BITE Focus

BITE LIVE 2018: From Insight to Action

Adventurers, authors, activists, and of course advertising. The stage was set for BITE LIVE 2018 to be a mind-opener. The day promised a look at the industry through different eyes.

Kara Melchers

Managing Editor, BITE


Adventurers, authors, activists, and of course advertising. The stage was set for BITE LIVE 2018 to be a mind-opener. The day promised a look at the industry through different eyes. Including those of our host, Lotte Jeffs, whose background as a journalist and editor of Elle magazine helped to cut through the advertising jargon and focus on the real cultural contributions of the speakers.
The theme From Insight to Action, set the tone for the day. We’re an industry that likes to talk. A lot. BITE LIVE is a celebration of the people, brands and agencies turning their talk into action and proving that making a difference, both culturally and socially, can be good for business too.
Held at the Picturehouse Central on October 30th Mary Portas and Katie Derham discussed what it means to ‘work like a woman’, LADbible and AMV BBDO elected Judi Dench the Queen of Trash Isles, and David Schneider invited us to smell his cheese.

It’s about time we all #WorkLikeAWoman

Mary Portas interviewed by Katie Derham

Mary’s new book, Work Like A Woman is a candid journey through her working life and her time on stage was a peek into this. Covering topics from workplace bullying, to becoming a mother and her time spent at Arcadia with Philip Green, Portas did not hold back. And it’s this frank honesty that made her so compelling to watch. Guided beautifully by thought-provoking questions from Katie Derham, it was amazing to see two brilliant women in conversation. “We need more emotion in business, we need more vulnerability and we need more honesty,” said Mary. And she was honest, not even shying away from her own faults. When Katie asked Mary about the MeToo movement she answered with sincerity saying, “I think the #MeToo movement can and will go too far, but we need to push the message further to change the balance, and it will come back.” Mary is definitely doing her bit to change the balance.


What messages are we giving girls about how they ought to be?

Jude Kelly CBE, Founder of Women of the World, Shelina Janmohamed - Author of Love in a Headscarf and VP of Ogilvy’s Islamic brand consultancy, Karen Fraser MBE - Director of Credos, Martin McAllister - Creative Director at FCB Inferno and Nishma, a 14-year-old student.

When a panel is this impressive you know the conversation is going to be memorable. Led by the heroic Jude Kelly CBE who opened by saying “we’re in the world of culture, and this session isn’t really about advertising, it’s about the culture that gives girls and boys very clear images of what they might expect of themselves, what other people think they should be, how society has defined a norm.” After hearing some shocking stats such as ‘around two thirds of girls aged between seven and 21 feel like they’re not good enough’ and ‘one third thought their looks were their most important attribute.’ It was Shelina Janmohamed who summed up the sentiment of the panel by saying “We need to think of this very holistically, and should really be interrogating ourselves in every single campaign we’re running – how does this showcase what it’s like to be a woman; what it’s like to be a girl. Because you know what – girls grow up into women and girls look to women to guide them.”  


Creating a country not a campaign

Peter Heneghan, LADbible and Michael Hughes, AMV BBDO

This talk pretty much sums up everything we hope and want advertising to be – brilliantly creative, socially and environmentally responsible, funny and behaviour changing. In response to the huge pile of trash floating in the South Pacific, the team took steps to declare it a country by defining its borders, forming a monarchy and recruiting citizens. And the declaration made it all the way to the UN. Together LADbible, AMV BBDO and The Plastic Oceans Foundation built a campaign that was inherently social, capturing the imagination of millions, including famous environmentalists Sir David Attenborough and Al Gore, as well as crowning Dame Judi Dench their Queen. “Our audience was horrified by the plastic pollution epidemic, and by becoming a citizen [of Trash Isles], they had a vested interest in making a change in their own lives,” said Heneghan.


Helping refugees, fighting homelessness and confronting gang violence - Poke’s Brilliant Lectures

Nick Farnhill - CEO of Publicis London, Philli Boyle - Co-founder of Help Refugees, Ged King – Founder of Skullfades Foundation, Gundeep Anand - Founder of The Last Stand

What a session to kick-start the afternoon! Nick Farnhill’s energy and enthusiasm woke us up from the post lunch slump, and the PechaKucha style format kept us fully focused. Not that we needed any help, the stories were inspiring beyond belief. Philli from Help Refugees started by describing her journey from dinner table idea to raising millions. Next was ex-soldier Ged King, barber to the homeless, who is giving dignity back to those most vulnerable one haircut at a time. And finally Gundeep, the director and film-maker fighting postcode wars and gang violence with sport. In his words “why can’t good be cool? Why does bad have to be cool? I feel now is the right time when good can collaborate with cool and we can collaborate on something epic. And you can be part of it.”


The Tango Squad Story

Florian Alt - Vice President Global Brand Communications for adidas Football and Harvey Cossell - Head of Strategy at We Are Social

Adidas runs through Florian’s veins. He grew up in the same town as the HQ and he’s worked on adidas football for over 20 years. His latest work with We Are Social is a breath of fresh air in sports marketing. Shunning the big name, big money stars, in favour of supporting players at the grassroots. The Tango Squad, a group of micro influencers with skills not quite good enough for the major leagues, adidas has been helping them to find fame in their own right. “We want to build long term relationships together with them; to collaborate and go on a journey together. To shape what the future of football and adidas football ideally should be,” said Alt.


And finally…

David Schneider helped us end the day on a more humorous note, talking about his journey from actor and writer on I’m Alan Partridge, to BAFTA-nominated screenwriter for The Death of Starlin and social media guru. Patrick Garvey, co-founder of WE ARE Pi, taught us how to hold a music festival at 30,000 ft in zero gravity for Desperados. Helen Newcombe, founder of the sustainable swimwear start-up Davy J discussed the challenges and opportunities around sustainability, supply chains, manufacturing in the UK and the use of innovative new materials. And adventurer Dave Cornthwaite encouraged us to 'say yes more.' Lastly, but by no means least, Izzy and I took the audience on a trip around the world, pulling out the best work from the last year.

To find out even more about the event and to register for next year, click here


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