1. Describe 2023 in three words…

Rapid.Educational.Collaborative. 2023 was a year of rapid growth and development for q-commerce and retail media. We learned a lot, shared our knowledge and developed partnerships, and in the process advanced this new channel as a collective. 

2. Plug those three words into What3Words and that is where you are going on holiday next year. Where is it and are you happy?

These three words together point me in the direction of Wrangell, Alaska U.S.A., a small town  located on the northern tip of Wrangell island in the Alaska Panhandle. From what I can read about its rich history and stunning landscape, I’d be very excited to visit this place.

The Alaska Panhandle is indeed a stunning landscape. MAD//Insight looks forward to seeing Alex's snaps from his 2024 holiday!

3. What do you want in your Christmas stocking in the real world?

Can you put a nap into a Christmas stocking? If that doesn’t fit I wouldn’t mind a bottle of Pineau des Charentes to celebrate the year. 

4. Meta has asked to create your perfect Christmas in the metaverse. Where are you, who is cooking and what entertainment have you got lined-up?

In the metaverse anything is possible right!? Even with this it would be with my friends and family hanging out and cooking together in a snowy cabin in the mountains somewhere, with an epic collection of 70s vinyl playing in the background. 

5. How old were you when you stopped believing in Santa? Did you ever stop?

I still believe Santa can do it, I think this is his year. 

6. What’s your single biggest lesson of 2023?

Remember to take a step back to look at the bigger picture, adapt and embrace change. 

7. What’s your favourite ad/campaign of 2023?

I think what Warner Bros. did for the Barbie film was brilliant. Seemed as though the digital world turned pink for a period of time. It’s a great example of using brand equity and brand codes (Barbie = pink) super effectively. 

(MAD//Insight says do not underestimate the importance of colour in marketing. Here's an article by one of our columnists, Pete Harbour, Unilever, on this very topic)

8. Who is winning the best Christmas ad battle in 2023?

It’s a tight race and too early to call, but Sainsbury’s looks like a frontrunner. An ad with Rick Astley is never gonna give up. 

Sainsbury's and Alex believe that this advert won't tell a lie and hurt you... (BTW, MAD//Insight loves it too!)

9. What are your 3 big predictions for 2024?

+ With 2023 being a year of testing for many advertisers, retail media will take a more prominent role in media budgets in 2024. 

+ Standardisation in data and industry benchmarks will be a collective goal in retail media next year, maturing the channel and providing more actionable insights.

+ We will start seeing generative AI integrated into ad serving platforms at an accelerated rate, more usable, and play a larger role in dynamic creative optimisation. 

10. 2024 is the Chinese year of the Dragon - the traits of people born in the year of the dragon include being confident and lucky. What are you confident about for 2024 and what with a bit of luck do you hope for?

I’m confident we’ll have an amazing year with the team at Deliveroo, because of the incredibly smart, talented, and dedicated people that make it up. With a little luck, (and a lot of hard work), we’ll deliver innovative new ad formats that are relevant to our consumers, and valuable for our advertisers.

11. Which brand, apart from your own, should we look out for next year?

Aside from the really cool developments on the roadmap for Deliveroo next year, I’m curious to see what the marketing team at Warner Bros. do with their 2024 releases, and how the other studios respond. Barbenheimer Part 2? Streaming brands like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime and their evolving ad formats are also ones to watch. 

And finally…

12. Mince Pies - Christmas food heaven or hell?
Completely depends on the quality of the pie, but when the pastry is buttery and crumbly, and  the filling has just the right sweetness…it’s heavenly.