How creative industry technology has changed (part 1)

We live and work in extraordinary times. Even those who’ve been involved in the creative industry for just a decade have witnessed drastic changes in the way brands market to consumers, and how agencies work with clients. We asked a few industry leaders to share memories of the good old days – making us very grateful for the resources we now have!

Adrian Mills, Managing Director at McCann Melbourne

"We received quotes by printers via fax, which we would manually input into Filemaker Pro to create our own quotes. We used job bags, and we would print out tickets from Filemaker Pro and staple them to each job bag. Invoices were sent by post, which was handy for clients who wanted to claim they had never received the mail to put off paying a bill.”

Monica Wales, Media Director at BC&F Dentsu

"We used to fax key numbers to networks with instructions for TV commercials – it was all manual. The instructions were kept in lever arch files and each TVC would have a key number that related to its corresponding instructions. A simple error could easily end up in a sale commercial being broadcast early, leaving the client forced to honor the sale price ahead of time – that happened once or twice. The fax machine had waxy, curly paper so when you were nearing the end of the roll, all your faxes would be curled into scrolls on your desk!”

Matt Sterne, Creative Partner, Two Mad Cowboys

"We had giant catalogues of stock images which we would flick through to find the right image for our visual. Then we’d hunt down the corresponding CD, which was always missing, which meant a search through everyone’s hard drives on their PC to find the missing disc. Then of course, the client wouldn’t like the image, so we’d have to dig up another.”

Michael Pooley, Chief Operating Officer, Professional Public Relations

"It was more difficult to get a job in the early days. I printed of hundreds of copies of my CV and posted them all over town, only two agencies responded. I interned for three months for no pay till I finally got a job. When I did get started in an agency, we had to attend parliament sessions, noting any potential legislative changes or issues that might affect our clients, who were mostly in the healthcare sector. We would type up the mentions, mount it on letterhead and courier it to the client. Within three days of the conversation in parliament the client would be notified – very efficient!”

Chelsea Parkinson, Managing Director, Optimo Designs

"I miss the face to face interaction of client comms; we met in person much more. If they had a brief or changes for you, rather than sending a fax or talking on the phone – we would go to the client or they would come to us – it was a much slower world! I remember speaking with big name brands in the mid 90s, trying to convince them to get online. More than one marketing manager asked me ‘what is the internet?’”

Liz Garneau, TV, Film and Content Producer

"My career has gone from horse and cart to rocket ship! I remember hand splicing film using razor blades and sticking it together. Film would be hanging everywhere on hooks. I was very impressed with the electric typewriter I worked on that had two ribbons, one for typing and one for correcting errors. My first computer was DOS based and had a manual the size of a phonebook. We had U-matic tapes for film and then came Beta SP. We would create a master to send to each TV station, which we’d rush over to get there by Sunday night, when the new ads were run. I’d hand over the tape, then watch the foreman put the tape in the canister to be sure the advert would run. Those days are over now, but it’s like classical dance training, it’s great to have those building blocks as foundation knowledge for the way things are done now.”


Matthew Peng

Founding Director of Business Continuum

Melbourne, Australia
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