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We ask marketers: how has marketing changed your world?

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By Sam Anderson | Editor, The Drum Network

October 25, 2022 | 6 min read

The Drum believes, and vocally so, that marketing can change the world. But, for the people who make up the industry, how has that industry actually remade the world around them? We asked four leaders from The Drum Network.

A white arrow painted on a blue wall

How has marketing changed the worlds of the industry’s own leaders? / Nick Fewings via Unsplash

Matt Lewis, president UK & Canada, Momentum Worldwide

Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaign really struck a chord with me early in my career. The ads were so bold and honest, showing humanity at its best. It challenged audiences to answer simple questions about body image for themselves.

What Dove did really well is recognize a growing gap between what consumers wanted from beauty products and what the market was delivering. Considering what advertising had done up to that point to fuel body image issues, it started to break these down and opened the door to more real conversations in the beauty industry and beyond.

Michael Wyrley-Birch, chief executive officer, TRO

A big idea has the power to reframe thinking, drive change and resonate for years. This was true for Apple’s ‘Think Different,’ which was dedicated to the “crazy ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world.”

25 years later, it couldn’t be more relevant, reminding us that real change seldom comes from the center, the establishment or the government, but rather from free thinkers, the brave and those with the true belief to make the world a better place. At a time when we’ve never had more technology and more information, we’re still wrestling with significant world instability from war, the energy crisis and the existential threat of climate change. But, as marketers, we can use our creativity to inspire and disrupt the status quo and not wait for a solution.

Francois Boshoff, creative director, Media Bounty

Sea monkeys. Depending on your age, and how important comics were for you growing up, this will either resonate with you immediately or mean nothing.

Sea monkeys were ‘real live fun pets you grow yourself,’ advertised on the backs of comics in the 80s. It showed a family of bright pink miniature merpeople with little bellies, crown-like heads, webbed feet and Colgate smiles. ‘They swim, play, scoot, race and do comical stunts!’ the body copy read.

I was sold.

Regardless of the fact that they turned out to be greyish lice-like brine shrimp with low life expectancies, subconsciously it piqued my interest in all things marketing.

Looking back, it speaks to me about the value of perfectly-crafted communications in the right place for the right audience. And looking at the work we do at Media Bounty around combating dis/misinformation, it was probably the first time I realized that not everything you see or read is necessarily factual (as much as you’d love it to be).

Camilla Kemp, chief executive officer, M&C Saatchi London

It’s tempting to bang on about how our agency has oodles of experience using behavioral science and creativity to change important things in the world, such as getting kids to eat more healthily or persuading people to report cancer symptoms early. We do. And that’s great, but I’d like to talk about an example of marketing genius from someone who definitely wouldn’t consider themselves a marketeer.

In August 2018, when 15-year-old Greta Thunberg held up her sign: ‘Skolstrejk för Klimatet’ (school strike for climate), she triggered a wake-up call both on the climate crisis and the previously underestimated power of the teenage voice. The message was brutally simple, the call to action motivating: whose kid doesn’t want an excuse to skip school? The creative vehicle, Greta herself, is salient, authentic and would probably tick all the System1 boxes there are. The ‘Greta Thunberg effect,’ crediting her with record highs of public concern about climate change, is a masterclass in marketing effectiveness.

Modern Marketing Brand Purpose Business Leadership

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M&C Saatchi

Our business is based upon four defining principles which we all live by, whether it be in the work we do or how we run this incredible business.

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Media Bounty

We’re Media Bounty. And we’re working to become the UK’s leading ethical independent creative agency by 2023.

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Momentum Worldwide

Momentum is an agency of doers.

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TRO

The Shared Experience Agency. We create events and experiences that bring people together in person, are amplified online and make impact in culture.

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