The Reception


Must see


Microaggressive marketing

The theory of marginal gains is painfully over-referenced and underused by marketers. Popularised by Dave Brailsford, the performance director of Great Britain’s cycling team, marginal gains is, quite literally, a game-changer. The theory goes that rather than making dramatic amendments to how things are done, lots of teeny tiny 1% improvements in aggregate have a greater impact on performance, whether for a sports team, business, child’s potty training schedule; baby steps, nudging in behavioural economics or even the omnipresent fundamentals of evolution itself. Small, incremental enhancements are proven by science and sociology to make a big (sometimes life or death) difference.

Programmatic Pioneers

Programmatic savants from brands across Europe gathered in Twickenham this week for two days of intense debates and discussions surrounding programmatic best practices.  The event was attended by a high number of brands who have in-housed their programmatic media buying, and are keen to share their experiences and learn from their peers.  While in-housing continues to be a bold and brave move for any brand, we’re seeing strong solidarity and openness amongst the early adopters, who ultimately landed on 5 key takeaways for any brand considering an in-house approach to their programmatic strategy.

Social norms & conformity

"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” Charles Mackay – Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, 1841 1. Introduction The idea that we conform to what others are doing or approve of is not a new one. We have long been aware that we have a common tendency to adopt the opinions and follow the behaviours of the majority - a concept known as social norms or conformity. Charles Mackay, the 19th century Scottish writer, quoted above, observed the concept in its more extreme form - that of ‘herding’ - blindly following what others are doing. Arthur Jenness’ experiments in the 1930s followed by Solomon Asch’s and others’ research in the 1950s then began to explore the concept of conformity in more detail, illustrating just how much people yield to group pressure in their judgements and decisions.

Effective brand names

Choice of brand name is one of the most significant decisions taken during brand development. The brand name is a critical bit of ‘distinctive memory structure’: it identifies, communicates, protects and legalises the brand. The name rarely changes and acts as a focus for considerable marketing and capital investment. However, name development is never as straightforward as people think and doesn’t always get the amount of investment it deserves. It requires planning, focus and perseverance, and ideally the involvement of an experienced ‘brand namer’ to be truly successful. Below we share ten tips to help you develop effective brand names, based on the combined experience of our brandgym partners over the last 25 years. PART 1: Briefing

Phoenix brands

This year seems to be the year of the sporting come back. Many claimed Tiger Woods’ win at the 2019 Masters was the greatest comeback in sport ever, but since then we have had Liverpool coming back from 3-0 against the mighty Barcelona and Spurs’ amazing second half turnaround against Ajax. All of which got me thinking about what brand’s comeback was the greatest in marketing's history. Wanting to include more than my preferences, I threw out the question on LinkedIn. Reviewing and compiling the responses here are the top five and my interpretation of the key learning from each as a thought starter for any marketer facing the challenge of revitalizing their brand. No. 1.  Disney

Upcoming Events


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Previously the Awards for Excellence and Excellence Awards, we relaunched The Marketing Society awards

Editor's choice

Invisibility of queer women in advertising

Why is it that marketers find it so hard to recognise and embrace the nuances of gay women? Reassuringly, today there are some queer female faces visible in mainstream media - Rita Ora, St Vincent, Cara Delevingne, Kristen Stewart, Miley Cyrus... But interestingly, these women still look, to varying degrees, ‘feminine’' writes Forever Beta's Olivia Stancombe.


Behavioural Science 2019: the past, present and future

'In the last decade, behavioural science has, without question, become mainstream. It’s now over sixteen years since Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2002 for his work with Amos Tversky founding and developing the field of behavioural science.' By Crawford Hollingworth and Liz Barker of The Behavioural Architects.


10 things we learned from Debbie Hewitt MBE

'Many of us in our careers will have presented to a board, been grilled by some seriously fierce people and in some cases, we may get to be that director delivering the heat. Very few of us will have a career like Debbie Hewitt, a successful CEO turned “plural” non-exec Director and board chair.' Insight by Marketing Society's Alex Ricketts.