Nerd Profile: Glen Sheehan


What’s your title or role at GSD&M?

I am a bit of a digital sage. With a role to demystify digital thinking and spread the word that it all starts with the human on the other side and contemporary advertising needs to prove what a brand stands for or product can do for me, not tell people how to think.

What’s your association with interactive and new technologies being developed for GSD&M’s client roster?

I currently float and help out wherever I am beckoned. So I have touched Marshalls, L.L.Bean, Air Force, Zales, BHI, Walgreens and John Deere. Everything from helping with social strategy upfront to managing media campaigns and site builds.

Where do you want to see technology playing a role in consumer behavior in 2013?

The question really is where won’t technology have an impact on consumer behavior. It is pervasive and consumers do not even think about it as technology. It is part of the fabric of the information age we are in. I personally don’t believe that smart phones are phones anymore. They are a remote control for your world allowing you to orchestrate all aspects of daily life.

How big do you think social media can get without being invasive? Or are we already living in a modern day version of ‘Minority Report’? 

Social media is really nothing new. The Internet create synapses so the speed and platforms for expression grew. Social media and modes of conversation and expression will continue to evolve. I do think that like all technology there is a novelty factor that fuels discovery and play. Once the novelty wears off we use it differently or move on to our next fascination. That is human nature. The one constant will always be understanding the passions and drivers of need in people. The agency or brand that is master of audience understanding will always have the advantage. You are then able to flow to the technology or medium that will have the greatest impact on the story or connection you are trying to get across.

Technologies in gaming. Expand on how immersive the player can become — one with the game — between new technologies and social media?

Gamification is another one of those things that has always been with us. We just started noticing it as an industry with the rise of badging etc. Humans by nature play games and engage in personal reward systems all the time. Jane McGonigal has written one of the more interesting books for marketers “Reality is broken” about how games have always been with us and are rooted in our ego and psyche, just the nature of how we engage or play is changing. The mechanics are the same. For brands and agencies it changes our job a bit in that we have to be even better about making sure our message or experience rewards that audience in some way. Social systems make that even more powerful as we can overtly or covertly play with dynamics of competition, reward and personal validation and expression.

How many hours have you logged playing video games? How many game points do you have?

I have no idea how many hours I have spent gaming. A ton. I have owned a lot of systems in my life, Nintendo, Sega, Dreamcast, Playstation, DS, Xbox, PSP, PS Vita, I think that covers it. My Xbox gamertag is Redsam and I have 35000 points, my PSN is RedsamTX and have about 400 trophies or so. And with all that, I suck online and get my ass kicked constantly. Big campaign player though.

Tell us something.

Stay curious and find ways to love technology, then forget that it is technology and focus on building the tools of desire.

Follow @redsam on Twitter.

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