Iain Tait: less is more

A founder of Poke, Iain Tait recently left his position as global interactive creative director at Wieden + Kennedy to work head up Google’s Creative Lab division. His hugely engaging talk at OFFSET was another highlight of day one…

A founder of Poke, Iain Tait recently left his position as global interactive creative director at Wieden + Kennedy to work head up Google’s Creative Lab division. His hugely engaging talk at OFFSET was another highlight of day one…

Tait began his talk by showing the various electronic gadgets that kept him amused and entertained as a child in the 80s, showing the first calculator his dad bought him, his first games console, his first Casio keyboard and the ZX Spectrum that gave him hours of pleasure through playing games such as Hungry Horace and Manic Miner.

“One thing 80s games taught you was resilience,” he said. “To go back again and again and get a beating each time taught you tenacity.”

The reason Tait was showing the audience the 8bit games that gave him so much pleasure is that they were simple yet hugely engaging. We live in a time, he explained, where the internet is massively heavy, loaded with billions upon billions of megabytes of content, most of which is useless – and that every megabyte of information exchanged online takes a certain amount of energy, meaning that “watching Gangnam Style endlessly is not a victimless crime.”.

Tait then laid the blame for ad agencies contribution to the growing stockpile of useless content squarely at the feet of Alex Bogusky, showing the above slide.

“Everyone wants to know how many tweets were generated by a project and the volume of people that interacted with it,” he said. “And this approach drives a certain type of work that doesn’t necessarily have great meaning. So people end up making things because of the stories they will generate rather than because they have any meaning or worth beyond that.”

Tait then spoke about his love of what he described as “hacky” work that looked to make use of existing footage, code, products etc and somehow improve them or make them more engaging – showing a slide with a quote about hacking: ‘Hacking is much bigger and more important than clever bits of code in a computer – it’s how we build our future.’

He then concluded his talk by showing a host of projects by various people that he loves, from this video about Sugru, a product that enables users to fix things:

…to the Curators of Sweden campaign that saw Sweden’s national Twitter account handed over to a Swede for a week at a time to tweet about their life – which was “risky but totally worth it” according to Tait.

He also showed the above charming teaser for a second edition of Tiny Wings computer game made using super lo-fi means.

Tait’s final advice: “Be respectful of the network. And do as much as possible with as little as possible.”

For more info about OFFSET2013, visit iloveoffset.com. To keep up to date with all the latest OFFSET news, follow@weloveoffset on Twitter and check hashtag #OFFSET2013.




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