Mathieu discussed some of the negatives of digital growth – from device addiction to constant distraction and growing polarisation – at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
“Today, powered by digital and social technology, we have an unprecedented power – but, therefore, an unprecedented responsibility to use all those tools that we have to improve people’s lives,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Samsung’s Mathieu urges marketers to consider digital wellness.)
“I think it’s incumbent upon us – and when I say ‘us’, I really mean the hardware manufacturers, the platforms, and the advertising and marketing community – to look at that responsibility and that power through an ethical lens.”
Although no single industry is culpable for the failings of the online universe, Mathieu did not provide his own profession with a free pass.
Marketers, he asserted, have “injected a good proportion of their $1tn to $2tn of advertising and marketing dollars … into the digital world” – a sum that has, in turn, supported the rise of corporate titans like Facebook and Google.
“A lot of people are actually switching screens 20 times an hour and being exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages per day,” he continued.
“The reason why we are at this point is because we’ve not learned to use technology, to use our devices, to use all the platforms in in the best possible way.”
Mathieu reaffirmed that the explosion of digital tools and technologies has undoubtedly yielded numerous positive results when it comes to unleashing human potential.
“The internet has enabled us to do more – to create communities, to share ideas, to mobilise movements, to inspire action at a speed and at a scale that’s unprecedented,” he said.
Samsung has been at the forefront of many such processes, both as a manufacturer of connected devices and as a major advertiser in its own right – and facilitating this type of empowerment remains a legitimate goal.
But it must now be coupled with an appreciation of the less desirable impacts of technology. “The internet was intended to serve us, not to sell [to] us,” said Mathieu. “It was supposed to make our lives better.”
Sourced from WARC