The Reception


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3 ads: Shaun Mcllrath

Shaun McIlrath is global chief creative officer of Iris worldwide. Recently listed in The Top 10 Most Creative People In Advertising by Business Insider.  He began his career as a script writer at the BBC before stints at impactFCA, HHCL, Heresy, VCCP and now Iris where he leads the agency’s creative output from London, winning over 200 industry awards for brands like MINI, Dominos, Adidas, Philips, Wonderbra and a Super Clio for Jeep. Shaun's choices: Lacoste "Life is a beautiful sport" This 2014 campaign was Lacoste’s first TV spot, portraying an epic love story and mesmerising leap of faith into the unknown. The campaign's release was timed to coincide with the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and New York Fashion Week. Directed by Seb Edwards, the ad brings one of Lacoste’s founding values, "Life is a beautiful sport" to life. Awarded a silver lion at Cannes, it provides an illustration of how performance and elegance can combust in our everyday lives to create something beautiful.

MLP blog

I recently attended and completed the Marketing Leaders Programme (a marketing leadership development course by Brand Learning and The Marketing Society). The programme is a total of six days and they’re split into two lots of three days with about six weeks in between. Splitting the course up this way is a great way to take learnings and tools into the workplace and apply them before regrouping. The course is focused on equal parts marketing (fundamentals, trends and best practices) and leadership (energy, style, values, purpose). The format was a good mix of presentation and interactive sessions. There were a total of 12 attendees on the flight I attended and we were grouped into smaller working groups of 2-3 and had the opportunity to really get to know about each other’s career and leadership journey.

Brands drive change

  I look at #metoo, I look at #TimesUp, and I think wow, we haven’t come very far.   There’s been a lot of books, there’s been a lot of success stories, but the power and gender imbalance underpinning society has an awfully long way to go. But at least that’s clear now. Brands and marketers have committed some serious atrocities against women (and men for that matter).   If we look at the recent past alone; Audi China’s infamous mother-in-law tripe, which compared women to used cars.   In addition, who could forget Belvedere’s ghastly ‘unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly’ from 2012. Simply rank.

How to be a better client

White space is your friend   No, you can't watch us work   Be open to things you didn't imagine   Be confident, not arrogant   Nothing takes a second   Don't be rude   Tell me the problem, not the solution   Decide who will decide   Have clarity of purpose This article originally appeared on   

What makes us human?

Meet Matthew. He’s smiling and welcoming on the customer service chat screen. I needed to make a product enquiry on a financial services product before planning to sign up, but dreaded the thought of being on hold or lost in IVR roundabouts for most of my lunch break. So I went with the chat option.   I was also quite thrilled that this particular company even let me choose my customer service chat consultant from a range of a half a dozen or so available profiles and pictures. [Ah… very clever I thought - like choosing a Gaming Avatar! I’m engaged in this experience already! Nice touch!] Matthew seemed cool. He was friendly, fast, helpful. When he needed to take some time to check the details on something, he let me know he was looking into it and would be back on the chat in under 5 minutes. I was happy to wait. Could multi-task arranging a tuner for my daughter’s piano in parallel to sorting out some meetings at work. Matthew was knowledgeable. He got the facts right. The experience was smooth. And friendly enough. I was happy.

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Editor's choice

Pride month, a 'how to' guide

Pride month is around the corner, a time for queer celebration, parades, solidarity, vigils and tributes to those who have been lost due to hate and intolerance. It’s exciting, often playful, sometimes sad, and incredibly important to the queer community., says Becks Collins.


Shut the f**k up lady. Old is ok.

A brilliant (and under 30) member of my team has just had a birthday and sent me a funny message telling me how he was celebrating... Tracy Barber, group CMO of Havas UK writes on ageism.


All you need is emotion. Really?

In part one, we learned that communication that evokes an emotional response can help both its ease of processing and its memorability. However, this leaves a quandary that some emotional ads sell, whilst others do not, says Phil Barden.