Advertising Week Europe

Advertising Week Europe 2017 Official Guide

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CREATIVITY AND CRAFT 3 4 12 5 10 6 11 8 7 9 Doing The Data Dance By necessity, the advertising business always has its eye on change. For every shift in culture, beliefs, and norms, the best agencies are there to capitalise on them in an authentic way. Tapping into people's needs and desires at any given moment is what the game is all about. But finding that opening has often been an inexact science. Now, data can bring greater precision—and foster opportunities for creative innovation. Leo Rayman, CEO of Grey London, applies the Overton Window analogy to the challenge of responding to cultural change: there may be countless reactions to a particular event, but only a handful will fall inside the range of what the public finds acceptable. "It is really hard to map culture, to un- derstand people's moods and how they will react to events," Rayman says. The most successful marketers can identify that window and develop creative campaigns based on it. "The goal is to take your brand right into the middle of cul- ture," he says. Finding that sweet spot used to be something of a guessing game. Maybe the average consumer felt one way, while popular senti- ment was starting to shift in another direction. Today's technology can remove the guesswork by using a vast array of data to zero in on the specific moods and reactions of the public. Yet Rayman feels that the advertising world has only just begun to understand the benefits of number crunch- ing. "My first observation is that most marketers are "We have some catching up to do. You can't exist in the modern world without data, and we have to get our head around what it can do for creativity in our industry." A Roadmap For Using Creativity And Data To Get Right Into The Middle Of Culture by Julia Savacool operating in a fairly data-free environment right now, to be honest," he says. "We have some catching up to do. You can't exist in the modernworldwithoutdata,andwehavetoget our head around what it can do for creativity in our industry." At the moment, data is used mainly at the distribution end of the business: when should you run a certain ad and what outlet should you use to reach your target audi- ence? Harnessing the power of data on the creative side, however, is still in its infancy. "Say you've got a guy heading home after work on a Thursday night and he's feel- ing angry, and he's listening to aggressive music on his radio, and he's thinking about the comfort food he wants to eat," says Rayman. "What kind of ad is going to capture his attention? What kind of mood do you want to tap into? We are only just beginning to un- derstand how data can give us contextual insight—and it's this cultural signal that can really inform our work." Grey London will be launching a venture in 2017 to take data analysis to a new, more sophisticated level. "Without saying too much, cultural signals are the next focus for us when it comes to using data," says Rayman. After all, successful campaigns don't just target a gen- der, age group or geographic location—they key into something more intimate: a person- al state of mind or a cultural moment that until now has been hard to quantify. As for where the relationship between creativity and data goes from here, Rayman proposes a radical idea: "I see data as a me- dium in its own right," he says. "In the way that colour TV was a new medium for marketers in the '60s, data presents a similar opportunity. How do you understand its potential? How do you get ahead of it? Those are the challenges we're just starting to realise." 1 2 AWE 2017 140

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