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Innovation responsibility

At The Marketing Society Uncomfortable Breakfast held at Twitter in New York last week, it was good to see that the event lived up to billing with plenty of uncomfortable truths and healthy tensions. One clear tension was about who is best placed to truly innovate. Some wanted to push back on the old mantra that “innovation is everybody’s job” and were clear that not everyone can calibrate the future. Whilst others felt innovation needed to be more inclusive, it could be snobby, a cool, sexy toy that only certain people should get to play with. Eliot Susel from The Lean Start Up Company went further and said that entrepreneurs are everywhere, and it’s not true that only a few individuals have that creative spark, espousing the view that innovation can be systematized to drive real value with fewer resources.

Controversial advertising

With the #MeToo campaign gaining more and more momentum, and the increased recognition of gender equality, Creative Culture takes a look at some of the recent advertising campaigns that have been in the limelight for the wrong reasons: Bianco footwear goes too far In early 2017, Danish footwear brand Bianco released a commercial dubbed “Equal pay is not enough”. The video depicted raging female staff members being openly violent towards their male counterparts, while a voiceover narrated that an equal salary for men and women was not enough. A higher salary was demanded, as according to the clip, women spend more on material goods. Despite tackling the topical issue of the gender pay gap, the campaign attracted criticism from most viewers, with many stating that the advert was tone-deaf, not to mention the fact that it glorified violence.

Bad behavior

As Thomas Hobbes said, life can be “nasty [and] brutish.” Or at least that’s what last week felt like. A week where Roseanne Barr did her usual on twitter, spewing racism, misogyny and conspiracy theories, sometimes all in one tweet. ABC took the moral high ground by cancelling a show that they themselves had originally greenlit; Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump a “feckless c---“; and Michelle Wolf premiered her Netflix show by picking on Mario Batali’s weight explaining that “now we can make fun of the way he looks because no one’s gonna come to his defense.” Shock and disgust was the spirit of the criticism, but really should any of this have surprised anyone? Much has been written about the way we talk to each other these days. Some welcome it as truth and a respite from incessant and oppressive political correctness. Others see it as an erosion of civility and respect and believe it gives racists and misogynists a megaphone and the mantle of credibility.

Amazon’s gravity

Toward the end of 2017, the Hubble telescope detected a far-off galaxy cluster called Abell 2537. Inside the cluster were thousands of galaxies of all ages, shapes and sizes, together totalling a mass thousands of times greater than that of the Milky Way. What shocked scientists was not the thousands of galaxies inside, but the impact that its collective mass had on its surroundings. What Hubble detected that day was a visible bending of spacetime, a gravitational force so strong that it warped the structure of its surrounding environment. A new centre of gravity.   We don’t have to travel as far as space to witness a transformational shift such as Abell. We’re experiencing one right here on Earth, up close and personal: the unstoppable rise of Amazon.  Retail has seen its fair share of disruption in the past few years. In 2008, amid the financial meltdown, an all-time high of 6,163 stores shut their doors, in 2017 this record was surpassed.

Vivatech or Cannes?

When the powerful Publicis Groupe dramatically pulled out of the Cannes Lions advertising festival last year, they announced they would spend the money on a new IT system called Marcel, and announce it at their own adtech show – Vivatech in Paris, open to all comers and clearly positioned as an alternative to Cannes. Vivatech 2018 was last week, and I went along to see the fun. Is it really a serious alternative to Cannes? Well.. it is an interesting one. But will I go again next year? And should you? If you are looking to hear the top business leaders of the tech world – Vivatech is a clear winner. Vivatech has the CEO’s: Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Satya Dara Khosrowshahi of Uber, Eric Schmidt (ex-Chair) of Google, Satya Nadella of Microsoft. Cannes has the same companies, but these days, a B List of speakers: Facebook’s VP of Marketing Solutions, Uber’s Head of Brand, CEO of a Google subsidiary, Microsoft’s CVP of Brand and Advertising.

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