Unlimited and well-interpreted data is the edge for creatives: CCO, Epsilon

John Immesoete talks about the changing role of CCOs in the digital era, new agency models and more

by Venkata Susmita Biswas
Published - Jul 20, 2018 8:54 AM Updated: Jul 20, 2018 8:54 AM

John Immesoete, Global Chief Creative Officer (CCO) of Epsilon Agency, has seen it all. He has done everything; from working on national television commercials, digital web series, direct, below-the-line and mobile expertise to television writing and producing. Now, Immesoete leads Epsilon Agency which is at the forefront of data-led creative advertising.

On his recent trip to India, Immesoete spoke to exchange4media about the CCO’s role in the digital age, leveraging data for better advertising and more. Here’s the edited excerpts of the interview:

The role of a CCO is being redefined in the digital age. What does the CCO of today need to be adept at?

The CCO of today needs to be more flexible, more nimble and more skilled. Our clients are more embattled now, with CMOs facing both shorter leashes and tenures than in the past. They expect rapid business growth at lower costs with a quicker turnaround from their agencies; from idea to implementation. A CCO has to deliver on all that, while still making breakthrough “never seen it before” creatives.

Data is the new oil. How do you apply data to creatives? What are the challenges that you face?

Oil was easy to apply to creatives; we usually used a basting brush. Data is trickier; we crumble it then bake it slowly at a very low temperature. I kid. The best creatives have always looked for an edge. Today, unlimited and well-interpreted data is the edge; it’s an intelligence that makes work better.

P&G has proposed a new agency model, drawing from the best talent across the industry. Is this a viable model? Your thoughts?

Like P&G, many clients have expressed interest in new agency models. It all hinges on the same thing: better results resulting from better thinking at lower costs. There are many viable models, but at Epsilon we believe a data-driven approach-- using the most true and real knowledge that yields the best insights – is the best model. Clients are embracing it.

How are you addressing the talent crisis in advertising? What have you learnt in the process?

The talent crisis in advertising is not new. There have always been more people who want to practice the craft than are skilled at doing it. I approach talent searches by keeping my eyes open to different people in many types of creative fields and industries, not just those with advertising experience or schooling. Diversity of thought and experience is important.

The Epsilon Agency claims to turn Big Data into Big Ideas. As a creative head, how have you kept up with the data revolution?

As Epsilon Agency’s CCO, I not only believe that we’ve kept up with the data revolution, but believe that we are leading the way. Data is truly Epsilon Agency’s competitive advantage. We see what other agencies don’t and are able to drive business for clients, thanks to powerful creative and data intelligence. We follow Einstein’s maxim: creativity is intelligence having fun.

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