ENGAGE - Cannes Lions x Drum: Empowering with Emotion Data


Artisan v Algorithm

Empowering Creatives with Emotion Data

The Challenge

It's no secret that you are flooded with an enormous amount of content throughout your everyday life. New research shows that Britons spend more time on their devices than they do asleep! So where do you place your attention?

This is our problem. How do we gain and keep attention when creating content in an environment flooded with people trying to do the same.

We strongly believe that to make good content, we need to make content of quality not quantity. We need to make content that matters. Content that drives action. Content that grabs your attention.

So when it comes to creating this content, what is more important? data of consumer behaviour or an experienced gut feel?

Artisan or Algorithm?

The Approach

In partnership with Drum, CrowdEmotion formed an experiment in search for the answer.

The trailer was for the BBC’s forthcoming BBC Earth app ‘The Story of Life’,. It needed to grab attention and emotionally engage its audience. To do so, three versions were compared. The Artisan film was created by an expert producer, using creativity and gut. The Algorithm film was created purely on the basis of CrowdEmotion’s facial tracking data.

Lastly, the Combined film was a balance between the two, using both artisan creativity and engagement algorithms.   The artisan took the algorithmic data to re-cut the trailer and use content which showed peak audience emotion.



"With so much content, it's difficult to know how to cut it down for our clients.  We needed a way to surface which bits of the content were emotionally engaging and really understand what the human element was after the algorithm did that."

~ James Larman, Head of Strategy


The outcome

So what worked?

Overall the combined film was most engaging for the audience, within both survey report and implicit emotional response. To create engaging content we must marry human insight with the power of data and algorithms.

Artisans and Algorithms are stronger together.


Curious on how we can help?