TBWA Australia has announced it has joined forces with Omnicom Media Group’s data science agency, Annalect, to create an evidence-led insights platform designed to inject more data science into the collective’s strategic and creative outputs.
CLUE – an abbreviation for Consumer Learning and Understanding Engine – leverages Annalect’s technology, deterministic data sets and robust reporting platform to drill deeper into macro and granular level insights.
Kimberlee Wells, CEO of TBWA Melbourne, said CLUE has been designed to better understand people’s current and future behaviours, and translate those predictions and understanding into insights that drive stronger creative outcomes.
“It’s not a panacea for getting creative right, but it can trigger an opportunity or validate an idea,” she said.
“Creativity is and always will be TBWA’s superpower, but CLUE is our new compass. We will continue to inspire with ideas, but CLUE will ensure we’re always landing with logic.”
Wells said TBWA will be the disruptor to the long-held, unwritten belief that creative hot shops don’t get data.
“When considering the options of bringing data in-house at TBWA, we rejected the idea of acquiring a specialist agency or building a bolt on offering,” she said.
“If you bolt it on or buy it in, the body is likely to reject the organ. A cultural collision is almost guaranteed. You also restrict its influence and we have no interest in being selective about who uses CLUE and who doesn’t.
“We aren’t building a data ghetto here – we’re infusing the discipline of data practice into the life blood of the agency.
“Annalect was a natural partner to this ambition. They are the brains behind some of the new agency models coming out of the US like Hearts and Science. But importantly, they also understand creativity.”
Martin Orliac, general manager of Annalect Australia, said he’s inspired by the potential of powering creativity with data and technology.
“We can think of so many ways we can inform the creative process and deliver better outcomes for clients,” he said.
“We already had the data and the technology, but it took months to build the bespoke approach and infrastructure that TBWA required.
“It’s a very different setup from what we were using in media, but we’re able to apply the same advanced analytics and AI techniques to entirely different purposes. Working with Kimberlee and her team has been great, we’re very excited to see what comes out of this unique partnership.”
Paul Bradbury, CEO of TBWA Australia and New Zealand, said CLUE will be rolled out over time across all offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland.
“The partnership with Annalect has been brilliantly led by Kimberlee Wells, who is one of Australia’s most credentialed data and direct marketing practitioners,” he said.
“CLUE is not just a product – it’s a fundamental shift in our entire operating model. We have re-engineered our processes to ensure every brief begins and ends with CLUE.
“We’ve also made some formidable hires. Catherine Graham, formerly head of customer experience at Clemenger Melbourne, is a career direct and data strategist. Billy Loizou joined us in September last year from his role of chief marketing technologist at Digital Logic.
“Will Nichols, Sydney’s planning director for Data & Direct, has played a pivotal role working with Annalect to build bespoke data cakes for our clients. And, of course, there’s the analysts themselves, which are Annalect staff embedded into our creative agency environments.”
The arrival of CLUE is heavily supported by TBWA Melbourne’s chief creative officer, Paul Reardon, who believes that whilst creativity is – and always will be – the key differentiator for brands, data plays an important role within the ideation process.
“CLUE gives us all a forensic insight into our work – a much better understanding of who to talk to, exactly when to talk to them and why,” he said.
“We find ourselves in a far stronger position when our briefs start with this level of detail.”