Steve Vranakis curates Craft

Technology has liberated creativity, offering marketers instant global reach, but consumers will only be listening to brand stories if they are relevant, useful and personal, according to Google Creative Lab executive creative director Steve Vranakis.

Steve Vranakis curates Craft

Technology. It's always been an incredibly powerful thing for me. It's changed my life. I have always found the idea that we can solve problems through systems, machines and information fascinating. That we can now use those methods to tell stories on behalf of brands means that things just got really interesting.

To a certain extent, technology has liberated creativity today. The canvas has got much larger, richer and interactive due to the staggering array of advancements that continue to expand on a daily basis. Raspberry Pi has finally democratised the world of low-cost computing, while mobile phones and tablets have created new industries based on their inherent mobility and interactivity.

The "cloud" has ensured that we will never be left without access to everything that is important to us, and social platforms have created powerful networks out of once-loosely affiliated individuals, who can now share things, buy things together and change things all over the world.

This has allowed agencies and clients to create truly original and captivating campaigns and platforms that allow their audiences to be completely immersed in the worlds of brands and everything they stand for. All driven by... technology.

I have always believed that creative industries have attracted the brightest and the best. They have channelled their ideas through medium after medium, gradually enabling better stories to be told. As I look at the body of work in Craft this month, I can't help but shake my head in disbelief at the surprising, entertaining and sometimes awe-inspiring examples of what happens when you marry great ideas with something that can reshape them in infinite ways. That allows for a dialogue, an experience, a feeling.

When you take the best creative minds in the business and show them the possibilities of what a bit of code, an RFID chip and the sheer power of the internet can offer, you give the storytellers superpowers.

When you take the best creative minds in the business and show them the possibilities of what a bit of code, an RFID chip and the sheer power of the internet can offer, you give the storytellers superpowers.
Technology is cool, and I would challenge anyone who thinks differently. It allows us to connect and collaborate in real time from anywhere in the world.

We can sync our disparate devices across different platforms and make everything talk to each other seamlessly. It allows us the freedom to do almost anything and go almost anywhere. Our homes are filled with ever-more tech – some visible and some not – and our level of expectation has skyrocketed. If you're going to step into my world, the tech had better be good.

Storytellers soon realised that they weren't competing with other advertising, but with the best content coming out of Silicon Valley, Hollywood or some teenager's bedroom, and that their stuff had better be as good.

The rules have changed slightly, but the process is more or less the same as it has always been – make it relevant, useful and personal.

Technology also means that audiences are now being bombarded with more messages than ever, which means that brands have to behave differently: respect the user and try to understand and empathise with the hardships they endure; demonstrate your shared ethos and values and show respect; offer a point of view on the world, say what you believe in and what you would like to make better. Connect.

As I read about things such as members of the band OK Go, who, on behalf of Sony, are trying to capture the sounds of the Northern Lights, or a user-generated Beefeater gin label comprising hundreds of pictures of what London means to its inhabitants, or a tweeting cuckoo clock, I can't help but think about how far our creativity has come and how much further it will go. All driven by... technology.