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Our industry is very data-rich but insight-poor: Mark Tutssel

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Our industry is very data-rich but insight-poor: Mark Tutssel

Mark Tutssel, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide, who was also the Jury President for Direct Lions at Cannes 2013, talks about the agency’s philosophy of creativity without borders – something he is extremely passionate about, content being the new currency, lack of the ability of research agencies to derive the right insights and more…

Leo Burnett follows the philosophy of creativity without borders; how does this translate to the internal and external workings of the agency?
I always believed in creativity without borders. Technology today has completely changed the way we operate, and when you look at a beautiful white canvas, it only has infinite potential, no borders. Finding those ideas that can circum navigate around the world is the core. Like the Metro Trains campaign which not only resulted in global fame for the brand but also direct results in the form of 21 per cent reduction in railway accidents.

Creativity without borders is also the way Leo Burnett works. As the Chief Creative Officer of Leo Burnett Worldwide, it is important to me that we leverage the incredible talent that we have residing within the company around the world. Our aim is to tap into this talent and create teams of people who are designed to bond together and co-create, and design solutions to problems on the global footprint. India plays a massive part in this creative contribution. Our ability to operate as One World Alliance is second to none. Not only does it connect people, it forges relationships. They share the same values and appreciation of creativity and all have the same destination. The ability to work as one is fantastic.

Can you share an example of a campaign which is a result of creativity without borders?
The best example of creativity without borders is the ‘Coca-Cola Small World Machines campaign’. It is a new cultural benchmark for Coca-Cola. You are creating happiness together through creativity.

We designed the innovation coke machine to create the effect between people and the brand. The campaign was opened to the global creative community; the idea originated in Australia, it was developed and produced in North America, and produced and performed in India and Pakistan simultaneously.

That is great example of creativity without borders. All our clients such as McDonald’s, Samsung, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s are looking to access our powerhouse in terms of talent.

Technology now allows us to unite and connect in a new way. For me, it is a driver of the brand. Ideas that fuse society together and ideas that find their way across the globe are the way forward.

You were saying content is the new currency; it has always been important, so what is the new emphasis and approach to content by the agency?
Content is the new currency; it is the glue that connects brands together. Clients now realise they need to create experiences with people. Technology has changed the conversation and consumer communication. My 22-year-old son never watches television but is addicted to the mobile. Our job is to root everything in human behaviour. At Leo Burnett, we are a human kind communication agency, not an advertising agency network. We believe we are an agency that begins and ends with people and creativity has the ability to change people and human behaviour.

We use every tool possible to learn about human behaviour. We are human sponges, the more we know about people, the more we can connect with people and create value for people, and creating value for people forges life-long relationship between brands and people.

Given the deluge of data available, how is it being leveraged to better understand human behaviour?
We are very data-rich as an industry right now, but we are insight-poor. Data is everywhere but we can’t see the wood for the trees. The ability to extract meaning and insights from data is the real skill. Most research companies today just take what people say, not what they actually mean. But if you have the ability to read between the lines, and get to the pure distillation and understanding of true human behaviour, it is pure magic.

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