KEY TAKE OUTS
Advertising for good is bigger than a category. Purpose-driven work was the standout theme for the judges at this year’s Gerety Awards. Dr Rebecca Swift, Global Head of Creative Insights at Getty Images pointed out that many brands were clearly looking to what they could do beyond selling products. For Abigail Comber, CMO at Debenhams, the authenticity behind the purpose is key: “if there’s any way you can do good whilst sticking to core values and commercial needs, then I think it’s a winning combination.”
Brand irreverence cannot be underestimated. As conversation turned to Burger King’s controversial Mouldy Whopper campaign, Swift pointed out that, “when you look across the history of fabulous advertising, there’s always something irreverent and contrary about the ads that do really well.” As long as it’s not controversy for controversy’s sake, then that risk can drive essential PR traffic to the brand. As Danielle Bibas, Marketing VP at Avon Brazil, says, “nobody has the media dollars we had 10 years ago so for your message to explode globally you need that to become a conversation globally and to have a conversation you need to have a point of view.”
There is a disconnect between who is making the work and who eventually buys the product. Swift highlights that it is now a commercial imperative for brands to examine who is making the work; to put nurturing programmes in place to celebrate the women who are already in those roles and, says Swift, ensure “that the cohort that comes behind can see that.” Free the Bid is one such vital organisation that Bibas highlights.
Invite men into the conversation. For Comber, progress will only be made when men are invited into the conversation. She wants teams to feel empowered enough to call gender disparity out when they see it and to all feel like they have a role to play in pushing the agenda forwards. “Men are an equal party to helping the conversation move forward and if you don’t include them you alienate them,” she adds.
A once in a generation opportunity to change the workplace. Bibas points out that perhaps one of the more significant, and positive, changes to happen as a result of the ongoing crisis is a shift in agency attitudes towards working from home. “It’s brought a new era of work environment for the agencies which is very positive from a women’s point of view,” she explains. As Kemp says, the industry has a once in a generation opportunity to change the workplace, for the better.
Stay curious and step outside. All three judges’ advice for staying creative and driving curiosity is to step away from your screen. Whether that’s visiting galleries and supporting the creative community as Swift prefers or just heading out into nature for nourishment as Comber would advise, closing the lid of your laptop is a sure fire way to elevate your creative potential, and your overall happiness.
To read a full write up of the event, visit the dedicated BITE page, It is possible to raise the bar