Diesel CMO warns against marketers being driven against data

Keeping creativity at the centre is the most important thing that Diesel is focusing on, because too often it can be taken for granted.

The brand’s chief marketing officer Dario Gargiulo, who joined just over a year ago with a background in FMCG, explained that when you look at the everyday job of a marketer, creativity is no longer at the centre.

"Working in the fashion industry is a great opportunity to have meaning behind things; we are in a very superficial industry and we are able to combine the message with the product," Gargiulo said during a panel discussion at the Cannes Lions Festival this morning. "So I think [creativity is] something that we forget and take for granted but it’s an added value."

As the discussion moved onto the use of data and creativity, Gargiulo warned that many people overestimate data. One of the first things he did when he join Diesel was to merge the data and content teams.

"Data can drive creativity but, for me, the message is that too many times we overestimate data," he explained. "We are here to change data, it’s important that we look at data, we take decisions based on data and of course we can create growth, but on the other hand it shouldn’t be only about that and I see that there is a risk for us as a marketer today to be driven by data instead of driving the growth and change data."

Gargiulo added that Diesel changes its product every six months and as the team analyses the data around what is popular it is easy to produce similar pieces within the next collection, however he explained that "the opportunity is to forget about it and change it completely".

When asked whether it is harder to be bolder now, he replied: "There’s a tiny misunderstanding between bold and crazy. Crazy is terrible but bold is great."

Also on the panel, which was hosted by The Economist, was Johnson & Johnson Consumer’s Alison Lewis who talked about how the business has worked with WPP and Omnicom to build bespoke teams with one P&L. At WPP this is Neighborhood and the Omnicom-owned agency team is Velocity. Both have a mixture of advertising and PR support.

She said: "We want to be faster, leaner, have data at the heart of our decision making, move quickly, take advantage of opportunities and inspire more creativity by allowing us to have multiple disciplines sitting together. It’s big change for us in how we have to work, and how the agencies work."

The session also featured Diana O’Brien of Deloitte and was chaired by Zanny Minton Beddoes, the editor of The Economist.

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