Amplify: Day to shout about marketing

Purveyors of cool: The cast of the TV show Mad Men, inspiration for this year's Mad Men and Women Drinks Reception at the Assembly.
Purveyors of cool: The cast of the TV show Mad Men, inspiration for this year's Mad Men and Women Drinks Reception at the Assembly.
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Marketing is not just a business tool and one-day festival can help to make the world a better place, writes Graeme Atha

AMPLIFY is a one-day festival celebrating the role of marketing not just as central to business success but also in making the world a better place.

The audience votes on the best ideas and pitches

The wide range of events include a discussion with marketing academics through to a debate between marketing directors and creatives directors about the nature of a big idea.

Ideas like the Ice Bucket Challenge which inspired millions of people across the world to create films which were viewed ten billion times on social media channels raising awareness and significant funds for the ALS charity.

Academics representing ten universities in Scotland with courses in marketing will discuss the use of inspiring ideas in developing student marketing societies and building a global network of young marketing professionals.

The IPA is hosting an event titled How To Win in Cannes which will feature top international creative director and Cannes Lions judge Gonzalo Figari of Dseis. He will look to inspire both clients and agencies in Scotland on what it takes to win one of the most coveted awards in marketing communications. The equivalent of winning the Champions League in football.

He will be introduced by Brian Coane of The Leith Agency and the Scottish chair of the IPA.

The Ogilvy Lecture this year will be delivered by the bestselling author Adam Morgan. This lecture celebrates the legacy of David Ogilvy, a proud and passionate Scot educated in Edinburgh who went on to set up Ogilvy & Mather in Madison Avenue, New York, before building one of the biggest agency networks in the world.

His books on advertising are still highly regarded both by academics and practitioners who continue to use many of his famous quotations e.g. “advertising without a big idea passes like a ship in the night”.

Adam Morgan himself is a highly regarded writer and best known for his books on the subject of challenger brands. His books include Eating Big Fish, The Pirate Inside and more recently A Beautiful Constraint.

Adam will be introduced by Heather Alderson, head of planning Unilever Worldwide and Ogilvy & Mather Group UK.

The Clash: Clients vs Creatives is a challenge where a team of marketing directors will take on a team of creative directors debating award winning marketing campaigns from across the world before the audience votes on the best ideas and pitches.

The ideas being presented range from using smell to sell more bacon to saving the world with controversial climate change campaign and will be judged on how inspiring and pioneering they are.

The audience will be encouraged to use a David Ogilvy test of a big idea – did it genuinely excite you and make you wish you had thought of it.

The client captain is Chris Marsh from RBS and the agency captain is local advertising legend Gerry Farrell of Think Ink. The client team is Charlie Smith, VisitScotland; Suzy Smith, Edrington; Cathy Craig, Caledonian MacBrayne; Steven Pearson, Whyte & Mackay, and Louise Dennett, Heineken

The agency team is Sera Miller, Material; Raych Campbell, STV Creative; David Reid, Because Brands Matter, and Jordan Laird and Ian Greenhill from Something Something

The day will end with the Mad Men and Women Drinks Reception at the Assembly Club Bar, one of the coolest pop up venues during the festival. Movers and shakers from all sectors of the marketing and creative sector have the opportunity to make connections Don Draper and Peggy Olsen style.

The David Ogilvy era on Madison Avenue in the 60s is the inspiration behind the hit US TV series and makes a fitting theme for an industry networking event which now has Mad Women playing a much more significant role.

• Graeme Atha is a director of The Marketing Society. The Amplify Marketing Festival takes place on 28 August at the University of Edinburgh Business School. Details of the day can be found at


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