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Our Top 8 Takeaways From The New York Festivals

Last week, we attended the New York Festivals – World’s Best Advertising creative sessions and awards show. Going in, we didn’t know what to expect. Throughout the day, we listened in on four panel discussions and saw an inspiring award show in the evening. By the end of the night, we felt extremely motivated to create work that will positively impact and change the world.

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The 4 panels:

Content Disruption with Beth Collins Ellard (AdCouncil), Maya Draisin (WIRED), David Angelo (David & Goliath), and Jennifer Bremner (Unilever)

Is Content Marketing the Only Marketing Left? with Andrew Hanelly (Manifest), Duncan Milne (Imprint), Jacquie Loch (St. Joseph Communications Media Group), and Rachel Jo Silver (Love Stories TV)

Pushing Buttons – and Cultural Boundaries with John Mescall (McCann), Gary Osifchin (Mondelez International), Josy Paul (BBDO India), and Jenna Young (Weber Shandwick)

Beyond Your Portfolio with Raj Ramamurthy (Ogilvy), Jessica Shriftman (Weiden & Kennedy), and Nick Smatt (BBDO)

What We We Learned:

1. Know Yourself: In the first panel, Jennifer Bremner, brand director for Dove Beauty, said “If you know what you stand for, it’s easier to take risks.” If you don’t know who you are, you can’t create anything with real confidence. It’s okay to make mistakes along the way, but strive to always be an authentic brand, agency, or individual.

2. Matching Values: “When an agency and a client understand their core values, and share in these values, genius and magic happen.” – David Angelo, founder of David & Goliath. Agencies and clients who are driven by the same purpose will naturally create awesome work together. If values do not match, relationships will inevitably suffer.

3. The Moment: Not every moment is the right moment. Put your idea out into the world when it makes sense, and has the potential to inspire change. Jessica Shriftman, art director at Wieden & Kennedy, waited for the perfect opportunity to share her creative idea for Father’s Day with the right client at the right time. And Delta thanked her for it. You can watch the finished product HERE.

4. Smart Decisions: Jacquie Loch, vice president of content solutions at St. Joseph Communications Media Group, said, “Don’t feel the need to cover every social channel. Find the ones that work for your brand identity and own them.” Rachel Jo Silver, founder of Love Stories TV, also stressed the importance of brands keying in on social media that fits with who they are and reaches their audience: “Think small when selling on big social media.”

5. Channel Emotion: “Goosebumps good” – David Angelo. Content that stirs an emotion you can’t put into words, but can feel, indicates greatness. Underheard in New York, made by Jessica Shriftman and team, is a perfect example of creating lasting emotions and all the feels.

6. The 70/20/10 Rule: This applies to the usage of advertising budgets. Spend 70% on traditional advertising, 20% on nontraditional advertising, and 10% on experimental advertising. This allows for growth while maintaining stability. The 10% may not work out all the time, but when it does it will certainly pay off. And if an agency believes enough in a new idea, it shouldn’t be afraid to financially pitch in to bring that idea to life.

7. Don’t Be Afraid: “At the core, there is a force of courage in all of us and shame/guilt/fear suppresses it.” – David Angelo. Don’t simply look at numbers. If 20% of people hate your campaign and 20% love it, remember that positive reception almost always outshines negative reception. “Without hate, there’s no love.” – Gary Osifchin, VP, Global Brands and Communication, Biscuits Global Category Team, Mondelez International

8. Live Your Truth: It takes bravery and effort to live your truth. “Staying true to yourself will inevitably alienate people. This creates room for the people that support you for being you.” – Gary Osifchin. See how Gary and his team helped Honey Maid live its truth HERE

More Inspiring Work We Saw

Touch the Pickle: watch HERE

McWhopper: watch HERE

Love Has No Labels: watch HERE

Today I’m Brave: watch HERE

Winners from the 2016 NYFA awards show HERE

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Being in the presence of these great marketing minds reinvigorated our purpose as creatives. We aren’t here just for the sake of making print ads and TV commercials. We are here to change society and impact the world for the better. We are here to inspire action.

– Erica Grau (Art Director), Dan Hickey (Junior Copywriter)