CANNES: There is a tension between data and creativity, but its capacity to create greater empathy through personalisation should inspire marketers, according to an Admap and Kantar panel held at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

An event celebrating the 2015 Admap Prize explored the intersection of data and creativity with Marc Mathieu, a member of the judging panel.

The Admap Prize is an essay competition which rewards excellence in strategic thinking. This year's question was along a similar theme to the panel: "Does Big Data inspire or hinder creative thinking?"

"Data has the ability to 'de-average' advertising," said Mathieu. "It offers personalisation."

He also argued for the human element of data. "If you go to the Uber website, you don't see data – you see people. Imagine the typical cab experience these days – it's not really human. With Uber, you know the driver's name and he knows yours. Tech allows for more empathy."

Mathieu observed a new value exchange around data. "It's not about Big Data, it's about personal data. And as an industry, we need to embrace that. It's not our data."

"Brands don't get built in the way they used to. The Googles and Apples of this world are the biggest brands. And we bring these brands into our life in 'micro moments' when we need them – because they know and anticipate what we need."

"We need to be powered with an understanding of them that could not be touched without technology and data."

"If we use it in a way to target people and sell them something, that will backfire. If we use it intelligently, it will change the way that marketing is done."

This year's Admap Prize was won by Ben Essen, head of planning at Iris Worldwide, who argued in his essay that the term Big Data reinforces the creativity-hindering idea that more data can give us more certainty.

Data sourced from Warc