3 min read

Deloitte Digital CCO on “Jazz Model” For “Content at the Speed of Culture”

On the fifth episode of Season 3 of The Rough Cut, Storyhunter co-founder Alex Ragir went to Deloitte Digital’s office during Advertising…
Deloitte Digital CCO on “Jazz Model” For “Content at the Speed of Culture”

On the fifth episode of Season 3 of The Rough Cut, Storyhunter co-founder Alex Ragir went to Deloitte Digital’s office during Advertising Week in New York (#AWNewYork) to meet with Chief Creative Officer Alan Schulman. Deloitte Digital is a creative digital consultancy that has worked with brands like Apple, Facebook and Adobe to help them optimize their digital presence. Alex and Alan discussed how his passion for Jazz enriches his 30 year career in advertising, how brands need to create content more like news agencies, and how data needs to be interpreted correctly to optimize your digital strategy.

Watch until the end to see Schulman playing jazz guitar with grammy-award winner Wyclef Jean during Advertising Week.

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Below are edited highlights of the conversation:

Brands Are Fighting To Stay Relevant

“There’s a whole lot of content noise out there and brands are competing with lots more content in the marketplace. The cut through that, they need to make more content with less resources. How do you do that? How do you keep content flowing in a marketplace where human behavior is the feed? I think the real question is, ‘How do you create enough content, as a brand, to stay relevant in this culture?’”

You Need To Create “Content at the Speed of Culture”

“Our thinking is ‘How do you get into the conversation or into culture without forcing your way in?’ You need to do that at an agile pace to be in the culture, in the conversation, while it’s happening. You don’t have long lead times to create campaigns if you want to be in them. We talk about it in terms of ‘Content at the Speed of Culture’. That’s one of the things about Storyhunter

How Passion Enriches Professional Life

“I’ve always been an ad-guy by day and a jazz musician by night. Those are the two ‘ski-poles’ I’ve lived my life on. I think there are many things that I’ve learned from the advertising industry that I’ve taken into my jazz life and conversely, and probably moreso, the principles of jazz into what it takes to run a creative group. And most importantly getting the best work out of creative teams that have [people with] different skills.”

Don’t Just Raise The Bar, Reinvent It

“Certainly in jazz, the masters set the bar very high. I think in advertising we have to reinvent what that bar looks like. Using the formulas of the past to put in the containers of the present isn’t necessarily always the right way [to create]. I think we have to be willing to break some rules and come up with new formats that will get people to pay attention to what brands have to say.”

Refine Data For Creative Insight

“Data is like oil. You have to refine it. You get it, look at it, have someone interpret it and say ‘Here’s what it means. Here are the insights that we got from it.’ Then you can get that magic going that says ‘That’s a universal truth, I never thought about that! What can we do with that piece of insight that people will relate to?’”

Combine That Data With Human Behavior

“I think the pendulum has swung too far to the mathematics of things. Here at Deloitte we have lots of numbers and lots of ways to quantify things. We even have a ‘human quotient’. Human experience is what we’re all about here, not customer experience because we feel that that is too transactional. I subscribe more to behavioral economics, meaning human emotion and human behavior. I think it’s hard to make decisions based just on data, when human emotions can come into play.”


Previous episodes of The Rough Cut:

Season Three:

Jeffrey Wisenbaugh, Head of Content, Instagram (Part 2)

Jeffrey Wisenbaugh, Head of Content, Instagram (Part 1)

Kate Whitney, Director of Digital, Pernod Ricard

Charlie Chappell, Head of Integrated Media, The Hershey Company

Season Two:

David Weinstock, Chief Creative Officer, RF|Binder

Bonin Bough, Founder & CEO, Bonin Ventures

Mary Kate McGrath, Chief Content Officer, Gallery Media Group

Barri Rafferty, President & CEO, Ketchum

Stacy Minero, Global Head of Content Creation, Twitter

Ari Halper, Chief Creative Officer, FCB New York

Mickey Meyer, President of Network, Group Nine Media

Season One:

Courtney Coupe, VP of Content, Great Big Story

Stone Roberts, VP of Global Video Strategy, Refinery29

Jason Beauregard, Head of Studio, VaynerMedia

Zahra Rasool, Editorial Lead, Contrast VR

Warren Cohen, Head of Video, New York Post

Greg Gilderman, Global Head of Video and Editor-in-Chief, Weather Channel

Jamie Bolding, Founder and CEO, Jungle Creations

Craig Duff, Video Journalism Professor, Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism


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By Jake Watkins, Content Marketing Manager