Cannes Lions

'Next Rembrandt' Proves Data Isn't Scary

ING Campaign Snags Creative Data Lions Grand Prix for Humanizing Data

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Fresh from winning the Cyber Grand Prix , J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam's "The Next Rembrandt" handily picked up the top prize for the Creative Data Lions at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity.

WHAT IT IS: J. Walter Thompson Amsterdam analyzed the works of artist Rembrandt for client ING, using data to recreate his techniques, such as brush strokes, ultimately creating a "new" masterwork – 347 years after his death.

WHY IT WON: Jury president Tash Whitmey, CEO at Havas helia, called the campaign "a beacon for creativity" because it takes data, which some find a bit "scary," and turns it into something beautiful that makes people feel comfortable with it.

CONTROVERSY OR CLEAR WINNER: Ms. Whitmey said that the jury's choice was "pretty much unanimous," although there was a lively discussion to begin with about what the criteria would be. "We were looking for work that would be inspiring to others, but delivering simplicity out of complexity. "The jury made a conscious decision to steer away from campaigns that over-used or complicated data just "because they could."

HOT TOPIC AT PRESS CONFERENCE: How the category has evolved. Ms. Whitmey said a grand prix was not awarded last year because the jury did not find a campaign like "The Next Rembrandt" which brought humanity to technology. "A lot of the entries last year were creative but not data" or vice versa. This campaign went a long way toward demystifying data, which consumers tend to fear will replace humans someday.

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