trendspotting review

Trendspotting Creativity: Review

At Trendspotting Marketing Society members and guests come together to discuss and explore emerging trends, strategies, and innovations.

For this year’s Trendspotting Creativity on 31 October in Edinburgh we focused on three areas: Gaming x Marketing; is bravery dead?; and Marketing to Gen Z. 

Laura Steedman, Marketing Manager at St James Quarter, shares her top takeaways below.


As a relatively new Marketing Society member, I quickly clicked ‘sign me up’ when information on the latest Trendspotting session dropped into my inbox.

It was a bright morning on 31 October, Halloween, when we gathered at Summerhall. With three intriguing topics and a whole host of talented speakers lined up, led by MSS Chair, Rod Gillies, the event was all treats and no tricks!

The focus was creativity, something us marketeers constantly strive for and yet, is often hard to find when you’re caught up in day-to-day tasks. Taking the time out to hear about great campaigns and get insights and inspiration from industry experts was incredibly valuable.

Session 1: Gaming x Marketing

The first thing Chris Davey (Dentsu Creative) taught us… lose the ‘gamer’ stereotypes. Gaming audiences are increasingly diverse, as are the opportunities for brands.

With games becoming more immersive, brands can now show up in the virtual world in the same way they do the physical one. We were shown great examples of a Uniqlo Dream Island shop in Animal Crossing and the Gucci Garden Experience which opened its virtual doors on Roblox.

Brands can also cleverly tap into the psyche of gamers, to enhance their gaming experience. This is exactly what Heinz did with its Hidden Spots campaign, a partnership with popular streamers to find safe snacking spots for gamers in Call of Duty: Warzone. The result was a hugely creative and entertaining video campaign with over a million views and over 100 million impressions generated in paid and earned media. It’s well worth checking out!

Session 2: Is bravery dead?

It’s a big question, and it was answered perfectly, yet in completely different ways by three speakers, Chris Dunne (Thinkbox), Dave King (StudioLR) and Jacqueline Reid (Rokbak).

What really stuck with me is the notion that bravery needs to be normalised. Doing something brave suggests an element of fear and we shouldn’t be fearful of delivering really great work! Bravery and creativity go in hand – campaigns need to have substance and standout but, they need to be executed in a way that stays true to your brand.

I’d highly recommend downloading the whitepaper by Laurence Green that Chris shared with us; From Good to Great: Improving the Odds. One quote in it was particularly memorable; “Creativity is the biggest ROI multiplier within our control” (Paul Dyson, accelero). That’s enough to get the creative juices flowing!

Session 3: Marketing to Gen Z

Mercy Abel (John Doe), Emma Houston (MadeBrave) and Barrington Reeves (Too Gallus) led the conversation on how we communicate and promote our brands to those born between 1996 – 2012, Gen Z. With only 8% of Gen Z audiences feeling strongly that brands understand their generation and Gen Z having an estimated £3.6 trillion in global spending power, there is an urgency to make sure this generation are not overlooked. So how do we do it?

  • Look beyond the basic, demographic definition – Gen Z is far from one homogeneous mass
  • Prioritise cultural intelligence – don’t talk about Gen Z, talk to them and step into their world
  • Stay true to your brand purpose and values but be flexible in your tone
  • Always be real and representative – Gen Z are self-aware and opinionated but loyal
  • Be mindful that Gen Z predominately use social media as a tool for connection, enjoyment and discovery, they are not there to be sold to

Overall, it was an interesting, engaging and entertaining event, and I’m already looking forward to the next one. Thank you, Marketing Society!


Event review by Laura Steedman, Marketing Manager, St James Quarter.

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