Product/ServiceSAS VIYA
Category A01. Data-enhanced Creativity
Idea Creation CHEIL GERMANY Frankfurt, GERMANY
Name Company Position
Roland Rudolf Cheil Germany Chief Creative Officer
Joern Welle Cheil Germany Executive Creative Director
Harald Linsenmeier Cheil Germany Freelance
Jens Orillo Cheil Germany Freelance
Alphons Conzen Cheil Germany Freelance
Arnab Biswas Cheil Germany Creative Director
Sabrina Lienig Cheil Germany Senior Art Director
Chris Druecks Cheil Germany Senior Copywriter
Cindy Steigerwald Cheil Germany Senior Producer
Sven Lohwasser Cheil Germany Managing Director
Lars Backes Cheil Germany Vice President Digital Planning
Sami Qassiti Cheil Germany Project Manager
Guido Boehm Cheil Germany Creative Director
Mustafa Karakas Cheil Germany Art Director
Olga Potempa Cheil Germany Senior Copywriter

Why is this work relevant for Creative Data?

From big data to developing an exclusive algorithm and applying machine learning: SAS' digital multi-channel campaign was completely based on the creative use of data as a real-life showcase for SAS analytics software solutions. Data and its creative application not only enhanced the campaign, but they also constituted the concept and even the execution itself.


Despite being the market leader in advanced analytics, SAS as a brand stands in the shadow of corporations like IBM and SAP. At the same time, customers and the user base of analytics solutions are more and more influenced by the millennial generation and it's more casual, content-driven approach to communications. As an answer to this combined market and communication challenges, SAS wanted to develop a multi-channel digital campaign across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa with a strong emphasis on social media. The goal was to significantly raise awareness for the new SAS Viya analytics platform within the digital native demographic while delivering response and new impulses for online and offline sales activities.

Describe the idea/data solution

Our idea was to use SAS Viya for a real-life project that highlights all aspects of advanced analytics by answering one engaging question anybody can easily relate to: What is the best place in the world? In short, we’re showing the power of analytics software by simply using it. As a result, “Paradise Found – analytically, the best place on Earth” is not just another city ranking based primarily on editorial choices and limited statistics. It is the world's most comprehensive and first entirely objective, fact-based research for the most livable place. Through applying an unbiased self-learning algorithm on top of massive amounts of freely available unstructured data, the result is no way geared towards intentional outcomes.

Describe the data driven strategy

We used a self-developed geo-grid built out of 10 databases (e.g. MBI-Geodata, Geonames, World Bank, United Nations, combined with structured data (e.g. 54 city rankings, Online Geo APIs from HERE places, Google, OpenStreetMap,, Eventim, Factual, PlaceIQ) as well as unstructured social content from YELP, TripAdvisor, Instagram, Twitter and hundreds of individual travel blogs. The classification for the training set of the machine learning algorithm came from reviews and the city rankings, the feature vectors from the unstructured data. In the initial step, our algorithm analyzed 5 million data points from 1,224 data sources to determine 69 objectively relevant assessment criteria – twice the number used for the most comprehensive conventional rankings.

Describe the creative use of data, or how the data enhanced the creative output

After building the evaluation set of 69 criteria from 5 million data points, the self-learning algorithm compared 148, 233 places (cities down to district level) to come up with what is analytically the best place on Earth: West Perth in Australia! Because we used the SAS Viya analytics platform to build the algorithm and perform all analytic processes we had an actual “real-life” use case based on the product and not just a mere advertising campaign. The process and the usage of the SAS tools were documented on the comprehensive campaign website that also included several video interviews with analytics experts from SAS about the approach and technology behind the project. To reach a wider business audience and the millennial demographic, we turned the completely unforeseeable result into a highly targeted digital multi-channel campaign about West Perth as the newly found paradise. Finally, we even launched the web-based "SAS Paradise Configurator" that uses portions of the data and criteria to let everybody find their very own best place on Earth according to their personal tastes.

List the data driven results

Compared to previous SAS campaigns the engagement rate went up for 73%, time spent on site +61%. SAS was not only introduced to a new generation of analytics specialists, but also to a larger audience of IT professionals and decision makers. The campaign achieved 26,164,983 ad impressions and 78,558,944 social media impressions in just 6 weeks. With production costs around 108,000 USD and media spendings of 1,000,000 USD for all 31 markets in the EMEA region combined, the campaigned gained about 2,235,000 USD in earned media, including trade magazines, business magazines and even major newspapers all over Europe and even in Australia itself – an unusual achievement for a B2B campaign. One of the most successful aspects of the campaign is the ongoing interaction of users with the exclusive SAS Paradise Configurator, leading to not only to constant opportunities for sales activities but also placing "Paradise Found" among the Top-3- search results on Google. Finally, SAS is now already in talks with travel and tourist companies voicing interest in licensing the algorithm as a tool and business solution for their own consumer marketing.