the showcase 2023

Revolt's Evolution: Navigating Purpose and Creativity

As the sun sets on 2023, Revolt reflects on a year marked by bears, falafel, and unprecedented growth

By creative salon

As we step into the narrative of Revolt's 2023 evolution, it becomes evident that this is more than a journey through campaigns – it's a exploration of an agency reshaping the landscape through purposeful creativity.

Co-founder (alongside his partner Peter Bardell) Alex Lewis reveals not just a series of accomplishments but a narrative that intertwines purpose, creativity, and societal impact.

Alex Lewis, co-founder, on Revolt's 2023:

What three words would you use to describe 2023?

Bears, falafel and growth

Talk us through some of your agency’s highlights this year.

  • The Dina Award

  • Common Goal

  • Moving offices

  • Poking the bear event

We’re especially proud of our work for The Diana Award combating bullying and with Common Goal tackling mental health through football.

Relocating the agency from next to Camden Market to next to Leather Lane market has allowed us to take the falafel feeding frenzy to the next level.

Finally, the release of our Poking The Bear report that explores the polarisation of purpose and what to do about it has sparked great conversations about what’s next in a sector that continues to evolve from one year to the next.

What one thing are you proudest of this year?

We’ve moved into our own, shiny new offices this year and are growing so rapidly that after only six months we’re already in the process of taking in an additional floor.

And what’s been your biggest challenge?

It’s been a year of increasing anxiety around purpose, with scandals and backlash on the one hand and an increasing need for urgent action to address environmental and social issues on the other. While our clients work with us because we know how to do purpose properly, they are finding it tough to navigate an increasingly nervous internal stakeholder environment.

What are you most looking forward to in 2024?

We’re bringing out a new report focused on impact measurement that we believe is the missing link needed to execute purpose with increasing effectiveness year on year. It’s also going to be a year of immense change. More people on planet Earth are voting in democratic elections next year than ever before. There’s going to be all sorts of cultural fallout as campaigning ramps up, plenty of hot takes on which way the political winds are blowing, and even the possibility that 2024 might be the year of peak greenhouse gas emissions.

What one change would you most like to see in our industry next year?

We want to see the next evolution of impact measurement around purpose. Reach metrics are all well and good but it’s time our sector got serious about creating meaningful change and that means measuring the direct link between what you're spending and what you’re changing.

Which industry leader have you admired most in 2023?

Charlie Vickery, MD of Haeckels. It’s such an innovative brand and this year they have been turning Margate seaweed into high end serums and perfumes for Selfridges. We love a brand with a strong sense of place and that understands its intimate connection to local culture and the natural environment.

Creative Salon on Revolt's 2023

Revolt made a strategic move earlier in the year, relocating its agency from the vibrant surroundings of Camden Market to the dynamic atmosphere of Leather Lane market.

A significant development for the agency was the appointment of its inaugural managing director, Jenny Bust. Her unwavering commitment to purpose-driven initiatives aligns seamlessly with Revolt's ethos of making a positive impact on society and the environment.

Adding to the agency's strength, Pippa Morris, formerly the strategy director at Mother, assumed the role of head of strategy at Revolt, bringing her wealth of experience and insight to the team, working seamlessly with ECD Orlando Warner.

One of the highlights of the year was the release of the "Poking The Bear" report, a thought-provoking exploration of the polarisation of purpose. This report sparked engaging conversations within the sector, offering valuable insights into what lies ahead in an ever-evolving landscape.

Revolt took pride in its noteworthy campaigns, particularly those for The Diana Award, addressing bullying, and Common Goal, focusing on mental health through football. The agency's creative disruption extended to the Back-to-School season, challenging the conventional and injecting a powerful message against bullying into the typically optimistic school advertising narrative.

A standout collaboration emerged with Heinz, The Thyssen Museum, and Van Gogh for the "Picture a World Without Soil" campaign. This immersive art installation drew attention to global soil degradation, presenting Vincent van Gogh's Les Vessenots in Auvers as it might appear 50 years into the future, coinciding with the tomato harvest in Spain.

Revolt also tackled taboos with a groundbreaking Out-of-Home campaign for The Gut Stuff, featuring the world's first farting billboard. Designed to break the silence around gut health, this innovative campaign engaged diners in the Trafford Centre's food court in Manchester.

In a strategic move for environmental responsibility, Revolt joined the Ethical Agency Alliance, a collaborative effort initiated by Creatives for Climate. This three-step plan emphasises cross-sector collaboration, upskilling in climate communications, and divestment from representing fossil fuel clients.

Throughout 2023, Revolt demonstrated a commitment to purpose, creativity, and societal impact, solidifying its position as an agency that not only adapts to change but also drives meaningful change within the industry.

Creative Salon Says: Revolt exemplifies creativity in purpose-driven initiatives, showcasing its commitment to societal impact across 2023. Co-founders Peter Bardell and Alex Lewis, along with chief growth Richard Arscott, have found their agency model at the white hot centre of conscious-led modern marketing, and serving a need that looks set only to increase.


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