Insights

The link between creativity and data

23rd May 2019
Photo by Eric TERRADE on Unsplash

With Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity coming up soon, we’re looking at some of the themes that will be discussed at this year’s festival. In this post we explore the relationship between creativity and data.

What role does data play in the creative process?

In every area of advertising, we’ve seen an explosion in data and analytics as tech allows us to track and measure campaigns from idea, through execution, to evaluation. With this data, advertisers now have more power than ever, and more chance to get their message right for their target audience. But does the reliance on data stifle the creative process? And what relationship can numbers have with creativity, if any?

The age-old art versus science argument, where we’re forced to pick a side: inspiration or calculation; flair or facts, is now being dispelled, as we see stereotypes of the colourful creative versus the cold, calculating number-cruncher being thrown out. Former belief that the two will always struggle to find a common ground are now being replaced by a shared vision. Correctly harnessed, data and analytics can supercharge your creative impact.

Painting by numbers

Take Leonardo Da Vinci for example. If he hadn’t understood the power of combining art and science, we would never have had the Mona Lisa. The Golden Ratio is a mathematical calculation found throughout the natural world. When it’s applied in art and design it creates harmony, proportion and compositions that are aesthetically easy on the eye. Da Vinci’s use of it in capturing the Mona Lisa’s infamous enigmatic smile is responsible for one of the most enduring artworks in history.

He wasn’t the only one to see its potential. The Golden Ratio was used by Michaelangelo in the Sistine Chapel ceiling and employed in the design of the Pyramids of Giza and the Parthenon in Athens. We can easily plot a course from the Parthenon to the present as its influence is everywhere in our industry today. You can spot it in the designs of the many large brands, and many examples in advertising.

Art and science, or creativity and data, aren’t on opposite sides of an age-old argument. They don’t have to compromise or detract from one another. Combined correctly they can enhance each other and the experience of the audience – whether that’s an art appreciator or a brand’s target consumers.

Artistic statement of intent

Smart use of data and analytics allows brands to be intentional about creativity. It identifies where and how creative can be applied most effectively and where brands can make genuine breakthroughs and connect meaningfully with their consumers.

Capturing the right data, looping intelligent insights in with analysis of targeting, awareness levels, conversion rates and reach can boost and enhance campaigns as they’re playing out and inform decisions for creative direction of the future.

We know that we can’t calculate a formula for creativity itself – and neither would we want to – but when brands are investing so much in the formation of their ideas and campaigns, it makes good commercial sense to use all the data and analytics available to maximise the creative impact.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you capture the data you need to enhance your campaigns, please get in touch,

 

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