JWT Amsterdam Turns Data Into Art for ING/Microsoft Project

By Patrick Coffee 

So what have JWT’s international offices been up to over the past month or so?

A couple of weeks ago, Sir Martin Sorrell told a bunch of other smart British people that WPP is no longer in the advertising business, strictly speaking. He inspired a lot of outrage and hot takes, but his point seemed to be that it’s all about the data and targeting.

Here, then, is a case in which JWT Amsterdam used data with a generous contribution from some human beings to create art…sort of. It would be more accurate to say that they used stacks of numbers to guess at what the “next” work of art by a long-dead painter might look like.


This one is a little long, but there’s music! Oh, and the clients are ING and Microsoft.

“We use technology and data like Rembrandt used his paint and his brushes…to create something new.”

Well, sort of. Assuming you skipped ahead to 3:30, it does look like something Rembrandt would do. It’s just a little more, how you say…robotic.

Would the man himself be happy about this project? Who knows. He seemed like a skeptical guy.

We still don’t buy Sorrell’s argument about data being more important than strong creative concepts. Any 17th century artist would certainly agree.