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The Marriage of Data & Creativity with New Creative Data Lion


Yeong Yee, digital planning director, BBDO and Proximity Singapore, asks why now and what does it mean for the creative work we do?

The Marriage of Data & Creativity with New Creative Data Lion

Data and Creativity. Our industry has always grappled with the perceived tensions between the two. 

AdMap’s June 2015 issue asked if “Big Data hinders or inspires creative thinking?” and the best essays on the topic unanimously claim that Creative needs control of the Data – and not the other way around. This is a view that I also championed in my own essay on the topic.

What then is the role of data in our creative work?

Data has always been an integral part of any marketing campaign. It serves as insight to the creative strategy and helps inspire the big idea. Data drives the effectiveness of creative engagement with consumers through personalisation, contextual relevance and interactivity. Most of all, data helps us tell more compelling stories, whether that is through creative visualisation or other forms of interpretation.

Given our long relationship with data, it is not surprising that data-fuelled creative work has won top creative honours before. Two recent winning ideas come to mind: Nike + Fuelband and Sound of Honda; both won the Titanium Grand Prix at Cannes in 2012 and 2014 respectively. 

Thus, it is opportune that the Cannes Creative Festival – after years of industry pressure and consultation – finally recognised data-fuelled creative work as its own domain of creative excellence with the Creative Data Lion category.

What has led our industry to this point?

The first reason is surely the increasing use of Big Data and its associated technology. We are increasingly using the technology to uncover more unexpected and interesting insights into our consumers. And we are using the creative work inspired by such insights to surprise, provoke and delight our consumers in more interesting and better ways. 

Some of us strive to tell better stories; others instead employ data to create contextual serendipity in engaging the consumer.

Secondly, adtech firms have built a larger footprint in the output of creative executions. 

Most notably, non-agency players such as Google and Facebook have powered creative use of targeted communications in search and social. The introduction of the Creative Data category broadens the entry field by opening up to adtech, data vendors and publishers.

Technology innovation and its resultant industry disruption has changed the face of creativity – and data is at the heart of it. Here are three of my favourite examples featuring the marriage of data and creativity:

1 Do check out my own contribution titled “Big Data is a canvas for Creativity” in the June 2015 issue of AdMap or at Warc.

1) Using data to tell a story

The famous Sound of Honda campaign used Honda’s telemetry system and driving data collected in the 1980s – and combined it with cutting edge technology – to recreate Ayrton Senna’s record-breaking lap with a sound and light display on a racetrack.

2) Using data for contextual communications

Pedigree and Google’s Found app helps a dog owner locate his dog quickly when it is lost; the app is used to send out a real time, geo-targeted message through GDN ads to people nearby so they can help locate the lost dog.


3) Using data to personalise communications

To launch the A3 Cabrio, Audi sent Weather Report Email  that changes according to the meteorological conditions where – and the time of day when – the email was opened. The email personalise for the consumer what driving the convertible will feel like there and then.

Yeong Yee is digital planning director of BBDO and Proximity Singapore

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BBDO Asia, Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:04:40 GMT