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[Editorial] Will Technology be the Downfall or Saviour of Creativity?
Technology is dramatically changing our world. As we are in the midst of the digital transformation, mobile and smart devices have become an inextricable part of our lives.
As CMO of Samsung Electronics, I am often asked what technology means for the future of marketing and creativity. Behind this question I believe lies a deep-rooted concern – how will technology transform creativity? Will technology be the downfall or saviour of creativity? The rise in data engineered campaigns has the capability to remove the human connections we all need.
Technology is, and always was, about change. And change brings challenges. I know this, not just because of my role, but through my personal experiences.
Before joining Samsung, I worked in the beauty industry. Without any background in technology, it felt like I had landed in a foreign country when I made the change from cosmetics to tech 11 years ago.
My role is to use what I have learned to help transform Samsung from a technology-focused, to consumer-centric company. Features and specs, of course, are important. But they only tell part of the story. No matter how fast or powerful a processor is, it only becomes meaningful when its capabilities are weaved into people’s lives.
Samsung’s Relúmĭno is a case in point. Harnessing the capabilities of the smartphone camera and VR devices, the application helps visually impaired people see the world with clarity. With the potential to transform lives, Relúmĭno shows how technology can give voice to millions around the world to narrate their own stories.
When we look at innovations through a humanistic lens, technology can become a powerful catalyst for creativity.
Take 5G for example. With the speed of data transfer that 5G can bring to us, I believe 5G technology could drive an exponential change to our world. 5G will fuel the fourth industrial revolution. When we speak about how 5G will change the way we live, work and play, the story suddenly becomes even more inspiring.
A Brand-New Era
As a marketer at Samsung, I see that technology is writing new rules for creativity on a micro, as well as macro, scale. Brands are changing the way they communicate as new cultural values emerge with technological innovations.
With the proliferation of technology, brands are no longer bystanders in society. They can now make a difference at scale. Samsung’s DYTECTIVE, an app designed to diagnose dyslexia quickly and for free, shows that a simple idea can produce profound results.
As people are better informed and entertained than ever before, they are seeking much more than material comforts, which drives brands to create experiences with a deeper meaning.
Greater connectivity and mobility has also turned consumers from viewers and bystanders, into active participants. This opens a whole new level of relationship between brands and people, in other words, a new dimension of creativity for brands and marketers.
Do What You Can’t
Technology will transform creativity, for the better, by inspiring all of us to achieve the impossible.
When we aspire to enact change and stand by values that seem improbable, we are compelled to find solutions that are truly transformational.
At Samsung, it’s part of our DNA to enact change and stand by values that seem improbable.
Do What You Can’t is more than a slogan. It’s a call to action.
* This editorial is based on YH Lee’s address at Cannes Lions 2018.