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Do we trust gut instinct enough in the quest for data-led creative?

It’s a numbers game but with heart

"If we take the emotion out of our industry, nothing will succeed."

Head of Content at Resolve Lauren Gibb speaks passionately about the challenges facing creative agencies in a world where rich data is at their fingertips.

Gibb, who has worked in a variety of media, creative and strategy-centric roles is determined for the industry to keep creativity as a focus in campaign planning.

"We are in the business of communications and persuasion. If it's just about the numbers, how can we expect to achieve that?"

The golden age of a laser-like focus on just a 30-second TV commercial, glossy magazine ad or radio campaign may be a thing of the past.

But the challenge now for people like Gibb is to produce content that can be repurposed across a range of formats and audiences, while not losing impact.

The audience numbers don’t lie, but hold on to your creative instincts

"Before we had digital analytics we could focus more on the craft. When you’ve only got a TV ad for 30 seconds for a brand campaign you can really focus on making this the most poignant, the tightest messaging, the most creative idea which is going to drive attention, which is what everyone wants to do.”

Gibb says the challenge is to maintain creativity and avoid being dictated to by the outputs. She readily points out that data can unlock exceptionally creative ideas for brands:

“That’s what we’re grappling with now. When we think about humans, they make decisions based on emotions. Because of all the new platforms and data that’s suddenly available to us, it’s a struggle to balance that out. You are constantly grappling with what you must do and the context in which your creative is going to be seen."

“The challenge today is that you can’t just think about a 30-second ad, you have to think about the Tik Tok cutdown. You can't think about creative in isolation."

Originality is still possible in data filled world

While Gibb sees value in the use of data to empower decisions, she admits it can be taxing on the creative process:

"I've only ever known a data-driven creative and media landscape. Numbers must coexist. I've heard horror stories of campaigns focused-grouped into oblivion. We are often trying to game a system in order to be seen. We abide by the rules of the algorithm or the rules of the platform. It does make it quite difficult to stay original."

“We are lucky to be in an agency that has creative and media under the one roof so we have that knowledge share others don't.”

Transcript - Pending Approval podcast Ep 23: The balancing act with Lauren Gibb


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