What is creativity in advertising? Is it still a clever 30-second spot? An edgy viral video on YouTube? A well-timed tweet during the Super Bowl, like Oreo pulled off? Or is it a multichannel ad buy, coupled with a PR stunt, timed to coincide with the launch of a new mobile app? The answer: It's all of these things and more. The definition of creativity is open to interpretation and evolution.
Advertising is cyclical. Last year's award-winning concepts are duplicated and reinvented so fast that original ideas are rendered unrecognizable and the innovator, in the eyes of many, becomes the imitator. The beauty of this process is that it accelerates our collective quest to find fresh new ideas and pushes creativity forward.
Creativity in advertising has taken another leap. This year at the Cannes Lions Festival in France, an entirely new category has been created to celebrate creativity and innovation in the use of data in advertising. We could not be happier about this.
Big Data and Big Ideas
Programmatic advertising has enabled extensive data collection. And now the way that data is used commands an entire stand-alone category of creativity. Why? Because pure science is art.
Scientists create beauty and order where it didn't previously exist—just like a painter or sculptor. Programmatic data scientists create order out of chaos. They find patterns where no one else could. The raw talent required to achieve what they do requires the same creative spark that it takes to paint a masterpiece.
And the beauty of what the data scientist does is in the eyes of the beholder.
Like the riots that broke out in Paris when the first Impressionist paintings went on display at the Salon, there's already a backlash against this new art form. There are many who don't believe that data science in advertising is an art at all. "Data scientists don't even go to art school," they cry out. It's this backlash that tells us that the truly creative has been uncovered.
Deep Thinking and Creative Genius Is Still Required
All of this technology is not a replacement for artistry or creativity—just as the camera didn't put an end to painting. In fact, the innovation of photography created an entirely new category that saw photographic geniuses emerge, from Man Ray to Robert Mapplethorpe. Painters were suddenly free to express themselves as they saw fit. Imitating life was no longer a requirement. This ushered in an era of modern art and abstract painting that reached its apex with Jackson Pollock.
Data science will not kill creativity in advertising. It may, in fact, save it because brands today need to stand out more than ever before. Brands need to be heard across devices, platforms and social media channels in a perpetually competitive marketplace. Brands need to create one-to-one conversations with consumers across every ad impression, email and short video.
But while technology now enables marketers to pinpoint targeting to precisely the right customer at the right time using data and algorithms, what messages will resonate and draw an emotional connection with the brand? Determining this still requires great thinkers and creative geniuses.
To celebrate this emerging art form, we've gathered insights from the top creative minds in a new white paper, "Big Data and Big Ideas: Using Programmatic to Drive Creative Thinking." We've dug deep into the latest innovations in ad tech. And we also reveal how the innovative retail brand Alex and Ani used big data to power holiday campaigns that broke digital barriers and sales records. Download the white paper to learn how the hottest brands such as Marketo, Zendesk and Alex and Ani use creativity in the era of big data.
About the Author
Jackie Lamping is a thought leader in digital media & marketing innovation with 10 years of hands-on experience in acquisition marketing, lifecycle marketing, branding, social media, content marketing, and emerging channel strategy. She currently heads up integrated marketing & global demand generation at AdRoll. Previously, Jackie lead global brand advocacy at Twitter, providing consulting to top brands on social media strategy & organizational enablement. Prior to that Jackie oversaw the display advertising & social media teams at Apollo Group, developing strategic content partnerships and driving emerging media strategy.Jackie holds a BA in human biology from Stanford University and an MBA from the U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business.
About the Sponsor
AdRoll is the global leader in retargeting with over 20,000 active advertisers worldwide. To reach beyond existing audiences, we've introduced AdRoll Prospecting to help businesses attract new customers. Our innovative and easy-to-use marketing platform enables businesses of all sizes to create personalized ad campaigns based on their own website data, driving maximum return on online advertising spend. AdRoll provides a high degree of transparency and reach across the largest display inventory sources, including Google AdX and Facebook Exchange.
The company is backed by leading investors such as Foundation Capital, IVP, Accel Partners, Merus Capital and Peter Thiel. For more information, please visit www.adroll.com.