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Remember those presentations, where facts and numbers fill the slides, as you nearly dozed off after seeing everyone around you yawning with mouths wide open? Because of such instances data has been commonly known as boring. However, data is only as boring as the way it’s being presented.

For many years data has served as the backbone to a brand’s story, like the manuscript to a novel.

In the 90’s, Apple found the data that sparked an idea. They found out that a few popular figures and creative minds loved using their products. And soon enough, ‘Think Different’ was presented to the world.

Each brand has with it, a large sum of data at its disposal – a library of consumer information gathered from interactions, observations, and deductions. Not to mention a host of data collectors they can opt to hire. It’s all about expanding on the data that connects best with your brand.

In this age of information overload, it would probably be seen as unwise to simply shout out data. Consumers will simply scroll through them, looking instead for the next best meme. Or so we thought.

Spotify did the complete opposite, digging deep into their databank in order to make data the central figure of their brand’s story. Loud and proud, they shouted out statistics to the masses, through a series of witty ads.

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Though the data itself was duly intriguing, it was the story that came with the data that engaged with consumers. Spotify’s CMO Seth Farbman shared his thoughts with Creativity Online:

“There has been some debate about whether big data is muting creativity in marketing, but we have turned that on its head. For us, data inspires and gives an insight into the emotion that people are expressing.”

That’s when we realised, other brands could easily take on this approach just as well.

Last weekend, in the English Premier League, Manchester United achieved victory against Tottenham Hotspur. The goal scorer was an Armenian by the name of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. He was the 96th nationality to score in the Premier League, as announced by Opta, a company that collects sports data. That in itself is a great feat to shout out, as it shows how global the brand has become.

Or Coca-Cola celebrating the sum amount of people who bought a coke bottle on World Happiness Day. It could further prove their stance on a brand that sells happiness.

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Spotify’s new ads has opened up the boundaries of data usage. From presentation slides and infographics, data is now on posters and billboards, which inadvertently questions the debate of data and creativity not being able to share the same space.

It’s a nice shift as well, as the brand shows that it’s paying attention to their users rather than focusing on the brand itself.

Right now, it works pretty well as a summary – may it be for the year, or for particular events. But you never know what the future holds. Data is growing much faster than us using it. And many “experts” believe that 2017 will be the year of the data. We don’t know what it will look like. But we sure are curious.

How will your brand create a story through data?
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How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

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