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The Power of Advertising: Brands that are changing the world

Welcome to our new blog series! We'll be bringing you the highlights, top tips and recordings of all of our events. Today we are kicking things off with our February event 'The Power of Advertising: Brands that are changing the world'. At this event, we heard from from three passionate marketeers about the ways in which advertising can transform society and make a positive impact on the world.

The idea behind 'brands that change the world':

In the digital age, advertising and marketing is everywhere: whether an ad lights up a digital billboard on a street corner, or a new product is subtly woven into the conversation on a podcast, we are inundated with messages on a daily basis. Advertising is a powerful tool of persuasion. What if the power of advertising could be used as a force of good?

At CAMSoc, purpose is in our DNA and we help Cambridge students make a positive impact on the world - Communication has the power to change the world and that we are the world changers of tomorrow. We love exploring the ways in which advertising and marketing can be used as a tool for positive change and ways in which brands can take actions to make themselves more sustainable. You can check out our blog post with Compass (The Cambridge University Geography Society's Magazine) here where we broke down some of our favourite environmental campaigns.

Meet the Speakers:

Hannah Burns: Hannah read MML at St Catharine’s College, graduating in 2012. From there she joined the Marketing Future Leaders Graduate Programme at Unilever, where she has worked across a number of global and local brands for the last 8 years. In October 2020 she moved to the US to start a new role as Marketing Manager for Dove. She leads their Masterbrand strategy and communication for what is Unilever’s biggest personal care brand worth over $5bn. Dove is a brand with a purpose, driving for change with award-winning campaigns such as the Project #ShowUs​ campaign, which Hannah led in 2019, as well as recent Courage is Beautiful campaign celebrating healthcare workers on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19.

Jemima Maunder-Taylor: Jemima read Classics at Queens' College Cambridge, before beginning a career in advertising and brand strategy. She did her graduate year at Interbrand brand consultancy, then spent 7 years in the strategy/planning department at advertising agency AMV BBDO and is currently freelancing at consultancy eatbigfish, which specialises in challenger brands. During her time at BBDO, she worked on a wide range of accounts, and won many awards for her work. She will be starting an MBA in August 2021 as a Forte Foundation fellow. Jemima spoke to us about how and why advertising drives change and the commercial power of big ideas - from conception to creation.

Eleanor Metcalf: Eleanor joined the J. Walter Thompson grad scheme as a Junior Planner in the autumn after graduating from Cambridge. In her time there she was promoted to Senior Planner, went through a big corporate merger (JWT is now Wunderman Thompson), and jetted off on a 6-month travel sabbatical. As of January 2021 she has hopped the fence to the startup world, and is putting her marketing skills to use for tred, a sustainable fintech. She talks us through an 'advertising influence scale' to discuss the different ways advertising can shape and change the world, from fuelling social change to driving sustainable growth.

Our top five lessons from the speakers:

  1. ".... build a purpose into the heart of your proposition and then letting it flow through everything you do is what we aim for on Dove" - Hannah Burns.

  2. Dove's Brand Purpose - "Making a positive experience of beauty universally accessible".

  3. "Working as a strategist you have conversations with the bussiness you're in, whether its a retail business, whether its FMCG, whether it's corporate... the primary driver of growth is going to be 'can you exist in your category and can you overtake the other people playing in it?'" - Jemima Maunder-Taylor.

  4. ".... marketing is much more than just a piece of communication" - Eleanor Metcalf.

  5. "You have nothing to loose and everything to gain by just messaging a lot of people, obviously in a personalised, non-spammy way" - Eleanor Metcalf.

Watch the event:

Watch our event on our YouTube channel below, and make sure you subscribe here so that you never miss out on top tips from our events!

Interested in our next event?

Our next events are taking place on Monday 15th March, 5:30pm with P&G, and Wednesday 17th March, 5pm with Camilla Kemp, CEO of M&C Saatchi. You can sign up here for the Monday event here and the Wednesday event here. We hope to see you there!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author only, and does not represent the views of CAMSoc as a whole or the University of Cambridge.

© 2021 by CAMSoc.