MAD Fest Roundup

Last week Edit exhibited at MAD//Fest which promised to be full of exciting brands and inspiring speakers, delivering insightful and innovative content around the most relevant topics and it sure didn’t disappoint.

Hosted in The Truman Brewery, it made for an informal and fun environment to uncover new information and meet people in the industry whilst enjoying a beer from MAD//Fest’s very own pop-up pub. Here’s a few of our standout talks:

Adland, wake up to your responsibilities!

William Skeaping, Creative Strategist at Extinction Rebellion

So, Extinction Rebellion is a pretty big deal. So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw that they were speaking at MAD//Fest, an event focused around marketing innovation and disrupting the industry.

In a way, Extinction Rebellion sits nicely within the “Dare to be Different” mentality of MADFest, with its eye-catching stunts, global protests and unapologetic attitude making them arguably the primary environmental charity on everyone’s lips right now. However, their high-speed rise to the top was not really what they were at MADFest to talk about – they want to make ‘Adland’ understand just what they could do to address the current crisis and how they could also make such a crisis even greater.

To give you a summary, their 3-point plan was as follows:

  • Don’t just talk about actions, do actions.
  • Don’t accept internal working practices that damage the environment, and if necessary remove individuals who don’t do anything to address these practices
  • Don’t take work from any client you can get – if a new client actively damages the environment with their products, refuse to pitch for them. Alternatively, if a current client does the same thing, refuse to work for them until they change their processes.

How feasible is this 3-point plan? That will depend on the company of course, I’m not one to judge. But they left on a rather clever piece of reverse psychology, hinting that perhaps the marketing industry isn’t as influential as Extinction Rebellion initially thought given the lack of action taken by the industry in the face of climate change.

Well now hang on, we can’t go around with people thinking our industry isn’t influential, can we?

Making mischief: combining live and social brand activations 

Paul Mallon, Head of Major Brand Activations, Paddy Power

The common theme for this year’s MAD//Fest was ‘Dare To Be Different’ and Paddy Power is the perfect example of a brand that isn’t shy of taking risks. Paul Mallon, Head of Major Brand Activations at the booker shared several of their marketing campaigns (some of which never went live because they’re that controversial) and their primary message was clear: don’t be afraid of your audience and taking risks.

The 2018 football World Cup saw the launch of the ‘Rainbow Russia’ campaign where Paddy Power donated thousands of pounds to LGBT+ charities for every goal scored by Russia in a move to challenge the nation’s discrimination against LGBT+ people. Paul explained that social media backlash is inevitable for a campaign that carries greater risk, but this shouldn’t be something to fear.

You can watch their entertaining response to people losing it on Twitter over the Rainbow Russia campaign here

Real Friends, Real Results: Why you really need to start paying attention to your audience

David Norris, Head of Creative, Snapchat

Would you believe there are 210 million users of Snapchat every day? The average user spends 30+ minutes a day using Snapchat with 3.5 billion snaps being taken each day and 10 billion videos watched! The growth Snapchat has seen since it launched is phenomenal and it’s not surprising with all the great features even me (as a Snapchat user) didn’t even know existed.

The key thing David demonstrated in this talk was how the perception of your audience can change day-to-day and that this needs to be recognised by advertisers. A key example of this was changing the temperature ‘filter’ on the app to being a sticker.  They began noticing that a high percentage of users leaving the app once they had used this filter – turns out Snapchat users were just using the filter to see what the weather outside.  To adapt to this behavioural insight they created a weather ‘sticker’ that could be added to any photo taken in order to keep the same functionality but also increase engagement with other filters.

This example among others which were showcased shows the importance of consuming, understanding and digesting information about your customers to make their journey/experience better. It is necessary to continuously analyse your consumers behaviours and optimise your content and how you target your audience based on their recent actions to consistently evolve – something we should all be doing.

When Insights aren’t enough: Transforming data into action for real-time personalisation

Kunal Jogia, UK Enterprise Lead at Relay42

My favourite talk I went to discussed the importance of leveraging first-party data, particularly for personalisation. Using first-party data for segmentation and bespoke customer journeys and experiences is something that I am a very big advocate of. In fact, I believe that GDPR could have had a subsequent positive impact on data marketing.

This is because the communications that are sent should now be more targeted and relevant, due to no longer being able to contact unresponsive or substantially lapsed customers. The strict measures placed on using 3rd party data for direct marketing has also meant that historic processes can no longer be relied on, now that there are tighter controls on using personal data under the GDPR. However, it was mentioned that 3rd party data can still add value to marketing and I totally agree with this.

3rd party data can still be used to enhance existing first-party data, increasing targeting capabilities and thus optimising campaigns. In summary, as a result of the ICO forcing our hand in leveraging first-party data more, marketing has become more targeted, more relevant and should be leveraging better results for brands. I personally see this as a very positive change, which came as a result of marketers and brands having their hands forced by legislation.

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