I met and talked to Faris Yakob at Futures of Entertainment 2 in Cambridge, Mass just over a year ago. It was one of the more memorable moments from that trip, I must say.
Faris, who was with Naked then, has a quick wit and a sharp mind. He also has a new job at McCann/New York. According to Adweek, he’s the agency’s newly named chief technology strategist (the official language for “digital ninja”).
The affable Londoner moved to New York 10 months ago. “I thought living an episode of Friends would be exciting,” Yakob says with a laugh. But the transition, he admits, was actually a bit of a culture shock. “You assume it will be so similar [to London]. But the scale of the industry here is so much bigger.” Of course, he adds, the opportunities this presents are why he moved: “America seems, in general, to be pushing the boundaries of how technology works … and how brands can usefully operate in these spaces.”
Always enamored by new technologies, he says he’s currently enjoying playing with geodata, an iPhone application that allows users live street views on the mobile phone.
How can the tool be applied to brand building? “I don’t know yet,” says Yakob. “I don’t think anyone does. And that’s what makes it so exciting.”