The streets of Piccadilly Circus can breathe once again as the hordes of marketers return, inspired and invigorated, to their daily routine. Advertising Week Europe is over for another year. #AWEUROPE 2016 promised us the best of the marketing world and, with such a diverse range of speakers – including many from Ogilvy – the event didn’t disappoint.

The Drum and The Mastery Machine
Monday began with a visit to The Drum’s Mastery Machine, a bus painted in the style of the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. Ogilvy & Mather Group UK Chairman, Paul O’Donnell, joined The Drum for a debate about the implications Brexit would have on the UK marketing industry. Paul emphasised that, although leaving the EU wouldn’t be ‘apocalyptic’ for Britain, it’s difficult to see any major benefits of an Exit victory. The general consensus was that no one really knows the outcome of either campaign winning but that life is complicated enough without creating self-inflicted wounds.

The Cross Screen Summit - changes in story telling
Our new Group Chief Creative Officer, Emma de la Fosse, was next to represent Ogilvy as a panellist at the highly anticipated Cross Screen Summit. With our increasing dependence on technology, we are constantly bombarded with information from multiple screens throughout the day. Emma was quick to highlight that this means the usual method of linear story telling no longer communicates effectively with the consumer.

Emma suggested, “We respond to data in real time – it's necessary to build creative content which integrates that data and uses it to constantly guide consumers through the story you’re trying to tell.”

Rory Sutherland and the behaviour of economics
Tuesday morning saw the first of Ogilvy UK Vice Chairman Rory Sutherland’s appearances, offering his thoughts on the importance of behavioural sciences in the world of economic markets. The talk revolved around the idea that economics is based on perceived ‘perfect’ values, despite the fact that nothing is ever perfect. He also explained that if economics were perfect, there would be no need for marketers and we’d all be out of a job!

In reality, people make commercial decisions based on irrational, subconscious feelings which is something we’ve done since the dawn of time. Rory also stressed that we need deliberate inefficiencies in order to develop our businesses: “If you are 100% effective as a business you will never discover what the consumer doesn't yet know they need.”

The LinkedIn B2B Forum
Alex Brayshaw, Managing Partner at OgilvyOne Business, was also out representing Ogilvy at the LinkedIn B2B Forum. The half-day executive forum explored the most pressing issues in B2B, provided insights for 2020 and concluded that customer-centricity really does drive growth.

Rory Sutherland and Paul Feldwick
Rory Sutherland returned to close Tuesday’s events accompanied by Paul Feldwick, author of The Anatomy of Humbug: How to Think Differently About Advertising. The discussion, entitled You Are Not Paranoid They Really Are Out to Get You, focused on the question of what makes it so difficult to sell ideas?

Both Rory and Paul agreed that people make it difficult for themselves by aiming for perfection and always trying to out do their last success. However, they also suggested the difficulty could be because your audience is an evolved intelligence, not a mechanised construct. People have developed an appreciation for creativity throughout their lives, drawing on past experiences and learned behaviours – there is no formula an agency can follow which will lead to success.

Digital: a decade on is the industry making the best use of digital creativity in out-of-home?
Nicole Yershon wrapped up AWEUROPE on the panel of a discussion about the effectiveness and progression of out-of-home technologies. Nicole opened with the idea that traditional creatives need to see the potential digital campaigns they can build with UX designers. She supported this using the example of OgilvyOne’s innovative campaign for Battersea Dogs and Cats.

The panel summarised that, although there have been some fantastic campaigns using out-of-home digital, we need to start utilising digital screens for more permanent campaigns rather than simply PR stunts.

It’ll be difficult for the AWEUROPE team to beat this year’s incredible festivities. However, 2017 marks Advertising Week Europe’s 5th birthday and we can’t wait to return and celebrate with them.