Speaking to Dan Roth, executive editor of LinkedIn as part of its Influencer series, the WPP chief executive pointed out that for the first time Cannes had awards categories for data and data visualisation.
He said: "Cannes is expanding into areas that Don Draper wouldn’t recognise. This balance of Mad Men and Maths Men, of art and science, left brain right brain is really very important and we have to understand it.
"It applies across the board so everybody inside the organisation can be creative in different ways."
Turning to the move by American Express, a WPP client, to shift its online media spend to programmatic buying, Sorrell said programmatic would become "more important".
According to Sorrell, Amex was a "very good example of a company that’s been extremely sophisticated in the online area and the development of data and application of technology into their business."
He singled out its CMO John Hayes and chief executive Kenneth Chenault as being in the "forefront of building their reputation online".