Amplify Marketing Festival 2023

University of Edinburgh Business School, 24 August, 11am to 8:30pm

On Thursday 24 August we’ll be returning to the University of Edinburgh Business School for a full day of fantastic festival events centred around humour. 

As we all know humour is a powerful tool in marketing that can grab attention, engage audiences, and leave a lasting impression on our customers.

With the shift towards more diverse and inclusive content, and as societal norms and values evolve, we have become more conscious of the potential impact of our messages – leading to a greater emphasis on authenticity, relatability, and emotional storytelling rather than relying solely on humour. However, humour still plays a significant role in marketing and can be highly effective when used appropriately.

That brings us to the theme of this year’s Amplify - is funny old-fashioned? We’ll take a look at the role of humour in award-winning marketing campaigns past and present, local and global and also touch on the Golden Age of Advertising alongside great storytelling.

We promise it will be a thought-provoking and inspiring day.

Keep an eye on this page for speaker updates over the coming weeks.

The Ogilvy Lecture

The Ogilvy Lecture is our way of expressing our enthusiasm to preserve and promote David Ogilvy’s legacy. As a proud and passionate self-claimed Scot and one of the most famous names in advertising, David Ogilvy is an inspiration to many in our industry.

We're delighted to have a fantastic speaker lined up in Frank Cottrell-Boyce, children's author and screenwriter. 

Frank is one of the most respected screenwriters working in the British film industry. After serving as the television critic for the magazine Living Marxism, he met Michael Winterbottom and the two collaborated on Forget About Me (1990). Winterbottom had made five more films based on Boyce's screenplays, Butterfly Kiss (1995), Welcome to Sarajevo (1997), The Claim (2000), the cult classic 24 Hour Party People (2002), Code 46 (2003), and A Cock and Bull Story (2005). Boyce has also collaborated with the directors Danny Boyle on Millions (2004), Alex Cox's Revenger's Tragedy (2002), and the Oscar nominated Hilary and Jackie, Anand Tucker (1998).

Frank is also known for being the writer of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony and for writing sequels to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car, a children's classic by Ian Fleming. 

He has won two major British awards for children's books, the 2004 Carnegie Medal for Millions, which originated as a film script, and the 2012 Guardian Prize for The Unforgotten Coat, which was commissioned by a charity.

Frank was also one of the writers of the late Queen’s much-loved encounter with Paddington Bear during the Platinum Jubilee.

Cannes Review

We're delighted to introduce a new event to the Amplify line up - The Cannes Review with Julian Boulding, founder of thenetworkone. Every year Julian produces a review for anyone who can't attend. He'll focus this one on the humorous campaigns that have come out of Cannes this year.

Celebrating Craft

Central to great marketing is a well-crafted idea. During this session, a mix of Creative Directors and Clients will talk us through their all-time favourite funniest ad and explore how great craftmanship helps the belly laughs flow! A general discussion on humour in advertising will follow.

Meet our speakers
Aileen Rushton, Creative Director - Brand and Marketing at STV
Barrington Reeves, Creative Director and Founder of Too Gallus
Claire Wood, Joint Head of Strategy and Insight Team, The Scottish Government 
Michael Hart, Creative Director at The Union 
Karen Andre, Sales and Marketing Director at LS Productions

Chaired by Neil Walker, Creative Director, Dentsu Creative 

Creative Challenge: Clients vs Agencies

Now in its 9th year, this hotly contested competition is always one of our most popular events of the year, with the teams pitching award winning campaigns from across the world and encouraging our audience to vote for their ideas. The agencies won last year making the current score Clients – 4, Agencies – 4 so all to play for this year!

Say hello to the teams battling it out:

Holly MacDonald, Edrington
Roben Hera, National Trust for Scotland
Niccolo Rossi, Off to Work/Queen Margaret University
Sophie Cavanagh, Tesco Bank
Madeleine Macaulay-Stuart, Sainsbury’s Bank

Caitlin Cummings-Duffy, Material
Brianna Burt, LS Productions
Robin Gillie, Sunshine Communications
Jordan Anderson, Guy & Co
Michael Goldberg, Carat

The After Party, in association with Denstu Creative

Following the success of last year's after party, we'll be following a similar format with a mini Fringe show in George Square Gardens, hosted by our venue partner Assembly and sponsored by Denstu Creative.

The perfect way to end our day of funny! 


Your ticket includes the 4 daytime events and access to the after party, light lunch and 2 coffee breaks, as well as drinks and food at the after party. Prices are as follows:
Member ticket - £130 + VAT
Non Member ticket - £150 + VAT

Members get priority booking until the end of June. You can book here or by using the button below.

Business Team Members who have tickets as part of their package don't need to do anything. Lux Events will be in touch in the coming weeks.

SOLD OUT: This event is now sold out. 


Frank Cottrell Boyce

Children’s author and screenwriter

Fiona Gordon

CEO, Ogilvy UK

Holly MacDonald

Global Assistant Brand Manager Wyoming Whiskey, Edrington

Roben Hera

Membership Marketing, National Trust for Scotland

Caitlin Cummings-Duffy

Account Director, Material

Brianna Burt

Business Development Manager, LS Productions

Robin Gillie

Digital Strategist, Sunshine

Jordan Anderson

Junior Planner, Guy & Co

Sophie Cavanagh

Marketing Comms Executive, Tesco Bank

Madeleine Macaulay-Stuart

Creative Lead, Sainsbury’s bank

Michael Goldberg

Senior Account Executive, Carat Edinburgh

Neil Walker

Creative Director, Dentsu Creative

Michael Hart

Creative Director, The Union

Aileen Rushton

Creative Director - Brand & Marketing, STV

Barrington Reeves

Founder & Creative Director, Too Gallus

Karen Andre

Sales and Marketing Director, LS Productions

Niccolò Rossi

Marketing Associate, Off to Work




University of Edinburgh Business School
Dress code


11am - Registration

11.30am - The Cannes Review

12.30pm - Lunch

1pm - The Ogilvy Lecture

2.15pm - Break

2.45pm - Celebrating Craft

4pm - Break

4.25pm - Creative Challenge Clients v Agencies

5.45pm - After Party

8.30pm - Event Ends