Day 1 at the Lions Innovation Festival

If I had to pick three words to describe my first day at the very first Lions Innovation Festival it would be: Data, Sensors and Emotions.

From an art project that codes real-time emotions to a robot-speaker named Pepper, it was the perfect day to see how scientists, creatives, marketers and artists are working closer than ever and how data and human behavior are getting more and more intertwined.

Here are some highlights of the most interesting talks I attended.

Data is not the Enemy

If we think data and creativity are separate worlds, the Lions Innovation Festival proved otherwise. Today, if you have great creative work that is not influenced by data, then your work is not as good as it could be. And the flipside is also true. Great programs that are not connected to great stories can easily generate a waste of data.

Creative use of data could be as simple as the Red Cross Program in Mexico that gathers basic medical information about citizens from any device in order to prevent fatalities in car accidents or a complex data system that helps the robot Pepper to deliver emotional responses trough of human interaction.

It Makes “Sensors”

The advanced use of wearables and the great Internet of things allows us to communicate basically from everywhere in every moment. Machines will need to be cognitive if consumers want more personalized experiences. Devices will need to communicate exploring even more non-verbal messages and sensors will have to capture our real behavior rather than our snapshots or self-declared data in order to offer meaningful communication and services. Tomorrow, everything will become a channel and brands will need to be: relevant: engaging only at the right moment; “glanceable”: delivering value in milliseconds; and personal: approaching on the right channel.

The Big “Gang” Effect

Creative teams have been changed for good. Now, scientists and artists are playing a win-win game by embracing the creative tension between left-brain and right-brain. Today, the creative role is beyond art directors, copywriters or planners. Tackling problems from multiples angles and designing solutions is becoming a collaborative process open to changes and testing.

At the end of the day, it is clear that whether technology simply represents a new way of communicating or requires us to communicate in new ways, there is no way back. We are living a very special moment, where agencies are becoming a very interesting lab where designers, scientists, marketers and artists are challenging themselves to design better ways of living and make brands stronger than ever.

Fabio Almeida is a creative director at Edelman Significa.

Cannes Lions Festival