Advertising Week Europe took place last week and MediaCom put on some lively and informative sessions tackling the biggest topics in the industry.
The sessions focused on business transformation, purpose in marketing, the effectiveness of partnerships and gender diversity.
We kicked the week off on Monday 19 March with a debate on business transformation presented by some of the industry’s greatest minds. Our session entitled “There’s a thin line between being a hero and being a memory” included presentations from Hearst Made’s Editorial Director, Victoria White; MediaCom’s Global Head of Partnership, Hannah Mirza; Code ComputerLove’s CEO, Tony Foggett; and Jim Kelly, the Vice President of Research and Development at Quantcast. Each speaker had the opportunity to defend their personal area of expertise – Creativity, AI, Agility and Data respectively – as the most important business challenge to be transformed.
The overarching message of the event was the importance of transformation, and so who better to moderate this panel than our very own Chief Transformation Officer, Sue Unerman.
While each speaker raised interesting arguments towards the effectiveness and importance of the discipline they were championing, the final winner was Victoria White, supporting creativity in the industry. Through a very engaging presentation, Victoria raised how creativity was one of the few areas that cannot be replaced and, in the right hands, can go beyond all parameters.
Later in the day, our Head of MBA Tom Curtis, was one of the speakers on a session called
Degrees of Separation: Looking for a New Industry-Academy Model. During this roundtable of academics, bosses, clients and former students, the topic of ensuring that there is a good model in place for both the industry and students looking for a career in advertising was discussed in detail.
On Tuesday 20 March, MediaCom was out in force across multiple AdWeek sessions.
We were proud to present Can Purpose actively “super-charge” your Marketing? held as part of Google’s Track Impact series. This session was led by MediaCom’s Strategy Directors Claire McAlpine and Helen Brain, as well as our Head of Real World Insight, Pauline Robson. Our presenters discussed and shared their findings on Purpose and its importance to marketing.
The audience was presented research conducted by our RWI department that demonstrated the growing expectations of consumers for brands to act in a sustainable and responsible way. One of the key takeaways was that 4 in 5 people believe that it is the responsibility of brands to minimise their impact on the environment. The challenge however, was highlighted by the subsequent finding that 43% of people said that they were very sceptical of brands who say they do good. The session offered the audience real food for thought in both their personal behaviours as a consumer, and also as part of a business.
Meanwhile, on Stage 3, the Native Ad Forum saw a series of talks – including How to navigate the video gold rush, featuring our Global Head of Mobile, Ben Phillips, who was joined by speakers from Heineken, Mail Online, CNNIC and Sharethrough.
Our CEO, Josh Krichefski, joined many other important names within the industry in a Speed Mentoring session, using their wealth of experience to solve and answer a broad spectrum of questions and problems.
MediaCom’s Daniel Wood, Managing Partner and Head of Partnerships joined a panel to discuss Digital Storytelling in the Age of Bad News, talking about how journalist, agencies and media platforms have learnt to deal with untruthful news.
On Wednesday 21 March, the theatre was packed out for our Effectiveness of Partnerships talk. Introduced in style by our very own Claudine Collins, Managing Director UK, the talk was presented by Steve Gladdis, ChiefStrategy Officer; Jane Christian, Managing Partner, Head of Business Science; and Sarah Stallwood, Business Science Associate Director. The trio unveiled research produced by MediaCom’s Business Science team which showed the enormous effectiveness of both multi-media and multi-brand partnerships. Their findings showed that partnerships can be up to twice as effective pound for pound at driving brand health metrics than standard advertising. Furthermore, partnerships can bring an invaluable 23% increase in consideration while live. As shown in our speakers’ presentation, strategy and business science work perfectly together, supporting one another’s findings and decisions.
Meanwhile at the IPA Stage, Chief Operations Officer Luke Bozeat joined other senior media figures to discuss The Media Agency & Client Disconnect – a talk on the changes in the agency-client relationships and the reasons why. Over on Stage 1, our UK CEO Josh Krichefski spoke on What’s your Elephant in the Room? alongside a a star-studded panel from DLG, Google, More Th>N, ISBA and Campaign.
We rounded up a fantastic week with a series of talks under the title of Breaking Barriers. MediaCom’s Chairwoman Karen Blackett OBE joined speakers from the Guardian, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), Utopia and Dr Dzendrowskyj, an Applied Neuroscientist and Business Coach, to discuss mental health, equality and feminism from the perspective of men.
Immediately after came our final session of the week Gender diversity – we’ve heard the talk, now let’s see the action!, an interactive presentation and Q&A with Chief Transformation Officer Sue Unerman; Sue’s The Glass Wall co-author and Pearl & Dean Chief Executive Officer, Kathryn Jacob OBE; and Andrew Baldwin, Client and Partnerships Director, Wavemaker. The dynamic trio discussed the importance of continued bravery in order to break the glass wall between men and women. Following on from an interactive poll in which the audience voted for their responses to particularly compromising situations in the workplace or with colleagues, the panel then opened up to the floor, taking time to answer the audience’s questions. This was a great opportunity for the speakers to face and respond to many of the questions and doubts people might have around the Gender Pay Gap, the #MeToo movement and other recent topical gendered issues.
Overall, we had a fantastic and productive week at Ad Week Europe. Bring on next year!