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Data insight fuels pain-free creativity

Juan Pablo Carrero

Director of Strategic Planning






Businesses are continuously subjected to profound changes due to the impact of the so-called information revolution. New information technologies have made collection, storage, analysis and management of information more accessible in every sense for companies small or large, local or global.


Day by day, the information available about consumers is boosted by a greater capacity to capture it, and brands are looking to maximize this.

One of the biggest challenges is integrating different sources of information, from online comments conversations to e-commerce transactions; from digital behaviors to loyalty plans at physical stores.


Everything indicates that the volume of consumer information will continue to increase, and that the quality and variety of available data will also continue to grow. Now the challenge is: what are we going to do with all this information? From the available data, what kind of knowledge do we need to generate to develop competitive advantages? What is the impact of these new capabilities on the value of the brand and the business?


The answer to these questions is in the "new focus" that we must use to deploy all of this information to the advantage of our brands. Finding patterns, establishing relationships between data that were always there but that nobody could see before, and identifying new insights – these are exercises in creativity in data processing that we must carry out to add value to our brands.


Data and creativity are two sides of the same coin. We have always lived with a false divide between the two, but now more than ever before, we see that our brands perform better when we look for the synergies resulting from both.


Ideas, which have always been the main source of value for brands, are the result of a meeting between data and creativity. This "collision" of dimensions is fundamental both in the processes of generating ideas and in the measurement of the value being contributed to the brand.


At Wunderman, we have worked with the brand team on GSK's Voltadol pain-relieving gel to unite data and creativity. Faced with the challenge of developing a digital campaign for the brand, we began our strategic work based on an integrated analysis of diverse sources of information: listening to digital conversations, analyzying searches and what we called "new social information on topics of health" that were developed in the digital environment. More than 50 percent of Spaniards are already looking for health information online.


Our purpose was to learn about people's experiences about pain as a symptom of certain physical activities. This data would allow us to generate insights to approach the problem of physical pain from a new point of view. Our objective was capture consumers’ attention and persuade them of Voltadol’s effectiveness.


This analysis allowed us to identify a key insight – the importance of focusing attention on the causes of pain rather than the symptoms, which is standard for the category. We were able to develop a new, creative way of approaching the subject of physical pain. We no longer speak about classic back pain, but we speak of the things that cause that pain. So, we talk about uncomfortable travel as “low-cost pain” and housework-related pain as “making-the-bed pain”. This is a creative break from the conventions of the category.


Brands create value for their consumers from two fundamental movements: differentiation and relevance. Differentiation is the perception that consumers have of how different, unique and original a brand’s value proposition is. Relevance is the perception of how well the brand is adapted to the preferences and needs of the consumers with whom it maintains a relationship. In the case of differentiation, creativity is fundamental for the generation of innovation in marketing and brand communication. In the case of relevance, creativity is fundamental for innovation in the product or service that represents the brand.


Voltadol’s creative approach had a big impact.  Between December 2016 and April 2017 there was an increase of up to 90 percent in online conversations mentioning the product. Searches including the name Voltadol increased by 51 percent in the same period above a historical 5% This illustrates the effect on brand consideration achieved by presenting a relevant and persuasive message that meets the needs of the consumers.


In this case, we would not have been able to take such an innovate and creative approach without having an information base that allowed us to discover a new insight into people’s relationship with pain. The union of data and creativity generated a good opportunity to further develop the differentiation and relevance of a leading brand like Voltadol in a category that suffers from serious danger of commoditization.