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Creative The Drum Can-Do Festival

Gordon Young: The Drum's Can-Do Festival aims to help the industry come back

By Gordon Young, Editor

May 18, 2020 | 5 min read

Next month (15 – 26 June) The Drum will host the brand new Can-Do Festival, a follow-up to The Digital Transformation Festival that took place in March.

Can-Do graphic

Gordon Young: The Drum's Can-Do Festival aims to help the industry come back

The Can-Do Festival aims to help the advertising, media, and marketing sectors bounce back from the current crisis by taking a look at what the industry can expect as it works through and beyond the ongoing pandemic.

Focussing on the core theme of creative disruption, The Drum will talk to industry leaders about how their companies and wider sectors are likely to evolve as a result of the pandemic, as well as how they can drive change through the introduction of new, groundbreaking services and ideas.

Informed by some of The Drum’s internal research such as The World Creative Rankings - which highlights the most awarded campaigns, creative and companies around the globe - here’s a look at what the themes are and some insight into why they have been chosen:

Best in class

We will be talking to the minds behind award-winning work from around the world, and across several marketing sectors, in order to highlight the campaigns that were able to cut through and really make an impact, driving forward the commissioning brand as a result.


The retail sector is now a byword for disruption, but with the death of the brick and mortar business model, what are the new opportunities that are emerging in this area?


Gaming is larger than film and music combined, and this trend has massively accelerated in recent times. What are the opportunities for brands in the entertainment sector? How can they take advantage of trends such as advanced TV, social media and streaming services - all of which are revolutionizing how the world spends its free time.


An area that has been completely transformed in recent months, with AI now helping medical research, apps contributing to social distancing measures and video conferencing changing the face of primary care.

But how will this fusion of tech, data, and medicine transform healthcare? And how can brands help this progress?


The challenges faced by cities have been brought into sharp relief by Covid-19. Data is everything, not only when it comes to protecting densely populated centers from future disease, but also in re-imagining them efficiently when it comes to transport, utility, and communication.

Cities will continue to expand, and their success is key if humanity is to sustain the lifestyles many of us have become accustomed to. What is the role of marketers in this story?


For years people have predicted that education, including school learning, will move online. This year it happened at speed, with unprecedented numbers of students tuning into the likes of Zoom in order to continue their studies.

What are the key learnings of how this can now be applied in the future? Is it finally time to abandon the 19th century model of education many argued has actually been limiting the potential of 21st-century kids?

What can our industry learn in terms of how we pass on knowledge and prepare the next generation to move our industry forward.


Social purpose has been a much-used term for several years. But over the last few months brands have been forced to prove their stated values are more than marketing veneer.

This element of Can-Do will assess why social purpose has to be part of the fabric of any business - and why doing good can also be good for the bottom-line.


The last few months have done a huge amount to redefine the media landscape, but what does this mean in practice?

How can the industry deal with challenges such as fake news and ad fraud in the future? And crucially, how can it encourage trust during a period where the exchanging of accurate information is more important than ever?


The changes in this sector have been seismic, with some even saying that cash is going through its death throes.

What does this mean in practice for brands and financial institutions? How will contactless impact consumer behavior in the future? Are we about to see the rise of crypto currencies? And what will be the impact of technology that could see stores becoming staffless as well as cashless?

Highlight your interest in receiving more information on The Drum's Can-Do Festival on the registration page.

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