the fourth industrial revolution. Can you unpack that? Give us your summary. So the first thing is I from revelation. And then along came electricity and then computing and the fourth industrial revolution is going to be intelligence. And why that’s important for us to understand is that those intelligence come from pretty much everything that has a tiny little chip in it.

And that gypsy the powered by Intel and beta one of the other. Right. And so it’s getting smaller and smaller and smarter. So it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a little device that has using low power Bluetooth to close your blinds and hoping your garage door and all those sorts of things that you think are.

That’s collecting data on you, every single device in your house, it’s a smart device is collecting data on you. So intelligence is clearly where it’s all going. And, but, but here’s the thing. There is no centralized Uber intelligence machine figuring all that out, but it’s our job to interpret how that could be and the platforms, there’s a number of them, obviously working on it to figure out whether there could be that ubiquity.

But the moment there’s no clear. But intelligence is clearly where it’s all going. Super cool. And in the time we have left, what advice would you give an aspiring ad executive looking to make an impact in the world of advertising and branding? Wow, that’s a good question. What would I, what would I tell them?

Depending on where they are in their career, and it really doesn’t matter where they are in their career, and that is actually. The human who is consuming that brand period full stop. And how would you like them to communicate to you in a way that feels like you would say. Wow. I need to share this with all my friends, because this thing is way better than I thought it would be.

The number one ingredient that makes things super contagious is surprise. So if you can either make somebody laugh or make somebody cry, and they’re surprised by the emotion that’s driven by that that’s very emotional based advertising works. And by the way, there is other advertising out there and that’s kind of the DOL stuff, you know, the direct response and that’s fine.

But those two pieces off. Probably never should meet in a dark alley because they’re totally different and they perform different functions and they use differently and they credit differently. But to an aspiring ad executive today is that come alongside the person who should be consuming. It act like them be like them and stand up for.

Who typically will force bad creative is the client. And not because not because they are bad, it’s just the it’s because they think they own their brand and they don’t the person who consumes the brand. I mean that from consuming the brand, therefore to make great decisions that are action-orientated, they’re the ones that are the brand.

They’re the ones who are going to be contagious enough to say, I need to tell other people about it. David. I think it’s that. That’s incredible advice. Incredible advice. Two questions left. We did this before, but I need to ask you again, if you could have dinner with any three people in history, pastor, president, who would they be and why?

Yeah. Okay. So it would be, it’d be both my parents, my dad spoke broken English and bad, bad Chinese in broken English, I guess, but he left way too soon. So I’d love to have conversations with my dad and I lost my mom and last year at the beginning of COVID. So it’d be really good to kind of do a catch up with both of them in the same room, if it was the same dinner.

It’d be funky, but I don’t and somebody likes Stevie wonder in there just because he’s one of the best performance I have never seen. And evidently he’s never seen me, but I’d love to meet him. Cause I think it would be just legendary. And if I could add a fourth person. Obviously, Hey, listen, man, you’re the disruptor.

So add two more people. I’d love to take my wife for the conversation. You said my honey could hear it. And my daughter, so she could get the wisdom from all of those people, because I need somebody like her to be the one who’s going to radically changed where this university. Incredible. That’s a, that’s a fantastic answer.

And final question. What is your legacy? Like? I know it’s, it’s a topic that’s thrown around a lot, you know, creatives think about this. Like when all is said and done, what does this, you know, the David Shing legacy look like, what do you want to be known for? Wow. I would like to be known as somebody who will inspire other students better than they ever thought they could do.

And I have had that fed back to me a few times. Several times when people have come up to me and said, because of what you’ve done, I completely changed my career. And that’s why now I’m having success in this area. And regardless of all the pontificating and all the big brands that I get to bang, bang out with and all that sort of stuff, brother, that’s what it comes down to is.

Somebody had the belief in me at some point along my career to support me along it and take my ideas and say, these are great to be amplified in an industry that needs it to be heard to therefore we need you to be an ambassador for us and for somebody to. Have that happen to somebody else? That’s what I hope I’m here for because, you know, I made it, I’ve made a big decision to leave Verizon at the height of what I was doing, ultimately, because I want to be a better listener and ultimately a better teacher than just an amplifier.

And, you know, that’s, that’s definitely what my consciousness is telling me. Is that helpful, very helpful. And incredibly that’s a sincere answer to wanting to do something else. I would say I want to be the best guitarist on planet earth, which clearly Jesus, that day may have left me. Well, it forces you to think, but anyways, you know, the point is, you know, thank you very much for sharing that with us.

Thank you for joining us today. A really compelling conversation. It’s so true that brands and companies really do need to think about how they’re connecting with humanity. I do believe that as well, so good to get to know you better. Makes sense, why they call you the digital profits? Great stuff. Thank you very much against Shingy.

Really appreciate your time.


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