Amplify Review 2022

By Sally Maciver, The Dragonfly Agency

'Don't overcomplicate the solution!’ This was the key message I took away from my first ever Marketing Society event.

I could not recommend The Amplify event enough; they are well planned out and extremely beneficial. Our first speaker was introduced by the wonderful Chairman Paul O’Donnell. The events for the day were The Ogilvy Lecture, Celebrating Craft and Clients v Agencies Creative Challenge.

Sarah Warby – Chief Customer Officer from Nando’s – The Big Idea

It’s very apparent that across all industries and various aspects of life, we commonly over complicate situations. Sarah broke this down to delve into why we as individuals do that, and what we can do to try and limit this going forward. This is extremely relatable to work and just general life – there will be many situations that you can apply this to. For example, how many times have you been in a work meeting, and the various ideas discussed are all somehow connected to the first solution that was suggested. Instead of cutting the meeting short as a win, you spend the whole meeting trying to overcomplicate things and end up with a very similar outcome to the first suggestion.

Sarah opened the idea of complexity bias “we have the tendency to believe that complex solutions are better than simple ones.” In the marketing world, a simple idea can still be just as good. It’s also about stripping things back, ensuring that you’re delivering the result without having to jump through hoops. Infinite choice is also damaging for us, so why over complicate a solution.

In your role you are paid for results rather than ideas, our brain is our biggest asset so it’s important that we are applying ourselves in the correct, most efficient way.

Sarah had a couple of recommendations on how we can strip situations back to basics:-

1. How would you explain this to your mum

No offence Mums! But this really allows you to explain an idea or solution as simply as possible – remove all marketing jargon that we have, delivering something in an effective but simple way

2. Rumble words

These are to be used when meetings can be “rumbling on” – this could be a code word to allow you to park the escalating conversations and bring this back to the point.

This was a very beneficial presentation, with some interesting takeaways and tips to trial and test, especially for a young marketeer! Sarah brought this to life with an engaging and extremely fun delivery.

Celebrating Craft

Our next session was “Celebrating Craft”, featuring a panel of industry experts hosted by the fabulous Eilidh McDonald from Frame. We had Simon Mallinson (Producer), Arisha Qureshi (Writer/editor), Holly Ward (Animator), Jordan Laird (Creative Director/Co Founder) and lastly David Boni (Photographer) discussing what the meaning of “craft” means to them. As the saying goes, ‘a diamond in the rough’ means something has to be worked on and polished to reveal the diamond underneath. Craft is ultimately making somebody feel something.

This was an interesting and thought-provoking session, with debates covering various areas of the market, key recommendations, struggles and how to keep craft special. Despite the differing views, all panel members agreed that craft is important, unique and is something that is to be respected.

I found also the reminder of our industry having two sources of money a key session takeaway; budgeted and non-budgeted. It’s important for us to deliver what our client has asked for, but we can also be bold and stretch the idea – not being afraid to challenge the boundaries and prove the worth of any investment.

Clients vs Agencies

This was a really interactive session to end the day, with the teams being asked to look into their favourite adverts that they felt were bold, brave, ground breaking and inspiring. Everyone had a 2 minute slot to present the idea (after we watched the adverts) and explain why the advert should win our vote.  Agencies levelled the scoring field winning the challenge. Go agencies!


This was such a fun day from start to finish, insightful and just great to hear from so many marketing experts! Lots of good takeaways that can be applied to all working environments. I would highly recommend attending a Marketing Society event and thoroughly enjoyed the networking opportunity!



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