Shift 2014 live blog

News & Opinion

Shift 2014 live blog

Live coverage of Shift 2014 by Starcom MediaVest's Alice Hall and Kieran Smith.


David Pattison, chairman of Newsworks, is last to the stage to congratulate Emma, and round-off proceedings, as we bid you farewell from #Shift2014 for another year. Thanks for tuning in - it's been a pleasure, over and out. 


And the winner is...Emma! Congratulations! She's holding what looks like a glass cube, and sporting a smile fitting for somebody that's just bagged £300k, albeit in media value. 


Emma, like John before her, tugs at the heart strings of the audience as she talks of the devastation of 2013's typhoon. Her campaign will see Expedia recruit people to create content via a hub of the Philippines, including journalists and photographers to be donated to the tourist board to help remarket the country and rebuild their economy after the recent disaster. 


Last but by no means least, Emma Callaghan of PHD is up next with a campaign for Expedia and the Philippines Tourist Board...


The morning of the campaign will focus on driving awareness, with lunchtime used to further engage through additional content and a live Twitter Q&A. Retargeting those that have engaged online with further content will follow in the evening, and at the end of the day, each editor will pick one entrant to go to Rwanda to see the project first-hand. Busy day, I'm sure you'll agree, but for a very noble cause.


John Kershaw, director at Vizeum, is up next with a campaign to raise money for Hope - a charity in Rwanda that aims to put a halt to poaching of African Gorillas. John aims to launch a competition challenging 20 milliom people to tell them what hope means to them. 


Persa Shadnia, account manager at Mindshare is up first, as she pitches for a national Warburton's birthday celebration campaign. Aiming to leverage the Royal baby's birthday, she wants to reposition the Warburton's brand away from what is a cluttered, monotonous category. She's not so keen on giving away free bread with every copy of the paper, though.


But first, Jim Hytner, chief executive of IPG Mediabrands International, and four esteemed ‘dragons’ take to the stage to pose the difficult questions for each of the contestants, just to add a little pressure if there wasn't any already. Here we go… 


Right, we’re into the home straight and charging toward the finish line with MoBot poses at the ready. Our final session is about to begin – the finalists are taking to the stage, where one lucky winner will swoop £300k worth of media space across a range of newsbrands, reaching 20m people in one day, with one consolidated message for a cause of their choosing.


James concludes that we need to use channels together, this will help amplify the success of the communications strategy. He argues that we need to use more rich and shoppable formats in order to keep up with how our customers are changing...

...and finally, we need to get great ideas out to market as fast as possible.


James then moves on to discuss campaigns that fulfill the more rational message that John Lewis strives to broadcast. This is best illustrated by the following copy: 'If our competitors have a sale we have a sale. Never knowingly undersold.'

What this means is that John Lewis uses newsbrands to allow themselves to control conversation, with different levels of tonality and detail. One message may be emotional, but the next may be competitive.


Proof points of the true value that John Lewis provides is demonstrated through newsbrands. They've continued to have a robust business through hard economic times, and the guarantee that products are covered, has been integral to this.


James continues that the communications strategy must surprise and delight our consumers, and print allows us to do this. An incredibly successful campaign that showcased this last year, was click to collect - it drove an astonishing 900k visits.


James is up. He begins with illustrating how John Lewis is a multi-dimensional brand, emotional on one end, but rational on the other. There are so many products and what is imperative is that we hone in on the most inspirational, in order to drive re-appraisal, and this can be achieved through print.

He wants people to say 'I didn't know John Lewis stocked that,' and James argues that it is 'news campaigns that bring that breadth of products to life'.


Tim begins with his beliefs that we use should use the news to influence, inspire, and to educate. There is a lot more to a story than what happens on TV,  and news brands are just as important to John Lewis. He goes on to say that TV is used to engage emotionally, but we must do more than that in our communications.

...and just to illustrate this is quite a staggering fact for you: currently, John Lewis invests double into newsbrands than they do in TV!


Alice is back, and for the final time!

For the penultimate talk here at Newsworks, we are graced with both the agencies behind the award-winning John Lewis campaigns. James Murphy, founding partner, Adam & Eve, and Tim Pearson, executive director, Manning Gottlieb, are here to uncover a potentially new slant for us all on one of the nation’s favourite retail stories. What is the untold story here....?


Tremendous laughter breaks out as a member of the crowd claims WPP have won a new account, according to news sources. SMS: "You mustn't believe everything you read in the newspaper!", he claims.


SMS is keen to emphasise newspapers are still extremely influential. "Warren Buffett still buys local newspapers!"


SMS talks about good people being more difficult to manage than average people - because good people are opinionated. He continues, you must invest in human capital, as people are information sources, but to pool all of these sources together is the challenge as we all work in silos.


SMS: 'No agency brand to date has been able to scale the breadth of what you have to do in today's world of advertising.'


SMS goes on to say how much of a fan he is of US advertising drama 'Mad Men'. "I've seen them all, I'm waiting for the next series."


SMS provides an insight into how he influences people: 'If I tell someone to go left they will go right, therefore if I want them to go right, I tell them to go left'.


AR: What's been the biggest influence to you in the world of business? SMS: Probably, my father. He was the only person that didn't have an agenda other than my own. He always gave great advice - although that's not to say he never gave me criticism.


Amol opens to tell the audience he has a painful eye infection, and if the audience see tears rolling down his face it isn’t because he’s had fisticuffs with Sir Martin backstage, it’s because his eye is infected. Cue side-splitting laughter in the stalls. The questions are going to come thick and fast, so here’s a quick key for your reference. AR = Amol Rajan, SMS = Sir Martin Sorrell.


Kieran here. The audience has been well-refreshed and we're almost ready for the second half of #Shift2014. Voting devices have been distributed for the finale - a pitch presentation titled 'Day of influence' - that will see three agencies square off for the 'Influencer of the Year' crown. But first, it's Sir Martin...


Well, that half flew by! Time for a quick coffee break, but we’ll be back shortly with our fourth session of the day, and it’s one I’ve certainly been looking forward to. Yep, next up it’s The Independent’s Amol Rajan interviewing WPP’s CEO Sir Martin Sorrell.


You cannot approach the running of a Newspaper from a financial perspective. Instead, you need to create a diverse and talented team, who learn through osmosis, as the Guardian has done. It is this that which will make a Newspaper successful and will lead to journalism that will make people smile.


Alan continues to say that it was providing something quite extraordinary to a readership that went way beyond the core readership. He believes that he has never had a story quite like it. A story that has produced such a deep emotional response to what was written. The monthly unique users shot to 90m, with circulation numbers growing exponentially. This just shows how people truly valued the newspaper for telling the truth.


'It was an enormous story' 


Investigative journalism - Alan begins with telling us about the necessary culture to produce this type of editorial. We need to be open to non-convential journalism. An example of this is the famous Greenwald, who begun his journalistic career as a blogger. Writing in a small room in the heart of Rio, he bought a huge following when he finally arrived at the Guardian.

Very few other papers would have risked hiring someone like Greenwald, but the Guardian recognised the potential of such a journalist. And so begun the whirlwind of the NSA/Snowden affair...


Alice again. Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the Guardian News and Media, and one of the most influential editors, is next up to talk us through what it is like to be at the centre of worldwide breaking news. I for one am looking forward to hearing what it was like to be at the forefront of the Snowden storm.


David finishes by discussing the role newsbrands play for advertisers with shared emotional values aiding relevancy.

He concludes that news content is important to people and addresses many need states. The relationship is becoming more entrenched, due to new platforms, and this is creating new emotional experiences between that of the consumer and the title.


With the continued growth of devices and platforms, it has resulted in a more ubiquitous, more engaging, and most importantly, a better read level of content. It has consistently resulted in a more positive relationship between consumers and their favourite newsbrands.


David went on to say he has commissioned studies across most media platforms, and in over 30 years of working in insight, he's never heard users of a media brand talk so emotionally about the medium.


A short video illustrating consumers' own view of their relationship with their favoured titles is played. One particular quote stuck to mind...

"Reading the newspaper is like having a shower or brushing my teeth; it's got to be done!"


David continues to say that we all have need states, and the findings show that newsbrands are the go-to source for the following:

- Being in the know

- Fuelling conversation

- Relaxing / me time

- Ritual and routine


This research investigates the deep, emotional and long-term relationships users have with newspapers. 

Newsbrand, TV channels, Social Media, Radio - news is important to people across many mediums and newsbrands sit at the core of the news ecosystem. Newsbrands are viewed as trustworthy, and are recognised as providing identification - 'it speaks to me'.


Alice here. Next to the stage we have David Brennan, insight consultant, and one of Newswork’s very own. David is here to take us through an exclusive preview of the new piece of research: Truly Madly Deeply. It aims to uncover the true relationship of readers and their beloved newsbrands, and offers an insight into what it might be also like to live without your most favoured title.


Jason answers questions from the floor, first explaining that newsbrands shouldn't shy away from failure, but should be embracing failing fast. He cites the key to innovation as being a 'risk-taker', but moving on quickly with what we have learnt to improve.


To demonstrate just how much newsbrands are embracing digital, Jason introduces a flying drone to the audience, that descends upon the auditorium from above like a Golden Snitch at Hogwarts. Equipped with a camera on the front, we're then shown a video of the drone as it flies over destinations of major news stories from 2013. Newsbrands are embracing such technology to bring audiences closer to a news story where journalists otherwise wouldn't be able to go.


Jason goes on to explain that when he first entered a news room, the editor was king. They had an intuitive idea of the content readers wanted and gave it to them. In today's digital era, not one person can dictate the agenda.


Years from now, when we look back at media companies that survived and thrived, the question we'll be asking is: 'who was brave enough to adopt a truly digital native culture?'


Jason Seiken, chief content officer & editor-in-chief of The Telegraph is our first speaker of the day. He starts by arguing that we are now entering a golden age of journalism, where the emergence of digital platforms has enhanced newsbrand offerings from both a content and audience-reach perspective


And we're off! Rufus Olins, chief executive of Newsworks, takes the stage to introduce this afternoon's proceedings with a dictionary definition of 'influence' - the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something.


The pre-conference lunch has proved rather popular, as delegates slowly trickle in to the auditorium to take their seats ahead of our first session of the day.


But that's not all, you can also get involved and have your say in the debate via Twitter, all you have to do is ensure you've include this handy little hashtag - #Shift2014


Attendees are arriving in their droves and we're just 23 tantalising minutes away from the second-ever Newsworks conference, held at the prestigious British Library. Over the course of this afternoon, Alice and I, Kieran, will be disecting the highlights from today's incredible line-up of speakers and posting them on this very blog to keep you up to speed as the action unfolds. 


 Good afternoon all, welcome to Shift 2014!

Alice Hall, account executive

Alice’s career began on the graduate scheme at Starcom MediaVest. She then widened her experience in communications planning with a multitude of clients ranging from technology to travel, and finance to music. Alice also graduated from the Google Squared Programme, giving her opportunities to build strategic, managerial and leadership expertise.

Kieran Smith, senior planner

Kieran’s media career has evolved over the years, having previously worked for Trinity Mirror as a sports journalist as well as brief spell in experiential marketing for Beatwax. He also joined Starcom MediaVest as part of their graduate scheme, working across clients such as Samsung and Bauer Radio.

by Alice Hall and Kieran Smith 09/04/14

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