‘Digital Decade: Past, Present and Future’ – ad:tech 2014

Ad:tech, as we are all more than aware, is an annual two day event showcasing the latest and greatest developments in advertising technology. It’s billed as an event that brings the greatest minds in the business together to discuss what’s in store for the future. So naturally, I was there.

The scene at ad:tech 2014: Day Two

The scene at ad:tech 2014: Day Two


I arrived on day two figuring they’d save the best until last. However, I noticed it was surprisingly quiet, I feared that I’d made a foolish judgement in error and that a wash out was upon me.

Fortunately, I spoke to one of our ESP friends at Pure 360, who explained to me through bloodshot eyes and a faint aroma of rum and shame that the party after day one at Kensington Roof gardens had been a roaring success. Aha, the absence of attendants suddenly became clear.

Once the hangovers had (mostly) passed the discussions began to liven up. I spoke with ActiveMe, a company that uses Oculus Rift technology to deliver bespoke interactive experiences. I can confirm that the sky-diving experience they were demonstrating did genuinely give me rushes of adrenaline, and I would have fallen over had I not been holding on, impressive stuff.

The ActiveMe virtual reality demonstration. P.s. that is not me.

The ActiveMe virtual reality demonstration. P.s. that is not me.


But the day’s highlights go to the two key note speakers: Leonard Brody, investor, futurologist and co-owner of Coventry City and better yet, Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO of WPP.

Leonard argued that since the crash of 08, the rules of business are being re-written from the ground up, complimented by a fundamental change in consumer behaviour (sharing what we had for dinner today is the norm, thanks to Instagram, but a decade ago it would have been bizarre and borderline rude).

A pleasant surprise was that all the ‘exclusive’ key note talks were beamed via live stream around the event. This is an image of an over exposed Leonard Brody.

A pleasant surprise was that all the ‘exclusive’ key note talks were beamed via live stream around the event. This is an image of an over exposed Leonard Brody.


He goes on to argue that we are no longer one person, but in fact two. There’s our physical self, and then there’s our virtual self, the person we are online, our inner ‘keyboard warrior’. These two people, according to research, are very different people and will react and behave in entirely different ways. The next major marketing challenge is cracking this consumer split-personality disorder and successfully targeting both personalities while understanding the delicate balance between the two.

When Sir Martin Sorrell took the stage, he addressed the current problems in the industry. He highlighted the problem of ‘shortermism’, the issue that agencies are now ‘too busy looking at their shoes and not the horizon’ which is stifling creativity and overall marketing success. He says that now, since surviving the 08 crash, it’s important for agencies and clients alike to look longer term.

Just for consistency, here is an over exposed Sir Martin Sorrell being beamed into the pen

Just for consistency, here is an over exposed Sir Martin Sorrell being beamed into the pen


His future of marketing? The merging of the CMO, CIO and CTO roles, operations will merge with creative and product developers will have to co-ordinate closely with marketers. And his main areas for growth in the next few years will be in mobile search and video. You heard it here first folks.

Suddenly, as Sir Sorrell was wrapping up, a Darlek came up to me, menacingly brandishing freebies. It was at this point that I knew it was time go.

The Darlek menace in question

The Darlek menace in question


Ad:tech takes place every year in Kensington Olympia. The two day event is free to enter for anyone in the industry and if you’re interested in the future of marketing I recommend you go in 2015.

Our new creative interns give us a low-down on their experience at MBA



It’s been two weeks of fun  getting high from Sharpie fumes, and Rick Joss with the Techno Tourettes. We’ve heard some weird conversations and we’ve had some weird conversations but we wouldn’t have it any other way. 

We’ve learned a lot from being able to get stuck into anything and everything and from chatting to all the talented people at MBA. Overall we’ve had some good opportunities to grow and develop our skills with challenging work (none more so than trying to figure out why Deen doesn’t have a surname).  

JJ’s fallen in love with “The Boss” (Sage blender)

Jim’s found his calling with Comte cheese puns.

Thanks for everything MBA!

Here are some of the guys’ creations when we asked them to explore Sage Appliances as a brand. They’re definitely ‘creative’.

 sage power

Take the boss1


Pitcher – Tinder for the advertising world





Developed by Woedend!, an Amsterdam based advertising agency, Pitcher provides you with the opportunity to access dozens of agencies at the swipe of a thumb. If you are faced with rounds of agency meetings, countless lunches and handshakes then this is the app for you. Once you have set up your pitch, you are able to rate or slate your way through a list of the finest agencies until you find the one that suits you. Each agency presents itself with some of their latest work, if you like what you see then swipe right, but if you feel that they are not the one for you, swipe left.

The app lets you create a list of your top five agencies, which gives you direct access to their contact details; including contact numbers and email addresses. Described as the ‘Tinder’ of the marketing world, this app is sure to make those meetings far more entertaining. Pitcher has currently been launched in Amsterdam, but we are eagerly awaiting its launch in the UK!

Written by our intern Amelia Brooks


Drawing in the literary crowds


Has anyone come across Unbound? It’s a budding author’s dream. The crowdfunding platform match-makes new authors with investors to have their work published. This is a great example of converting digital into flesh and bones, or should I say paper. And for readers it’s encouraging them to become patrons of the arts. A symbiotic masterpiece. Dare I say it, but it could be the publishing paradigm of the future.

Maths = A Beautiful Career

MBA was recently involved in a Good Housekeeping campaign aimed at convincing more girls to study maths at A Level. Along with MBA, two other agencies created different print ads, and Good Housekeeping have requested their readers to decide which one they think is the most persuasive on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/goodhousekeepinguk
Our entry was created by executive creative director Graham Kerr. He wanted to put make maths more glamorous, and came up with the campaign line “Maths = A Beautiful Career”.
Have a look at our entry here, and don’t forget to comment on the Good Housekeeping Facebook!goodhousekeeping1