Brain Tap Series: Interview 16 – Asi Sharabi

Back with the Brain Tap Series! Asi Sharabi is a planner at Poke London, and an all-round great guy. I met him a few months ago, and his words of advice at the time were a godsend. Many of you will be familiar with Asi’s blog, No Mans Blog. So without further ado:

The interview:
1.  You recently wrote about location-aware applications, a concept that I’ve been interested in for a while as well. What would the best location-aware application look like to you and what comes closest to it as of date?

The best location-aware app for me should be just like a knowledgeable concierge of a boutique hotel. It never approaches you but is always there when you need it. It’s recommendations are spot on and it focuses on the hidden gems. It will tell you about places and events you’d want to blog and twitter about. It is one that I can customise (e.g I’m only interested in bookshops, independent cinemas and pet shops), and learns my taste over time. I’m thinking customizable UnchainedGuide.

The best one i’ve seen to date is urbanspoon and that’s only because of the playful interface (see my post).

 2. Do you think the current state of the economy will have a long-lasting effect on the world of advertising and marketing, and if so, what will it be?

Oooh. That’s a tough one. I hope that the short or long-lasting effect will be more budgets shifting from traditional advertising to digital so we can see more targeted, innovative, measurable and effective comms. 

3. What are your main hobbies and how do they influence your work?

Currently my main hobby is my 12-week-old baby girl…apart from sleep deprivation it puts me in perspective in general and forces me to ask time and again – ‘why would anyone give a damn about this???’  

4.  What do you like most about what you do?

Spending 12 hours a day online is a double-edged sword. I guess that what I most like about my work is the ability to be WOWed every day, sometimes more than once. I feel extremely fortunate to live the future. To experience the revolution first hand, write about it, read about it and be an active participant in this truly historic socio-technological transformation. 

5. What, in your opinion, is the most creative work/campaign ever produced and why do you like it?

The most creative works ever produced are the works by Jonathan Harris. Not a commercial as such, although his time capsule for Yahoo! can be considered as one. We Feel Fine is a mesmerising exercise in passive interactivity and human emotions. I wish I had done that. (you can read an interview i had with him few years back here)

 6.  If you could start a company of your own, what would it be like?

It will be an agency that focuses on convincing marketing directors and CEOs to dedicate 50% of their media budgets to trying to change the world. So for example, if Sony would have been my client, I’d convince them to take 50% of the media budget of ‘Bravia Paint’ …

……and spend it on painting ugly and depressing council estates all over the UK (in collaboration with the residents) to make them places you want to live in – lively, colourful and optimistic. 

7. What’s your favourite quote?

Other people matter.  (Is that a quote? More like a life philosophy I guess).


Thanks, Asi!

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