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In Service to Connected Global Citizens: Jesse Juriga '04

Jesse Juriga portrait

In Service to Connected Global Citizens: Jesse Juriga '04

Sometime in elementary school, Jesse Juriga remembers describing his ideal job to his parents: to sit in a room and brainstorm ideas.

“I’m addicted to the moment of spark—when your brain runs away from you—and without consciously thinking, you are creating,” said Juriga, a Belleville, Michigan, native who was a marketing major at MSU.

Now, Juriga isn’t sure how he stumbled into his current role as creative director at Google Creative Lab, or if the specific charges of that position organically sprouted around him over the past nine years, but sitting in a room and contemplating inventive ideas consumes much of his professional life today.

A collection of creatives and innovators—designers, filmmakers, coders, technologists, writers and animators among them—Juriga and his Google Creative Lab peers spend their time “making.” Sometimes, the end product is an advertisement for a ubiquitous Google product. And sometimes, Juriga’s imaginative crew is decoding complicated technology like artificial intelligence for the masses.

“Put simply, we make things that help communicate what Google does and make sure people get the most out of Google’s helpful products,” Juriga said, noting that his marching orders derive from Google’s overriding mission to make the world’s information more organized, useful and accessible to global citizens.

For the Super Bowl in 2020, Juriga’s creative squad developed the “Loretta” commercial that earned widespread acclaim and triggered more than a few goose bumps and teary eyes. The ad shared the true story of an 85-year-old man—the grandfather of a Google employee, in fact—using Google Assistant to reminisce about cherished memories with his late wife.

“My favorite things to make are simple, small and human,” Juriga said. “They are more than the sum of their parts—not huge shoots with celebrities, but small stories that everyone, everywhere can relate to, even in a small way.”

With Google tools like Search, Maps and Reviews used by billions of people around the world each day, Juriga stands committed to highlighting the technology’s practicality and, even more, its ability to elevate lives, inform decision making and enrich the human experience.

“This is a lot of responsibility and we take it seriously,” said Juriga. “It’s important to us, and to me personally,

 to make sure people know about these tools and can find and use them easily.”

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