AI, Empathy – Hey, Boomer! – An Agency

I will admit it. I am a proud product of the Baby Boom. I began my career in Los Angeles armed with an IBM Selectric, a bottle of Wite-Out and the expectation of producing 60 hours of work in a 37.5 hour week. Every day was in the office. Every meeting was in person. Technology was a messenger service that picked up packages. The fax machine was a Godsend. FedEx was the last stop of my day. Then Steve Jobs made that funny looking typewriter and everything changed.

Imagine that I grew up with an 8-track player in my car listening to Boston, Bruce and Buffet. I fell in love to Desperado and fell asleep to Johnny Carson on one of the five channels my family tv could produce. Somehow my hair went from over my ears to over my collar to over and out. Like many of my fellow Boomers I have somewhat grim memories of road trips that simply elicit the ‘are we there yet’ mantra of my generation.

Which is as good of a segue to where we stand as marketers in this never-ending technology forward driven economy. Are we there yet with AI? We use AI to boil the ocean digging for insight hidden in reams of data. We use it to jump start creative development. AI produces not-quite-yet-ready for primetime final art. AI optimizes our paid traditional and social media placements. We even use it to drive from one meeting to another (if Pip’s driving weren’t scary enough). We are into it, but are we wholly ready to abandon individual expertise to machine learning?

As a Boomer, I admit to being something less than a digital native. But don’t accuse me, or my generation, of being technophobes. We have lived the learning curve. And I suspect we will continue to adapt as we move through Web 3.0 and whatever else the genius of Silicon Valley produces.

That’s an underlying theme of this blog post. Employing AI to advance our hard skills while continuing to draw from empathy, intuition and experience to bring humanity to all of our work.

The attached long-form reports on Boomers’ lives from two perspectives. The first section largely handles the cultural references that have shaped the generation and how in the broadest sense Boomers are moving into retirement. The second half is a more traditional look at aging through numbers and what the Boomer experience is today.

When you think Boomer, think Brad Pitt. Or for those of you reading this who are Boomers, think Susan Sarandon. Your brand may or may not be Boomer reliant. That is not essential to this read. The takeaway here is to consider the entirety of a person, not simply their intersection with your brand. When you meet a person where they stand, you meet that person in their entirety.

Of course our true purpose is to create a connection with you. To begin a conversation. Our agency is built on the premise that evocative creative work must be built from a sound commercial base. Or as my fellow Boomers might say, let’s run it up the flagpole, think outside the box, get on the same page so that going forward we can cliché ourselves into a Cloud of agility. Ping.

Boomer out!

Michael Littman

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