Vanessa Clifford, Newsworks’ CEO, opened the conference by considering the many changes to the media eco-system since the first Shift conference, in light of a proliferation of new platforms and innovation. She urged the industry to “put context and creativity back at the heart of our thinking” as a response to chasing instant, short-term results.
First to take to the stage was Citi Research’s director Catherine O’Neil. O’Neill spoke about what investors really think about brands, advertising and marketing and emphasized the importance of brand building for long-term value.
Manning Gottlieb OMD’s Richard Shotton followed, with a talk on behavioural science. Shotton observed real-life examples of daily decision making to demonstrate how our behaviour is shaped by psychological shortcut, and the implications of this for marketing.
Next up was a talk on putting the ‘where’ back into planning by Wavemaker’s David Graham, Starcom’s Eva Grimmett, Hotelplan UK’s Louise Newton and Newswork’s Denise Turner in which the importance of context was discussed.
Following a short break, Dave Birss, founder of RIGHT Thinking, discussed the importance of reclaiming creativity. Birss asked the audience to re-evaluate what it means to be innovative in a vastly automated society.
An insightful talk on a new generation of newsbrand journalism was next on the agenda. The Sun’s Sophie Tighe, i’s Oly Duff and The Telegraph’s Francesca Marshall spoke about why young journalists gravitate towards newspaper brands, while surrounded by a proliferation of platforms.
Closing the conference was John Crace, The Guardian’s parliamentary sketch writer, who gave an amusing commentary on UK politics and ‘The making of the Maybot’. Having coined the term Maybot to describe our catch-phrase prone Prime Minister, Crace spoke about how his job allows him to get to the subtext in politics.