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April 9 2015

Ad Week Europe 2015 Wrap-Up


PHD International’s media planner, Shona Read, wraps up this years Ad Week Europe. 

Now in its 3rd year, Advertising Week Europe took over BAFTA for a week of thought-leadership, panel-discussions and lively debate. So what were the key trends?

In 2013 it was all about connecting with people by using Big Data, going social and using mobile.

In 2014, we still had to do all that but by creating content, being brave and dealing with hyperconnectivity and programmatic.

We still have to do all those things but in the right context and in a disruptive way… there’s a lot on our plates! This year AWEurope catered to everyone’s interests with separate tracks based on if you were more interested in mobile, programmatic, leadership etc.  Instead of following any one track, here are some of the most interesting take-aways, focused on culture & talent, creativity and gender equality.

Culture & Talent

This topic is not at all surprising, considering creativity is the only competitive advantage in our industry and is a direct result of the culture and diversity within the organisation.  72andSunny made this point across a few different talks, crediting their success to their diversity and culture.  Our industry is constantly changing and injecting new skills and diversity is the only way to keep up.  Many of the entrepreneurs even went as far to as to say that having even one cultural outlier is too disruptive.


One of my favourite talks this week talked about the basics.  Grayson Perry, renowned artist, had a few pearls of wisdom on how to be creative.  Put in the hours, don’t try to be original, be vulnerable, but most importantly play seriously.  Don’t treat your ideas badly because all your other ideas may see how you treat it and then never come out.  Creativity is such a fragile thing and yet getting there is so simple – just get started!  It’s worth a watch when you have a spare half hour.  Another great talk worth a watch is Dave Trott talking about predatory thinking.

Gender equality

This seems to be a hot topic not just at AWEurope but across our industry as a whole.  #ThisGirlCan was one of the most talked about campaigns and I’m sure I watched the ad upwards of five times across the week… not that I could get sick of it! If you somehow missed it, you can watch the great campaign from Sport England here.  Also watch an amazing key-note from Clare Balding on women in sport and media.

All the talks are now available to watch online and below you’ll a quick highlight reel. (video)

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