Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Data fuels Creativity

There has been much talk about the usage of Big Data — and what we can gain in regard to insights from it. Another interesting perspective on data is what we can do with it creatively. There are some great examples on how data can empower creative ideas. How it can visualize and let people experience ideas in new surprising ways.

What‘s the influence? 

Data has become fuel for creativity and gives new perspectives and ways to connect with people. It can help visualize behaviour of individuals as well as groups. It can offer ways to interact with ideas and create real time experiences. Data can turn ideas from being static to becoming fluid and living. It can not only offer scientific benefit — but become emotionally touching and aesthetically influential. 

The guru of data visualization, David McCandless has shared many ways on how to turn data into beautiful imagery on his blog and in books for many years — and has become a great source of inspiration for creatives with his beautiful visualizations. 
Data can take new and different forms in how it is brought to life — aside from visualizing it, it can take different sensual forms, e.g. turn into sound as with IBM “US Open Session“ where tennis data turns into tunes, in real time.
Brands use data today to let people creatively experience different behavioural scenarios and also influence and control their own behaviour and drive brand decisions. Visualizing behaviour can also influence it — because data helps us to see what we do — and touch us in deeper ways than any verbal description of behaviour could. A good example is the real time Hashtag Battle: Healthy Food vs. Unhealthy Food.
The tools and experiments from the Prudential Challenges Lab let people experience through data how life changes with retirement and prepare better for their future.
“Sweden’s largest Energy Saving Experiment” was another way to visualize to people their own energy usage and through doing this influence it positively.

At DDB we have recently created another idea that plays with data in a creative way — using what data can be collected from people to create something intruiging to be used by all. The BIC “The Universal Typeface Experiment” shows how the “universal ball pen” helps create the universal handwriting — fusing all collected data into a downloadable typeface.  
Nike + “Outdo you” is showing how to use existing data from your users and turning it into powerful personal stories. An example that highlights how data can adds to great animation craft and turns a general message into a personal engaging ad:
„The personalized films feature the individual’s running stats, as well as different weather and city backdrops depending on the user’s location. The brand has also created some generalized films, including one showing all of the Nike+ data from last year, and numerous cityscapes, as well as films for cities such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto.“
The Nike + campaign around “Your Year” was awarded in the Webby Awards 2015 as “best use of data driven media” from an audience perspective with the “2015 People’s Voice”.
In 2015, Cannes Lions Festival has finally also introduced the Creative Data Lions, celebrating data inspired creativity:
„In recent years, the use of data has enabled the creative industry to shape complex new ideas, drive mass engagement and tell a more powerful story than ever before. The Creative Data Lions were created to recognize campaigns using this data as a catalyst for creativity; game-changing campaigns that clearly demonstrate an execution enhanced by the use, interpretation, analysis or application of data.“
The festival named some ideas from previous years that show the power of data in creativity — namely the much appraised British Airways “Magic of Flying” or the “Sound of Honda” — both great examples how creativity fueled by data creates solutions that engage people on a whole new level. Either in using contextual data to connect in real-time or bringing emotions to life through data while turning it into sound. The 600 entries from this year show a clear direction on how data is fueling creativity:
Even though no Grand Prix was awarded in the new category, a lot of good work was recognizedThe Netflix Data GIF campaign from France shows how to use data insight to create better, more individual context.  A way to use data for real-time marketing approaches is the EA Sports “Madden Giferator” that creates GIF with up to date results, headlines and statistics, also making an offer to users to create their own:
Gamification through statistical data is what the Australian Bureau of Statistics “Run that town” achieved, letting people experience in a playful form the effects of adding casinos or airports to their towns. An interesting way to turn boring statistical data into something lively and fun to use. See more winners in the category here:
Let’s see how more creative ideas that have data as their fuel will bring us joyful new experiences, bring us more personalized stories or monitor and change our behavior to the better.

--- this piece was first published on our DDB Influences Blog in 2015 --

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