Most Contagious 2018


Thoughts Piece

So the end of 2018 almost comes to a close with the annual trend, insight, pep-talk event that is; Most Contagious.

The event that reminds us all to try harder, be better and most of all; be brave. Something all our clients know too well and something all of us at TYC hold dear.

So what were the highlights this year? Well after a shameful plug for their own book in the first 20 mins, and a bit of a slow start, the event just got better and better as the day went on.

Meghan Farren shared the ‘behind the scenes’ effect of KFC’s FCK up. An effect on its people unimaginable yet a lesson in how to give a real apology that resonates with your consumer.

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According to Facebook, 80% of interactivity within two years will be through video or AR. So who will win the social video wars here? Instagram, Lad Bible or a new player? Hmmm, one to watch.

Cannabis was on the agenda with the rise in CBD. Brands such as Lord Jones and Dosist using it to create ‘liberating’ and ‘arousing’ products!

Machine Vision provided some crazy stats around the evolution of machines ability to ‘see’. Not only can they start to understand components of images they can now split it apart and track us wherever we go!? It seems as though most of us are ok with it as 74% of UK support its use in the crime against crime. Its power today already unlocks our phones, detects skin cancer and enables cashless stores but this is only the beginning. Brands such as 8 by Yoox are using MV to inspire new fashion and Face++ are collecting data on age, gender, mood, skin type and the clothes we’re wearing – with 3.2bn images shared each day, that’s a lot of data!

Leaving points were:

1. Think how visual insights could benefit your business

2. Identify areas of complexity in your customers lives

3. Familiarise yourself with its creative potential

Mini highlight of the morning, Pedigree Selfie Stix for dogs (to get that perfect dog-owner selfie of course….!)

Bodyform with AMV_BBDO brought the house down with their remarkable #Bloodnatural movement. A perfect example of us creatives not taking no as an answer, changing the sector forever and sticking two fingers up at the ‘representative bodies’ for being so narrow minded! Massive respect to these visionaries.

Impossible Foods demonstrated the future of the world to come, without meat! Its partnership with White Castle launching a burger that looks, smells and tastes like a burger but isn’t a burger was incredible. I need to try this and eat a recent humble pie.

Last of the morning highlights, Nike ‘Don’t ask are you crazy, ask if your dreams are crazy enough!’…

And P&G’s #MyBlackisBeautiful was a total tear jerker that once again shows how narrow minded the world can be even in 2018!

After lunch the room got a lesson in Gen Z lingo. Goes to prove I am indeed a total stan of Dave Ghrol, I love slaps, Jorga Smith is a complete snack and my sis isn’t just my sister. Catch up people!

Stan: having an intense fandom for a particular thing

Slaps: this can have multiple meanings; something being super cool or super weird, you just have to use it right

Snack: extremely attractive individual Sis: ‘sisters in spirit’ – your best friend or bae

Louise Troen stole my heart with her story of Bumble. The often misunderstood dating app where women make the first move is led by a deep desire to fix the world and bringing back acts of kindness. Its activations in the real world are remarkable and goes to show you can still have a rapidly growing commercial business by taking steps to change the world around us.

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Chloe from MA then talked about the Retail Renaissance starting with the fact that Amazon make more profit for advertising than from retail. It demonstrates that in today’s world it’s more about connection than production. Slick interfaces, seamless UX, badass logistics, consistent quality service, global customer base and low risk, low investment is all you need to win today! So a simple rule. Follow these 3 points and you’re good:

1. What’s the means?

2. Find the motive

3. Provide the opportunity

A few great examples… Farfetch was highlighted along with other connecting platforms with staggering Q3 results: 53% increase in total sales value, 42% increase in active customers and 55% increase in average orders. Incredible stats in a time where the high street saw a -2% drop in footfall in Oct 2018, the 11th consecutive month of decline.

Yet 80% of spending still happens in stores. Brands like Missguided are seeing the new world as their playground by thinking outside of the box. Their partnership with Love Island this year saw 40% overall sales increase and a 9300% sales increase of the crochet patchwork dress worn on the show by winner Dani Dyer.

So the retail metabolic rate is getting faster. So how to see new opportunities? Well look at Shopshops. Walking the streets and live broadcasting the coolest products from the coolest shops is helping boast viewership figures of 456m and a 32% revenue increase YOY.

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Laura Clarke explained her incredible story behind the Palau Pledge and captivated the entire audience. A tiny country with just 20,000 inhabitants prides itself on conservation. Yet after the word of mouth effect across social media, 160,000 visitors defended with little or no respect for the environment and started destroying all the Palau people had preserved. Laura started her long journey after being moved by this whilst lying on the beach on holiday, this is when Palau Pledge began. A Pledge that every visitor has to sign as a stamp in their passport pledging that they will respect the country and not take or destroy the natural wonder of the island. So powerful and I might now have a slight eco-warrior crush on Laura!

The penultimate talk was by Jamie McCall from Nike and the team from Wieden & Kennedy who used 15 slides to talk about the journey of the Being a Londoner campaign. A high octana presentation much like the film built on a relationship of trust and sheer tenacity but thankfully, no pigeons! The crucial factor and learning was that great ideas need time to blossom but once they do, speed is of the essence to execute. This idea was spawn from the terrorist events in London which showed a Londoner running away from the pub with an intact beer in hand, showing nothing will get a Londoner down. Oh and loved the link to the Monty Pythons sketch of the 4 old men on the sofa!

But the big message was about our duty as creatives to listen to and unlock the power of youth for a better world tomorrow.

Now for the last talk of the day. Fernando Machado stepped up from Burger King who was allotted a double length slot. And it was clear in the first 5 seconds why. What a guy! Full of passion, excitement and expletives that had us all smiling from ear to ear. His story was one born out of a love for the brand in its heydays. And how did he do it? Well here are his 5 rules dealing with fear to lead to creative success:

1. Understand what your brand is about

Ask why do people love it? For BK, it brings out the 12 yr old child in all of us, it welcomes everyone, plus you can always have it your way.

2. Create a great brief

A one liner that sets a big vision that lets the agency take it to places you may never imagine

3. Let the brief grow

A baby lion is easy to kill, but let it grow and we’re all in trouble. Ideas grow no matter how crazy they may seem.

4. The biggest risk is not taking any risk

Be afraid, be very afraid but remember, any fall out will only last a few days in the campaign world.

5. One team

Agency and clients as one. Simple.

So that’s that and what a day! Hopefully some of the above has inspired you on this cold wet December day. For those who fancy going next year, click here. And for anyone who would like to learn more about the day, feel free to get in touch!

Image source: TYC, Most Contagious, Pinterest, Werner Design Werks