• Views January 16, 2015

It was clear that engineers, product designers and entrepreneurs were inspired at CES this year. Everywhere you looked, there was a beautiful display of skilled engineering and the application of the advanced technologies available. Finding new ways to combine sensors, tiny cameras, advanced display, connectivity, and mechanics have resulted in some of the most exciting products from CES 2015; AmpStrip fitness monitor, Bragi’s Dash truly wireless headphones, MagicBook augmented reality book companion, 3Doodler 3D printer pen. They have also given us some of the most ridiculous (are we really so lazy that we can’t adjust our own belts?) innovations.

It was clear that engineers, product designers and entrepreneurs were inspired at CES this year. Everywhere you looked, there was a beautiful display of skilled engineering and the application of the advanced technologies available. Finding new ways to combine sensors, tiny cameras, advanced display, connectivity, and mechanics have resulted in some of the most exciting products from CES 2015; AmpStrip fitness monitor, Bragi’s Dash truly wireless headphones, MagicBook augmented reality book companion, 3Doodler 3D printer pen. They have also given us some of the most ridiculous (are we really so lazy that we can’t adjust our own belts?) innovations.

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The balance of tension between both technology and creativity make the difference between genius and ridiculous. It’s a lucky mix of methodology, data and technology along with just the right amount of serendipity. Just because a technology makes something possible, doesn't mean it has a legitimate purpose. That’s just technology for technology’s sake. Without applying creativity in order to solve a real problem through technology, create improvements, or otherwise add value to our lives, it's just a silly mess of sensors and wires.

A former client of mine always said, consumers don't care about technology - they care about what they can do with it.

I believe the winners at CES were the ones that found ways to apply both creativity and technology, and sometimes a bit of audacity, to change the way we think about something. These advancements open our eyes to a whole new world of possibilities and give us something so simple, powerful and amazing that we wonder why we never knew we needed it in the first place.

As communicators and marketers, we are sometimes guilty of the opposite. When we are creative for creativity’s sake, we lose sight of the goal. We lose touch with reality, we lose our audience, we dilute our message, or we fail to show a return. Our audience doesn't care about how creative we are - they care about how our creativity makes them feel, how it speaks to them.

The truly great creative brands are the ones that find new ways to combine the new communication technologies available to us with thoughtful creativity and storytelling to move us.

It was said in a panel last week at CES (and I'm paraphrasing), “technology without creativity is boring. Creativity without technology is useless.”  I'll add that a true harmonious marriage of the two is magic.

Let’s strive for magic.