This year’s MAD//Fest London opens with a heavyweight panel from three brands who know how to do things differently and cut through. Chaired by ex Britvic CMO, Matt Barwell, the panel will discuss this year’s theme, ‘Fortune Favours The Bold’, and ask what does that mean for brands and marketers in practice?

Michelle Spillane, Managing Director, Marketing, at Paddy Power, Keyatte Nelson, Chief Membership and Customer Officer at Co-op, and Mitch Oliver, VP Corporate Brands and Purpose at Mars will all have their take on what it takes to cut through in today’s 24/7, always on world. All three have shown, with great success, that being bold is the only sensible strategy in an economy marked by disruption and the recent cost of living crisis. 

Never shy of controversy, Paddy Power has created some of the best PR stunts and advertising campaigns of the last few years. In an industry where some brands ‘play it safe’, Paddy Power combines creativity, risk-taking and a willingness to challenge the status quo to great effect. With the football European Championships starting today, it continues to delight with its latest advert featuring Danny Dyer. 

In the past few years, Co-op has shed its image as a humble local supermarket and pitched its metaphorical tent in the heart of festival land. Its partnership with Live Nation and their six summer festivals has meant that party goers can now ‘rock up and stock up’ when they arrive on site. Bold? Yes. Successful? Even more so, now Co-op is now front of mind for an entirely new demographic. 

Being a private company means that Mars does not have to appease the money men on Wall Street. By their own admission, this means its marketing can be ‘bold in how it thinks’. Taking to the stage at MAD//Fest, Mitch Oliver has said that marketers “have a business and moral responsibility to be brave and to do marketing that holds society to account’. 

The panel chair, ex Britvic CMO and current ASA Council Member Matt Barwell said, “Am so looking forward to chairing the Fortune Favours the Bold Panel at MAD//FEST.  In a world where growth is often hard to come by, where we are inundated with data and where short-term ROI is often the priority, I firmly believe that the winners will be the ones who are bold, creative and prepared to lead from the front” 

He added: “I am lucky to have three amazing marketers on the panel who have demonstrated these traits throughout their careers, Mitch Oliver (Mars), Michelle Spillane (Paddy Power) and Kenyatte Nelson (Co-op).  We will be discussing what it really means to be bold, how you create a culture where this thrives and how you make sure your  C-Suite are on the bus with you.  Will be a lively discussion hopefully with the odd war story thrown in!”

MAD//Fest London 2024 will focus on the global brands, challengers + entrepreneurs who are boldly going where others haven’t been before. You'll hear from the pioneers who have been brave enough to step up, take calculated risks + put their reputations on the line. You'll discover creative + innovative work that turns heads. You'll learn how to take your own marketing to dizzying new heights + push the possibilities of what it can achieve. 

MAD//Fest agenda

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