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I was an 80s kid. 

 I’m known for being this innovative technology guy, but at heart I’m still the same kid who grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons completely analog. My friends and I grew up imagining worlds and making up characters. We made our own folklore. I do the same thing today, just with more advanced tools. 

Innately, humans are dreamers. Especially as creative professionals—we're all dreamers and technology allows us to dream bigger. I love technology, and I think most humans do, not for any other reason other than it allows us to reimagine our lives. It’s why we all love science fiction so much. And it all begins with a dream. 

 With endless possibilities at our fingertips, how do we still create something that resonates?

At the heart of all this dreaming is storytelling. We dream and create technology in order to immerse people completely in a story. When we imagine ourselves being able to do something with technology that we currently can’t do, it becomes a snowball effect that enables us to create the means to do that very thing. 

As someone who uses technology a lot in my creative work, I know firsthand how much it has allowed us to tell stories in new ways. Advertising has evolved immensely because of technology. No longer are we telling one story for a television screen in a living room, we are telling multiple stories for every screen we interact with—phones, watches, computers, VR.

Volkswagen: The Force

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Brands and creatives can now dream big. With the help of technology anything is possible. You can have an ad with beautiful production value that is imaginative and interesting. You can bring in new technologies to execute something that you've never seen before. That's always been somewhere that I've been happy—playing with robots, different forms of light, immersive installations—all to tell a story.

With endless possibilities at our fingertips, how do we still create something that resonates? The story needs to connect to something deeper: a sense of ourselves, or a dream fulfilled. A successful ad engages emotionally and presents ideas that you’ve never seen before but that ring deeply true on an emotional level. 

It can't just look awesome. It has to resonate. 

Think back to some of the greatest ads ever—like the kid in the Darth Vader costume for Volkswagen, The Force, directed by Lance Acord. You identify with it because you know how the kid feels because we were all that kid once. We connect to the soul of humanity, tapping into childlike wonder - really feeling and identifying with the story and letting it connect in an emotional way. 

We dream and create technology in order to immerse people completely in a story. 

Emotions are so important because to me, good advertising is a feeling. Sam Brown’s Apple ad, Stroll, is a good example of this. You're watching somebody on the street and all of a sudden they're walking upside down and they're walking on walls. You understand it, because it’s that feeling you get when you put on a good track and walk through New York City. You’ve already daydreamed it. In that way, advertising can be a perfect form of empathy, providing a way to relate to the human experience on a deeper level. 

In another Apple spot directed by the genius Spike Jonze, Welcome Home, you're right there with FKA Twigs, alone in the house listening to a good track and dancing around the apartment and magic ensues.

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Apple – Apple: Stroll

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Pillsbury – Welcome Home

It’s not lost on me that the two examples I just cited are from Apple, one of the biggest and most influential tech companies today. But this is how they got so powerful—by so clearly understanding the connection between technology and storytelling and tapping into our human desire to see our dreams fulfilled and our wishes come true.

Emotions are so important because to me, good advertising is a feeling. 

At the end of the day, you can have a lot of fancy visuals, but if it doesn't have a heart and soul, it's not going to work. It has to have both. That's been my big lesson through the years. It can't just look awesome. It has to resonate. 

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