Creative Salon's Top 10 Most Read Features of 2023
A last look backwards as we reveal our most popular features from 2023
19 December 2023
Given the advertising industry's vitally close connection to popular culture, it comes as no surprise that our most-read features of the year covered some of the biggest cultural trends in 2023, from AI and diversity to Barbie and Succession. Our top ten list also covered topics that dominated the interest of industry professionals throughout the last 12 months, including fake ads, brand strategy and in-house production.
There's no doubt these trends will take on a new life and be joined by a few newbies in 2024 - let's just hope they continue to fuel growth, innovation and creativity. Thank you to everyone who contributed.
HBO's Succession was one of the most popular TV shows of the year, with many fans quickly adopting the show's style, embracing a quiet, minimalistic, logo-less fashion and in turn, birthing a 'quiet luxury' genre. We spoke to a number of industry insiders to find out what they thought the trend said about consumer appetite.
At the beginning of the year, Mediacom partnered with sister agency Essence to create a new global media powerhouse EssenceMediacom, marking one of the biggest changes to the UK media agency market in years. We explored five reasons why WPP created the agency.
At Creative Salon one of our founding principles is to do what we can to help new diverse talent get into the industry. That's why we set up a bursary with the Brixton Finishing School and it's why we create a plethora of content to help people find a way in. So, from new beginnings to career switches, we published some tips from managing directors leading some of the biggest media and creative agencies in the country. They talk about their experience in the industry, what helped them, what they look for in new talent, and give their top advice for people wanting to break into the business.
Ten years ago, Peter Field and Les Binet published The Long and the Short of It (TLATSOI) in a bid to explore long and short-term growth strategies for brands and businesses. The seminal book also provided evidence-based recommendations on how best to approach investment in advertising. But, do the lessons still stand? We spoke to a number of industry insiders, including Les Binet, to uncover the work's significance within the industry today.
It's no secret that over the last 20 years, the production landscape has changed dramatically. Digital and the demand for relevant multi-channel content, has forced production methodologies to develop and adapt at pace. In-house production has become more strategic, varied and hands on, and has also given rise to the 'super producer.' Ben Clark from McCann Worldgroup sheds light on the evolution of the new in-house production trend.
Strategy is suffering with a bout of constipation - and senior planners Martin Weigel, Rob Campbell and Paula Bloodworth all believe that imagination is the laxative. At Cannes, the trio - from AMV BBDO, Colenso BBDO, and Uncommon respectively - held a talk about ensuring strategy not only becomes exciting again but also celebrates the "majesty of independent thinking". To dig deeper into their collective thoughts on the state of strategy, we caught up with Martin Weigel.
Maybelline's TfL eyelashes stunt piqued the interest of not only the industry but most of the UK's consumers ... except it was 'fake'. To the untrained eye, the 3D rendered video looked very real on social media. Thus, a trend was born, with brands experimenting with CGI marketing campaigns all year round. Views and brand exposure sky-rocketed for certain companies, but where does this leave traditional media owners? We asked industry insiders to weigh in with their thoughts on whether it matters if an ad is not what it seems.
AI - certainly one of the most uttered words in 2023. And ChatGPT was most likely one of the most used pieces of software this year also. But what does AI's ability to create work really mean for the industry and creativity at large; should writers in particular (and creatives in general) worry that they'll be out of a job in future? Or can the tech be useful at ideation stage? And more importantly, how can we better prioritise and value human creativity to utilise new tech as a complementary tool rather than see it as a threat to human capabilities?
2. Barbie Does Diversity: A Cultural Step-Change, Or Just A Brand Playing Catch-up With Its Consumers?
The highly anticipated movie releases of Barbie and Oppenheimer dominated popular culture in the summer. The Mattel-owned brand's embrace of diversity was also talked about a lot around the globe, with wheelchair and Down's Syndrome iterations of the dolls marking Barbie's strides towards inclusivity and representation. But what does the diversity and inclusion of Barbie's world say about consumer cultures of today? We asked a host of industry experts in order to find out.
Our most read article of the year (and deservedly so) was written by Matt Waksman, Ogilvy UK's head of strategy for advertising. Contributing to our 'Future of Planning' series, Waksman beautifully interpreted and articulated the role of the strategist within the industry and wider society. The "amazing call to arms" - as Ogilvy UK CEO Fiona Gordon described it - was loved so much that spoken word poet Samuel King read it at the creative agency's end of year Town Hall show.