Campaign India Team
Apr 12, 2019

Goafest 2019: 'God created the earth - it wasn't data driven' - Gordon Bowen

Along with showcasing pieces of work to push the power of creativity, the founder and global chairman of mcgarrybowen addressed a packed house on day two of Goafest 2019

Goafest 2019: 'God created the earth - it wasn't data driven' - Gordon Bowen
Gordon Bowen, founder and global chairman, mcgarrybowen and global chief creative officer, Dentsu Aegis Network took to the stage on day two of Goafest 2019.
Before he began his talk which was around data and creativity, he had a word of appreciation for Ashish Bhasin, CEO, greater South, Dentsu Aegis Network and chairman and CEO, India.
“Among the 60,000 people who are part of the Dentsu Aegis Network globally, Ashish Bhasin is my favourite. He represents the essence of India as a country and has the qualities to lead the USA as president.”
Bowen then went on to talk about what data can do and what it can’t, with some pieces of work to go with it.
The first piece of work from the mcgarrybowen stable was one that was done for United Airlines ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics. Bowen explained this as a piece of work that couldn’t be done with the use of data alone.

The second film Bowen showcased was one that was done for the Fiat 500 launch. He stated that the important aspect behind the success of this film was the power of the idea. “The set was built in the studio in their office and the film ran unedited. The film won us the Jeep business from the Fiat Chrysler stable,” said Bowen.
Showing the third piece of work which was Hallmark, Bowen explained that the agency tried reaching the founder of Hallmark for 15 years. He added, “The greeting card which was shown in the film was sold out in less than a day.”
The fourth film showcased by Bowen was for Chevron. He explained, “We took something that was non-relevant and made it relevant for the brand. Big oil is the category that is most disliked in the United States. Yet, this film was among the top five ads liked in the USA, and in particular in Washington where most of the decisions regarding oil is made.”
According to Bowen, what made the next piece of work interesting was that the ad campaign for Walt Disney Co. inspired the making of the film Frozen.
Bowen then stated the importance of humour with a film the agency created for Miracle Whip. The brand’s problem was that they didn’t see sales increase for years before this campaign. In the year the campaign was released, sales grew by 16 per cent for the brand.
The seventh film he showed was Honda CRV. The agency’s London office bagged a Gold at the Cannes Lions for this piece of work and also won the rest of the Honda business post that.
The campaign titled ‘Made for more’ for Mondelez Triscuits led the brand to launch 9 new flavours of the brand.
Bowen spoke about the power of intuition and stated how the power of a creative idea won them a pitch for Intel. He explained, “The chairman (not CMO) said that he had the most recognisable sound in the world, but the problem was that it was associated with old PCs.”
He then spoke about how a lady from the agency thought of merging that sound with Beethoven in a film for the brand. The head of data rubbished the suggestion, but Bowen went ahead and gave the lady USD 50,000 to create the film. The piece of work helped the agency win the pitch even before two other agencies had the opportunity to showcase their work to the client.
The last piece of work he showcased was for American Express and ended his session by saying, “At Dentsu, we have a thought, be creatively led. Nothing can replace creativity.  The first line of the Bible states that God created heaven and the earth. God was the creator. It wasn’t data driven.”
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