Cannes Work I Wish I Had Done. It’s a powerful statement about the future of the industry.

Stuart Bowden, chief strategy officer of Wavemaker, the largest media agency network worldwide, shared his thoughts on the most notable Data Creativity work from the 2018 Cannes Lions Festival. He also discussed what this means for the future.

It seems that creativity and data have been at odds. Some believe data kills creativity. Some believe data kills creativity.

In 2018, there were more than 500 entries in the Data Creativity category of Cannes Lions. These numbers show me that the conversation about “can data and creativity coexist?” can be finally ended.

Agencies and clients around the globe are trying to resist the data-driven dopamine rush of the short-term and the last click. It’s wonderful to see work in Data Creativity that shows that even short-term work can be creative and enjoyable. It was delightful to see the Palais basement filled with big, fame-building bets that make businesses grow.

This is the work that will be with me for many years after the festival.

1. Data can make stunts even more enjoyable

“The World’s First Baby Marathon”, Kimberly-Clark South Africa

Do you remember when cameras were put on cats to record their activities while at work? The same thing happened with babies and pedometers. To see which infant would break the 21-kilometer barrier first, four (cute) infants were monitored in real time. This shows how children move around and why they need Huggies that are flexible and comfortable.

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Why it’s notable: Sometimes, a product’s unique selling proposition combined with a simple brainstorm can result in short-term stunts which work. Social catnip is possible when you combine data collection with gamification glitter. It also led to a 29% sales increase on a 29-to-1 ROI. If you are interested in incredible results,

What does it say about the future brand building? It either says that all brands will use competition babies in future advertising, or that data makes stunts much more fun.


2. Personalized ads = pure joy when you combine context and data

Data Into Dollars from Xfinity Mobile USA

This is my favorite. It would have been so much fun to make it. It was a terrible thing that someone else made it. It has been done.

It’s simple. Cell phone data in the U.S. is very expensive. The truth is that it is difficult to identify the exact cost of cell phone data in the United States. This makes the status quo acceptable. Goodby Silverstein & Partners’ geniuses calculated how much data you would need to play 2,000 YouTube videos. They also identified your network and used a pre-roll video ad as a way to show you how much it would cost to watch it on Xfinity.

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Why it is noteworthy: It uses data and context to create humorous and useful personalized advertising that clearly demonstrates user value. It tripled the US search volume for Xfinity, saving so much money that it could possibly cover your Cannes bar bill.

What does it say about the future brand building? Personalization will be the new frontier in creative. It’s exciting to see brands become more creative with context and data.

3. The sky is the limit when craft and data are equals

“The Ripple effect Generator” by DNB, Norway

The activation of Norwegian bank DNB used financial data from the public to allow businesses to create automated, personalized and delightful films about the great things their taxes make possible. These films are ready for distribution and promotion socially.

Why it is noteworthy: You’re missing out if you don’t want work on B2B brands. Unacceptable poverty of imagination is demonstrated by a preference to work on a Coke account over a bank client. Banks are full data and make money that most people are interested in. The B2B work most banks do is predictable and ghastly. It is not. It’s amazing.

What it means about the future brand building: It’s where craft and data are equals.

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