This year, our team had the incredible opportunity to attend MADFest 2023, a three-day marketing festival held at the Truman Brewery in London. With a focus on insights, learnings and success stories, it was an unparalleled opportunity to network and gain inspiration from the best in the business. MADFest brought together over 10,000 brands, challengers, and agencies for the UK’s biggest celebration of marketing, advertising, and disruption. As we reflect on our experiences, we are excited to share some of the highlights from this inspiring event.
The theme of MADFest 2023, “Riders of the Storm,” set the stage for exploring how the marketing industry can navigate turbulent waters and become indispensable in securing new growth opportunities. Industry leaders presented their ideas on showing strong leadership, resilience, and a clear path for transformation.
A Powerful Partnership: Colgate and Change Please
One of the standout talks featured Cemal Ezel, the CMO of Change Please, and Beth Reeve, the Group Brand Manager Experiential for Northern Europe at Colgate Palmolive. Their presentation shed light on the partnership between Colgate and social enterprise Change Please, highlighting how their partnership is bringing essential dental services to people facing homelessness.
Brand Distinctiveness: Coca-Cola’s Recipe for Success
Another highlight was the captivating talk by Coca-Cola and Jones Knowles Ritchie. Lee Rolston, the Chief Growth Officer at Jones Knowles Ritchie, and Rebecca McCowan, the Design and Marketing Manager at The Coca-Cola Company, delved into the significance of brand distinctiveness. They emphasised how investing in unique brand behaviour, assets, and experiences can significantly enhance brand performance, showcasing real-life examples from Coca-Cola brands such as Fanta.
Activism and Impact: Ben & Jerry’s Bold Approach
One of the most compelling sessions featured Christopher Miller, the Global Head of Activism at Ben & Jerry’s, and Kerry Thorpe, the Communications Director at Ben & Jerry’s. Their talk offered invaluable insights on taking a stand as a brand and engaging in meaningful activism. Miller and Thorpe shared four rules for marketers to consider: choosing a side, being talked about, making the unpopular popular, and aiming for intense loyalty rather than widespread indifference. Their bold approach to activism has proven that taking a stand can resonate deeply with consumers, fostering a loyal and passionate customer base.
Looking Ahead: MADFest 2024
MADFest 2023 was an unforgettable experience that left us inspired, motivated, and armed with valuable insights to take our marketing strategies to new heights. The festival not only celebrated the industry’s achievements but also encouraged marketers to embrace change, stand for something meaningful, and steer through turbulent waters with resilience. We’re already counting down the days until MADFest 2024, where we anticipate even more groundbreaking insights and revolutionary ideas that will shape the future of marketing and advertising. We hope to see you there next year!