1. 2023 is the year of?
Protest.   For the planet, for women’s rights, for LGBTQIA+ rights – it feels like we are going backwards at the moment and this needs to stop.

2. Who is your hero from the marketing and advertising world? Why?  
Any working parent who manages to stay with their partner and not inflict lasting damage on their children.

3. What was the last ad you saw that made you buy something?  
A very low-fi ad on Instagram for Seep sponges. Totally random but thumb-stopping and now I have a year’s supply of plastic-free sponges in my house.

4. What’s your all time favourite advert/campaign and why? 
I’m not sure if this is my favourite one, it’s just the one that I still quote all the time.  In Canada, we have a chocolate bar called Coffee Crisp.  These ads take me back to being a child and to this day, whenever I’m asked how I want my coffee, I’ll always answer “Crisp”.  

One for all our Canadian readers...

5. Riding the Storm - how are you persuading your CFO to keep on investing in innovation and creativity and not cut your marketing budget?  
Because I keep showing them that investing in creativity works.  We are driving down Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and driving up repeat through beautiful, compelling creative – so the numbers speak for themselves.  (Also, there is data from the last recession that shows the numbers for those who invested so you can use that too!)

6. What keeps you awake at night?  
That we are racing towards the environmental apocalypse and the end of human existence as we know it on this planet.    

7. The Metaverse - in, (‘it’s the future baby!!’)  or out, (“I’ve seen Ready Player One and didn’t like it!”) ?   
Out.  I don’t think Zucks has spent enough time in the real world lately and it’s starting to show.

8. Given the advances in AI, do you have a job in 5 years time?  
Until AI is really good at reading the room, EQ and giving hugs when needed, I think I feel safe.

9. Which established brand continues to inspire you?  
It’s such an obvious choice but Nike.  How they have kept their cool whilst being a big, global brand is truly inspiring. (Though I wish their environmental commitments were bolder)

Nike is a constant source of inspiration for Foster-Butler

10.Which challenger/game changing brand should we all have our eyes on?  
I think the players in the resale market are really interesting. Vinted are nailing it at the moment, so I think they are one to watch.

11. What’s the biggest opportunity in marketing and advertising right now?  
To diversify your channels and use creative to speak to your customers.

12. What is the most underrated superpower in marketing?  
Service Leadership.  And the ability to make your own memes.

13. Which (emerging) trend or innovation of 2023 will have the greatest impact on the industry in 2024?  
Probably AI, but I also think the increase fragmentation of the political spectrum, together with Gen Z’s boldness towards brands and consumerism, means that brands are going to have to declare which side they are on or be called out.

14. What would you most like to change about the ad industry?  
The lack of Women and People of Colour in senior roles.

15. What are you speaking about at MAD//Fest in July?   
How to use better creative to drive down your Cost of Acquisition and Retention (but I’ll think of a better title before hand!)

Bronwen Foster-Butler will be taking to the stage at MAD//Fest in July alongside other great speakers who include, Alesandra Bellini, Chief Customer Officer, Tesco; Fiona Tomlin, CMO (UK + Ireland), PepsiCo, Thomas Beahon, Co-Founder, Castore, Christopher Miller, Global Head of Brand Activism, Ben & Jerry’s, and Ben Dancer, Director of Brand Marketing, Harry’s Razors. 

Earlybird tickets are available here.