Can data make you funnier?


Can data make you funnier?

Stuart Aitken

Stuart Aitken, Head of Brand & Content at Digitas, outlines what delegates should expect from the agency’s session at this year’s Cannes Lions Innovation Festival.

Isaac Asimov famously devised the three laws of robotics: A robot may not injure a human being; a robot must obey the orders given it by human beings; a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

For this year’s Cannes Innovation we’d like to introduce a fourth law: A robot must be good at telling jokes.

But why?

As an agency which believes that the best work for our clients comes about when we use data to guide and inform the creative process, we wanted to demonstrate ways in which data can be used to help brands tell better stories and engage better with their audiences. What better way to do this than to invite roboticist Dr Heather Knight on stage with our Chief Creative Officer, International Chris Clarke and professional robot actor and comedian Ginger the Robot?

We rely on data for all kinds of things nowadays. It determines what news we consume, quantifies our friendships, helps us navigate from A to B and even informs our love life. But can data be used to help us master one of the most mysterious – and quintessentially human – skills of them all: making people laugh? And what are the implications of that for brands and agencies?

During the session, which takes place on Tuesday 20 June, Chris, Heather and Ginger will explore the role of data in comedy, and reveal how brands can use data to create entertaining and engaging content.

Interestingly there’s been a huge amount of interest in our session already. Having a robot comedian on stage is obviously quite a cute idea. But hopefully delegates are also responding to the idea that there is a lot to learn from our little robot friend. We’re not expecting to be splitting our sides at Ginger’s jokes, but we believe the session will act as a powerful reminder of the extent to which we all rely on data and insight to communicate effectively.

Can Data Make You Funnier takes place on Tuesday 20 June, 14:00 - 14:45 on the Inspiration Stage. See:

Stuart Aitken

Stuart Aitken


As Head of Brand & Content at Digitas UK, Stuart is responsible for seeking out the most compelling narratives from across Digitas‘s UK businesses, identifying marketplace trends for comment and managing the Digitas brand across internal and external channels as well as social media platforms. He is also responsible for planning and providing editorial guidance for key Digitas events such as the annual thought leadership showcase NewFront.


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