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UK Advertising Needs You

How to make an impact in 2020.

The Newsworks team, together with colleagues from our publishers attended an afternoon of creative inspiration with the Advertising Association at its ‘UK Advertising Needs You’ event. 

Hosted by adam&eveDDB Founder James Murphy, the talks addressed the contribution and value advertising can have on the world around us.

Kicking off the event, Credos’ Director Karen Fraser MBE provided insights from the latest Ad Pays 8 report about the social contribution of UK advertising.

Findings suggest that although the advertising industry is championing change, more still needs to be done. She talked of the power advertising has to “prompt businesses to make innovations” and how for-profit brands are in a unique position to gain extra support for driving change, simply because people don’t expect it.

Next up, Cannes Lions Chair Phil Thomas spoke about the trends shaping global creativity. Referring to the media industry, he explained how news brands are overcoming disruption by creatively meeting the demands of readers. Using The New York Times as an example, he demonstrated how it operates a multifaceted approach to brand building, connecting consumers by use of podcasts and emotive ads.

To illustrate how creativity can solve the challenges brands face, he showed incredible campaigns that tapped into Cannes Lions’ key 2019 themes of activism, access and commerce:

Activism: The Female Company with ‘The Tampon Book’

Access: Volvo with ‘The E.V.A Initiative’

Commerce: Burger King with ‘Burn that Ad’

Reflecting Phil’s stance on creativity, Contagious’ Paul Kemp-Robertson looked again at how advertising can change the world for the better: “Brands should pursue real solutions to real problems in the world, aspiring to function where relevant as quasi-NGOs, to solve some of the vital challenges facing society". 

He referred to Edelman’s Trust Barometer that finds that over half of people agree that it is easier to get brands to address social problems that get governments to take action. 

He continued to read the ‘Contagious Commandments’, the company’s guide to brand bravery which included the importance of having an organising principle and aligning your behaviour with it; being generous; and prioritising experience over innovation.

Finishing off the session with some food for thought for the audience, he ended his session with "creativity always wins, creativity always finds a solution".

Thank you to the Advertising Association, all the speakers and all our industry partners – APA, Channel 4, Clear Channel, Department for International Trade, DMA, Framestore, London & Partners and M&C Saatchi – for a great afternoon of creativity!

by Hannah Ohm Thomas & Zainab Pirzada 31/01/20

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