Across two days, the industry’s movers and shakers congregated in the carpark of the Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, which had been transformed into a festival-esque utopia of tents, cabanas, picnic benches, and bars. The event boasted a jam-packed agenda of sessions hosted by industry experts, from marketing agencies to huge household names and disruptive start-ups, touching on topics like technology, innovation, growth, creative campaigns, and diversity. Sessions included “Be right here: Delivering bold possibilities for brand storytelling” (Amazon), “Expect the Unexpected” (Burger King) and “Trust, Transparency and Bullsh*t” (Klarna), to name a few.
Amidst all of the insights presented in the various sessions, one common theme consistently cropped up: identity. Attitudes have shifted since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and across the industry there has emerged an awareness of strengthened consumer value placed on authenticity and connection. Various brands that presented at MAD//Fest touched on these ideas, in some way or another, and acknowledged the importance of aligning their marketing and advertising efforts with their brand identity.