AWE 2015: Brands are "less brave" in social media age

 Manchipp and Lindley spoke at London’s AWE
Manchipp and Lindley spoke at London’s AWE

Brands have become "less brave" with their marketing and experiential campaigns, according to a panel of experts speaking at Advertising Week Europe (AWE) today (24 March).

Speaking on the subject of creativity and design at Advertising Week Europe (AWE), a panel of experts were asked if brands are less brave with their campaigns because they are worried about public reactions on social media.

Simon Manchipp, co-owner of design agency SomeOne, said that it can be hard for brands to do anything creative because they can be "smacked down" by the "forces of the internet". He told the audience: "We often say we want to do branding, not blanding. Often brands do not want to express a point of view or opinion.

"They want to look responsible and grown up in their sector, which is the wrong approach. Those who have the courage to hold against those pressures are the ones that make great brands."

Jeremy Lindley, global design director of Diageo, agreed: "Brands that blend in can’t survive very long. You must be distinctive to be noticed. Blandness isn’t our strategy - we make bold choices.

"Design is critical for experiential and, although we rely heavily on consumer insights, the Johnnie Walker House in Shanghai was an experiment. We have evolved the model and it has worked well. We are now rolling it out across Europe, however it was not based on a tried-and-tested model."

AWE is taking place in London this week until 27 March.

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