NEW DELHI: Data will only take a campaign so far as agency creatives must use their 'creative intuition' to truly connect with consumers, a senior agency executive believes.

"Data opens the mind, intuition unlocks the soul," said Josy Paul, Chief Creative Officer and Chairman of BBDO India, talking at the recent ad:tech event in New Delhi.

"(Data is) important and we believe in it. However my view is that data is a power point, and intuition is a powerful point. It takes balls to balance data and intuition," he said. (For more, read WARC's exclusive report: Turning data into magic: The power of creative intuition in India.)

Paul cited the agency's Share The Load campaign for laundry detergent brand Ariel, which won the 2016 WARC Prize for Asian Strategy, as an example where creative intuition overtook data to create work which directly challenged Indian societal norms.

"We had three scripts for the brand (Ariel) that were approved, everything was going perfectly well. And it had taken us two months to get to that stage," Paul said.

But at the last minute, the creative team was struck by fresh inspiration.

"We thought about our own lives, we thought about how we could incite change. We thought about things that we had not spoken about before because suddenly a new rush of emotion took over," he added, revealing that the team created a new script in just a few hours.

"No data could have helped us make that decision… It had to be conviction based on our own personal lives."

Paul saluted the client, Procter & Gamble, for its willingness to support the last minute idea.

"It takes guts on the part of the brave guys at P&G to say 'yes, let's go with that'. Especially when you have spent two months doing fantastic work, and then one day changing it all," Paul said.

Data sourced from WARC