The proliferation of ridiculous job titles is one of the best long-standing jokes in advertising. From Imagineers and Marketeers to Big Idea Generation Champions and Social Media Gurus, we’ve met them all, laughed at them all, and told them all “don’t call us…” Yet every now and then a genuinely important new role emerges in response to a fundamental change in the way we work. And the last few years have seen the evolution of just such a title: the Creative Technologist.

Just as advances in printing, photography and image manipulation created the age-old team of Copywriter and Art Director, the digital revolution has given birth to a new creative dynamic. In an age where everything can be interactive, original use of new digital media can ignite ideas that would never have arisen from traditional approaches. Just ask Nike. Or Dell. Or Subway. Or Old Spice. Or… well you get the idea.

So what does the Creative Technologist bring? On the CV: technical experience, expertise and a ‘hacker’ mentality. In effect: a new dimension to the creative process.

Just as the Copywriter finds a more imaginative way to tell the story, the Art Director finds a more imaginative way to see the world, so the Creative Technologist finds a more imaginative way to use emerging technologies.

I can’t list all the technologies here, but Mobile Apps, RFID chips, QR codes, Augmented Reality and pervasive internet connectivity have blurred the lines between digital and analogue worlds, changing our everyday lives – and the scope of media communications – beyond recognition. And finding original applications for these technologies, memorable applications, requires left-brain thinking and an understanding of the technologies’ potential. This is the ‘Creative’ in Creative Technologist.

Less aesthetic perhaps than traditional views of creativity in communication, this role nonetheless fits perfectly with Arthur Koestler’s definition of “the uncovering of something which was always there but was hidden from the eye by the blinkers of habit.” By opening the team’s eyes to original production techniques during the concepting phase, the Creative Technologist offers new ways to unbind those blinkers and engender lateral thought as well as provide it.

Here then is the alchemistic hybrid value of the Creative Technologist; the muse that can paint a masterpiece. Edward Boches, Chief Innovation Officer at Mullen, called it “the most important job in advertising” but in my opinion, it’s simply the best job in advertising. Keeping pace with the latest digital innovations and realising their potential in original and imaginative ways is an exciting place to be.

This post originally appeared at http://www.mzl.com/blog/life-at-the-intersection-of-creativity-and-technology/