5 cool things to get you in the mood for MAD//Fest

By Dan Brain, Content & Marketing Director, MAD//Fest London5 November, 2018

Just like the Clooney's, style and substance are important to MAD//Fest!

We’ve just signed up our 2000th brand/agency VIP. 5 months into my first start-up and less than 3 weeks from showtime, my grey hair count is probably not far behind!

From raising seed funding to creating a product and developing a brand, start-up life has been an awesome experience, even when you do wake up in the middle of the night worrying about lanyards.

Anyway, here’s the fruits of our labour over the last few months, the 5 things you won’t want to miss at MAD//Fest. It’s very almost a full house so if you do want to join the action, check out your options here.

The content, obviously

CMOs from Disney, Direct Line, Domino’s, Huawei & Moonpig sharing plans, Monzo, Uber, Deliveroo and Tenzing revealing disruptive tendencies plus Google, Twitter, Diageo, Pernod-Ricard and a healthy dose of inspiration and future-gazing from the brilliant Katie Piper and Shivvy Jervis - MAD//Fest is mindfulness for marketers!


MAD//Fest and Vizeum believe the industry is missing a trick by not doing more to improve the chances of young people from less privileged backgrounds. If talent and creativity are spread evenly across society, why is the media industry still predominantly white and middle class? What impact does this have on the quality of work?

So together, with the enthusiasm of Vizeum's Global Head of Innovation Tia Castagno, Vizeum and MAD//Fest have decided to try and do something about it. We’ve also added the vibrancy of youth to the festival, signing up the brilliant Big Youth Group CEO Jack Parsons as ambassador of our new campaign, Flourish.

Flourish will see 25 young people from less privileged backgrounds attend MAD//Fest and gain vital experience by attending special workshops and putting together a brand campaign that will be presented to Vizeum. We’ll then put forward the young people selected for Flourish for entry level roles at Vizeum, MAD//Fest and Mediatel, MAD//Fest’s investor. If you’d like to make a small but measurable difference, why not throw your hat in the ring and commit to a few hours mentoring in 2019? Drop me a note if you’d like to find out more or know young people who could benefit from Flourish.

Measurably Daring

We’ve kicked-off a search for start-ups who are prepared to take risks and can prove their success with Fetch. Part of the Dentsu-Aegis Network, Fetch is an innovation-hungry agency that’s determined to do things differently.

The Measurably Daring pitch competition at MAD//Fest is also a little different. Instead of a small funded innovation pilot, Fetch is looking for a trusted and valued start-up, a tech innovator they can let into their world and grow together in partnership - clients include Apple, Facebook and Virgin.

The winner will have the chance to co-locate their business at Fetch’s very cool office in Shoreditch and receive a package off access, mentoring and business development support. We’ll also give the winner free exhibition space in 2019.

The final also includes a brilliant keynote interview featuring The Dots Founder Pip Jamieson on the future of innovation for disruptors and legacy brands.

Start-ups apply here before 13 Nov. If you make the short list, you'll also get free passes to MAD//Fest.

Shiny new things

Heard all the Magic Leap hype? See what all the fuss is about and try the UK’s only Magic Leap headset in our Experience Experiential feature curated by Somo.

Let’s face it, there’s only so much Powerpoint you can cope with over two days. So grab a beer and lose yourself in a world of mixed reality, VIVE and VR.

Confession: I could get seasick in a bathtub.

Having tested some of the gear at Somo’s Lab, I can confirm that seasickness pills aren’t required. You’ll get a hands-on experience of how immersive tech can create brand experiences that thrill and delight in equal measure.

The MAD//Fest Arms: Pub of Things

What’s better than replacing an exhibition hall with a pub? Replacing it with a Pub of Things, of course! I’d like to put out a big shout out to IoT agency Sharp End founder Cameron Worth and Pernod-Ricard, Pepsi and Walker’s for making it possible!

So when you’ve heard from some brilliant speakers about how tech is enabling new product and brand experiences, take a look at what this might actually look like in the UK’s top cultural institution, The Great British Boozer.

Aside from the IoT, The MAD//Fest Arms is designed to do what all pubs and events should do - bring people together to reflect on what’s happening in the world right now and strengthen our sense of community, ready to face whatever the future holds.

So if you’d like to join the conversation and get involved with MAD//Fest this year or next, drop me a line - we’d love to hear from you.

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