Google Creative Lab's Robert Wong on innovation through advertising
Innovation is something many companies hope to achieve, but few do on a regular basis. Google is the exception.
Robert Wong, co-founder and chief creative officer of Google Creative Lab, the search giant's internal ad agency, says that's because the company focuses on the end stage of the product development process: the user.
"[We] focus on only what the end-user sees, hears, touches, feels," Wong said in an interview with Amanda Lang on CBC's The Lang & O'Leary Exchange. "If you focus on that thing, and that thing's really compelling, then that actually inspires people to build that thing."
Unlike at most companies, where a marketing team is given a product and told to sell it, Google's marketing team is integrated into the process of designing the product from the beginning.
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In the case of Google Glass, the Creative Lab actually shaped what the product became.
"We met the engineers – early prototypes – before they knew what it was going to be," Wong says. "[Then] we jumped to the end and made an ad for it as if it was launched two years later."
The video, which eventually became the ad How it Feels shows people taking pictures, sharing video and video-chatting using Glass.
"Later, [co-founders] Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin] saw the video and the engineers decided 'Oh, let's make that the product'."
Google sometimes calls this approach of using the creative process to make technology more human and more accessible "baking broccoli into a cupcake."