If you’re not already aware, the Festival of Marketing kicked off yesterday at Tobacco Dock in East London; an event celebrating all things brand and marketing with over 200 speakers including big hitters such as Lord Sugar and the inspirational Commander Chris Hadfield.
For us here at Engine Creative, the event had extra importance as we’ve been working with Centaur to create and deliver the whole brand experience that is Festival of Marketing 2015. So, with a definite brand-tinted lense, we headed out to learn, meet and be inspired.
Unlike previous (and pretty much all other industry) events, the Festival of Marketing is much more than one big room churning through speakers over the course of the day. Set in the über cool Tobacco Dock venue, there are so many things to see and do that pre-planning on the accompanying Festival of Marketing app is an absolute must. We planned our schedule and booked up in advance to make sure we got in front of the best talks which was good thinking as a majority were full. We were also able to contribute to discussions with the brilliant sli.do.
Most of the team focussed on the Branding and Creative talks with insights presented by the likes of MTV, Periscope, Meerkat and hostelworld.com. Highlights included MTV’s Kerry taylor relaying the story of MTV’s recent re-brand and shift from ‘I want my MTV’ to the ‘I am my MTV’ focus, a move which places user generated content at the heart of the MTV brand.
In terms of branding and marketing, there was a definite theme of risk-taking to achieve real cut-through in busy markets. This came to the fore with great talks from the likes of hostelworld.com and The Black Farmer although, for balance, a quick visit to the Data & Insights stage highlighted just how far data analytics have progressed and how much marketers can gain from more effective use of data.
A special mention must also go to the best debate of the day which took place on the B2B stage. ‘Brand Valuation is Brilliant/Bullshit – Debate and Delete as Applicable’ pitted Marketing Week’s Mark Ritson against 3 representatives from brand valuation companies, Brand Finance, Millward Brown and Interbrand. A feisty and data-filled attack by Mark was passionately defended by Doreen Wang et al which made for an entertaining end to the day’s stage presentations.
With the best saved for last, Commander Chris Hadfield took to the headline stage and mesmerised a capacity audience with his journey from childhood dreamer to fully-fledged astronaut. The man who now holds the Guiness World Record for recording the first music video in space (27 million views and counting) was definitely one of the most intelligent and articulate speakers we’d ever seen. Not surprising when you look at his achievements.
All of this (and more) in one day and all brilliantly wrapped up in our very own Festival of Marketing branding. If this is the shape of things to come for the event then roll on Festival of Marketing 2016.