SXSW: Creativity, AI and the robots that are coming

There was a stack of robots at SXSW this year.  Over just four days, I managed to watch robots play drums, print names on table tennis balls (Royals logo looked great btw), hear a debate between two robots on the virtues of Lady Gaga vs. Taylor Swift and even go to an ‘artificial (comedy) improv’ session featuring a cast of robots dressed up in drag!  All these androids ‘taking over the world’ are bound to make some agency folk more than a little paranoid about the future of work.  But others are embracing the fear and running headlong into a cybernetic future where computers understand more of our intuitive human knowledge and – if we’re interested enough – may actually help improve one of the key things that makes us human in the first place:  that is, our ability to emotionally connect with others.

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I knew diversity was important. After SXSW, I now know (even more about) why.

The importance of diversity in the communications industry has been a much talked about topic for the past several years.  It’s something that The Royals talk a lot about also as part of our mission to be the ‘most interested agency in the world’. You may have already read the press on diversity being one of the key themes at this year’s SXSW. 

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Announcing: Small Heroes By The Royals

This morning we kicked off our Small Heroes initiative at Work Club Melbourne with a high spirited breakfast panel discussing the changing face of Australian small business.

Small Heroes is a new Royals program we’ve developed to get under the hood of Australian small business, to better understand their challenges, motivations and incredible diversity. This ongoing project will include one on one interviews, broader qualitative research, trends analysis and a national breakfast panel series.

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Job Role: Pokemon Go Hunter

UPDATE: This position has been filled. Thanks so much for all the entertaining applications!

I love Pokemon Go but I have a really busy job at The Royals. I’m so busy. We do a lot of strategy and innovation here. Some days I hardly have time to play table tennis or darts at work. So I’m looking for an intern to take out my second phone each day and find me some Pokemon. I don’t want to get left behind. And I really want an Oddish. You’ll get an incredible amount of exercise (cheaper than a gym membership!), see the sights (it’s like a free city tour) and we can talk about Pokemon before and after each of your hunts. That’s probably the bit I’m looking forward to the most. Apply here.

Or, go for one of these other awesome jobs at The Royals: http://theroyals.com.au/jobs

Dave

Update:

Here are some of the super applications coming in vying to be my Pokemon Go Hunter:

poke1

poke2

poke3

 

Job Role: Junior Account Manager

Have your sights set on Account Service superstardom?

We’re on the hunt for an Junior Account Manager (full-time, Sydney-based) who’s destined for BIG things. What’s a day in the life of a Royals look like?

  • You’ll work closely with the Royals teams to deliver well-managed, polished, outstanding work for our clients on time and budget.
  • You’ll manage and nurture client relationships to keep them super happy.
  • You’ll master the skills of all-round project management. At the Royals, a ‘Can Do’ attitude is everything – you need to be super keen in order to learn everything there is to know to become the next agency Account Service All-Star. Ideally, you’ll have 1 – 2 years experience and already have an understanding of general agency processes so you can hit the ground running on an amazing portfolio of clients. What else are we looking for in our new Royal?
  • You’re hungry and cannot learn enough, fast enough…about our industry, our clients and our crazy world.
  • You know how to keep calm and be proactive.
  • You’re inherently curious and not afraid to ask questions.
  • You’re an admin wizard.
  • You hate leaving the office with anything still left on your ‘To Do’ list.
  • You’re passionate about the importance of delivering first class client service.
  • You can juggle multiple things (plates, fire sticks, projects) all at once.
  • You’re organised and an organiser.Interested? Find out more by talking to Kristy at membership@theroyals.com.au

Job Role: Junior Strategist

Say hello to the Royals planning team.

We’re super friendly and looking for a junior strategist who’s Sydney-based to join us. Is there anything you can help with? Sure. There’s plenty…

  • Category analysis.
  • Desk research.
  • Research summaries.
  • Insight/opportunity hunting.
  • Brief writing.
  • Workshop prep.

But, what exactly are we looking for?

  • You have a year (or two) under your belt in an agency. The good news? It doesn’t have to be in strategy.
  • You’re hungry to become a strategist, not because it’s a cool job title (yeah, we know
  • it is…), but because you’re a naturally curious person who is most happy when you’re getting in under the hood of a brand, behaviours or culture.
  • You’re equal parts creative and logical.
  • You’re collaborative, not a ‘bubble thinker’, but someone who isn’t afraid to share early, ask lots of questions.
  • You know that you don’t know everything and know that you never will – a great
  • strategist is about constantly learning and relearning.
  • You have the kind of attitude that creative and clients alike just dig.
  • You’re ready to try new things and ask for help along the way.

How might you know if you’d make a good Royal?

  • You’re inherently curious.
  • You’re an interesting person.
  • You’re a doer.
  • You’re not afraid to ask how, why, when.
  • You’re Hungry to create better ideas than what is out there at the moment.
  • You’re a bit of a slashy and never afraid to try something new or get your hands dirty.
  • You’re a rockstar to get on with. I.e. We’re just going to love having you around the place.

Interested? Find out more by talking to Kristy via membership@theroyals.com.au

I spent Friday night with my hands behind my head being interrogated and repenting my sins

I went to Underground Cinema.

The only details we knew about the cinema experience was the name, Hope 2.0 and the dress code, foreign.

Communicating only via Facebook, we were told the location of the event the day before – Coburg, and given the instructions to be on time, we won’t wait!

We arrived to join the line of other foreigners, mainly Mexican’s and the French it appeared. The line snaked along a chain link fence – on the other side of the fence, where guards dressed in army fatigues and swat gear whilst directing large muzzled Alsatians along the line. With the odd gypsy lady walking along and singling out people and placing an orange in their hand… I was “lucky” and received one.

Screeching around the corner, engine revving and slamming on the brakes to come to a sliding stop appears a white battered van. The Guards start shouting and swearing at us to get us running into the back of the van, the van is dark, the windows are blacked out with newspaper. There’s a few a laughs and giggles – these soon vanish as the driver tells us to “shut up, you think this is fun, you won’t for long!” With a heavy right foot we hoon off going who knows where, a couple of handbrake turn’s and never seeming to slow down, people are bounced around the back and laughs are replaced with screams.

We come to abrupt halt and a gun comes through the door and more shouting as we get pulled out of the van and pushed into a large covered processing area, guy’s one side, girls the other side we’re told. I’m holding my orange, not sure what would happen if I dropped it. We all get shouted at, “don’t look at me”, “look at the ground”, “hands on your fucking head!”. Two members of the armed guards see the orange I’m holding and roughly pull a black back over my head and drag me off, making me run with no idea where I’m going.

I get thrown into a seat, and there’s more shouting, this time asking for my name, then I hear a female voice and the bag is removed, bright flood lights are blinding me and the two guys in balaclavas are so close I can smell their breath. The woman is telling me that I’ve betrayed the uprising and I need to get back onto the plan and can I be trusted? My face is marked with charcoal and I’m given a slip of paper. The bag back on my head, I am ran out of the interrogation room and thrown into a chain link fence…

I walk around the corner and things are a little more relaxed. There’s food and a bar. The area looks like a makeshift camp, rooms made from blue draped tarpaulin. There’s guards walking around and hassling people, and odd rooms, with equally oddly dressed people in them – I lost the people I came with long ago.

After grabbing a drink, I pull the note from my pocket “You must find the preacher, repent your sins and find Bruno”.

Around the camp, it feels a uneasy, you’re not sure when the next thing is going to happen, there’s small explosions going off and the guards drag people off with black bags on their head.

Wasn’t too hard finding the preacher – she was walking around waving a bible to the sky and screaming. I talk to her, she demands I get on my knees, she shouts, there’s a lot of shouting tonight, “whats your sin”, “um, I stole an ice cream when I was a kid on the way home from school”, she call’s me a thief, hits my with her bible and makes me to scream to the sky that I repent my sins. She believes that I truely feel sorry and have repented, she gives me a sleeping bag and sends me on my way to find Bruno.

This finding characters and solving missions carries on for another hour – every attendee that night gets missions.

More shouting and we’re given cardboard signs with “freedom” written on them, what appears to the leader of the uprising, gets on a platform and delivers a speech about freedom and a made up government, he marches through the crowd, we follow, whilst banging our signs and shouting freedom – we’re lead into another warehouse – this time there’s a cinema screen and seats.

Guards get on stage and tell us to keep the event a secret until its all over.

I found my friends. We watched Children of Men.

The night was an incredible way to experience cinema. Amongst other things. Sign up to their newsletter and social account ready for when the next one is announced.

http://www.undergroundcinema.com.au/

Paul