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2016 Contagious Scholarship Winner

July 17, 2016

Helsinki-based Ricardo Galiot is the winner of the 2016 Contagious Scholarship. An experienced television industry professional focused on branding and content creation, he is currently Creative Director FNG Nordics at Fox Networks Group.

On selecting Ricardo for the scholarship, Contagious Managing Editor Emily Hare commented, “We’re thrilled to offer this year’s Contagious scholarship to Ricardo, whose attitude exemplifies the kind of creative bravery that we believe brands need to stand out. Partnering with the Berlin School allows us to play a part in nurturing the next generation of creative leaders who will influence how the industry develops in the future and whose work we can’t wait to cover in the pages of Contagious Magazine and on Contagious I/O.

After a recent visit to Berlin, we asked Ricardo a few questions about winning the scholarship the importance of creative leadership, and more.

1. What inspired you to apply for the Executive MBA in Creative Leadership at the Berlin School?

Leadership talks to me about inspiration, responsibility, a path, a journey, and a learning goal. Therefore, leadership talks to me about the ability to move and be flexible for the best of the growth, but at my level, I needed backing to be able participate in the shift with the confidence that I would be delivering a well done job.

Being aware of all that put me on the track of several study programs but none of them convinced me entirely until I found the Executive MBA in Creative Leadership at the Berlin School in one of the Promax Conferences. The School offers both, the innovation and excellence in its creative approach and the solidity and reliability in the presented business modules, something that I need if I want to bring competitive ideas and solutions to the needs of a changing market landscape. That was when I understood that the EMBA was the perfect match for me.

2.  Why do you feel creative leadership training is important for professionals in the television industry?

We are on the brink of a historic convergence as traditional advertisers, audiovisual media content creators and industry leaders have had to rethink their models into the multi-platform production of stories. I think we in the television industry know well that the old box is now flat, but the shape of the device was not the only change.

At Fox Networks Group we continually discuss the best way to approach these demands from the different areas of the business. In my case, as a Creative Director, I believe that stories have to integrate innovation, but new media platforms are not isolated from the rest of the media landscape. Furthermore, audiences, throughout participatory cultures, transit towards the virtual stage with a sense of control on the media product, which has changed the rules of the game. They are not the viewers they used to be. Besides, there is no separation between linear (like television) or non-linear media industries, at least not purely, since one needs the other to survive. 

Not everybody in the television industry sees it the same way, maybe because we still need to tackle the shift with a more positive approach to opportunities. This is where leadership could play a substantial role; and where I expect my training during the EMBA in Creative Leadership program will provide me with the skills to build the argumentation, re-shape strategies and construct a stable ground for new ideas.

3.  What element of the Berlin School Executive MBA are you looking forward to the most?

The Berlin School represents to me a multicultural pool of expertise and motivation. I’m excited and impressed that I would be part of a group of talented students and prestigious speakers. A motor for my learning has always been the free exchange of ideas and experiences with an analytical filter; meeting people from the industry and many other industries will bring the best of that.

And, then we have the courses! It’s hard for me to choose from a perfectly built program. That was one of the points that caught my attention in the first place when I was looking for continuing my training, how almost every major factor on business and strategy is contemplated in the program. As I explained before, the link between the creative industry and business was essential for my application. Nevertheless, if I would need to pick one of the modules, I’m looking forward to digging deep into the leadership and business strategies but also the innovation and marketing modules. The New York and Silicon Valley weeks look astonishing and motivating!

4. How will winning the 2016 Contagious scholarship enhance your career?

As a current Creative Director, I constantly search for the newest stories, trends and the most successful ways in which colleagues around the world used their imagination and strategic expertise together with technological advances to amaze and communicate their brands to consumers.

Contagious is a reference in the market; it represents the best of innovation applied to marketing and advertisement. Contagious’ tools and integrated approach stand for all the values that inspire me, and my career, nowadays. When I was told that I was granted a scholarship under their name, I felt a shot of motivation, pride, and responsibility. It is a real honor, and a privilege to be associated with Contagious’ name and just that is already a great support for the further development of my career.  Moreover, I would like to get contagious myself. Learn from their alternative ways of doing advertising, reshaping and building concepts from their angle. And finally, I can only work hard to bring them back the best results and ideas after the research I will develop in the Executive MBA in Creative Leadership at the Berlin School. Having that as part of my portfolio is the best of the presentation cards.

5. Thinking about your application for the Contagious Scholarship, which answered a question regarding emerging technologies impacting advertising and marketing, how do you think emerging technology will impact the future of creativity?

Predicting is, most probably, one of the most exciting human activities. Visions are hooking. Maybe that is why I loved this task because it brings me to the front line, it requests imagination and evaluation based on current development, and that is exciting. Therefore, let´s predict.

If both, advertising and marketing are taken as tools for communication and engagement, when looking at future technological alternatives, these two functions need to be achieved by the chosen technology. New futuristic machines and software have risen in the last year or two as platforms that promise new experiential life changes. Research in the current releases drove me to pick four new technologies with potential impact on advertising and marketing, some they are still in the process of development or arriving at the market soon. I´m talking about: VR, AR, AI, and IoT.

Virtual reality (VR)  

Although the first uses thoughts for this technology were targeted for medical and engineering purposes, quite fast, the field of entertainment took over the frontline, and the adaptation of smartphones as the cost-efficient and available screen made it reachable for the audiences. VR is indeed a new experience that has been already used for marketing purposes, especially to surprise with its novelty and amusement. New narrative conventions need to be tested for users to enjoy.

Augmented Reality (AR)

If Virtual Reality relies on the idea of immersion to create its experience, Augmented Reality promises something similar but overlaying reality and virtual worlds. More than ten brands are currently working on the releases of their smart lenses, which also promise remarkable experiences without needing to leave the real world. That is, in my opinion, an attractive selling point and something that will beat the downside of VR.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Already in some of the best Science Fiction novels, there is a promise of Artificial Intelligence. The investment in AI is growing every year, which makes me think that there will also have to be implementation in all possible areas of our daily routines, and that includes advertisement. But how can robots take the role of promoters and marketers?

The Internet of Things (IoT)

This technology is mobile, virtual, and creates an instantaneous connection; and they say it’s going to make everything in our lives very, very smart. In the buzz for data usage, this technology can change the rules of the game by creating that easiness that sciences promise when going trough heuristics. Data usage will increase the accuracy of the marketing campaigns but will also challenge advertising in the fight for attention.

In any case, in my very humble opinion, the most powerful technology will always be creativity, the one that we apply to those technologies and the one we use to work the technology around and find new applications for the ready existing artifacts and software. Technologies by themselves would not be of any use if they can not surprise, excite, make us feel and experience, therefore, for me, the real winner is our mind.