My Key Take Outs from DMX 2018

The Case for Chaos

Martin Weigel of Wieden+Kennedy presented the case for chaos.

He reminded us marketing is a contact sport. Analysing stats and insights does not sufficiently equip us to connect with customers. We’ve got to get on the ground.

Creativity is enslaved by the very corporations it serves – creative agencies are employed by corporations; however creative ideas are often compromised by corporate conservatism. Creativity demands bravery. Marketers must encourage a shift in the corporate mind-set to enable disruption, innovation and differentiation.

Creativity is not a talent, its’s a mind-set. We must open our minds to Chaos.

Great campaigns are often divorced from logic, e.g. What relevance does a man on a horse have to Old Spice or an airline ad that fails to feature a plane?

The Pratfall Effect

Richard Shotton discussed the ‘pratfall effect’ in marketing. He explained brands often present to customers as ‘perfect’, however there is scientifically proven merit in admitting weakness – Consumers see the brand/product/service in a more human light, appreciate honesty and demonstrate a bias towards brands that openly confess to flaws. In contrast, brands professing perfection can be deemed ‘too good to be true’.

The Paradox of Choice

Michael Cowan, Brand Distillery discussed the paradox of choice, advocating a focussed strategic approach towards a long-term goal. Many brands are fervently diversifying portfolios, within highly populated channels. This can compromise quality, stretch budgets, confuse consumers, defer choice and fail to convert sales.

The Advantages and Pitfalls of Personalisation

Daniel Gilbert of Brainlabs spoke about personalisation and appropriate use of knowledge gained through data insights for marketing purposes. Brands can connect with consumers through relevant communications but must be careful not to cross the line to ‘creepy’ when targeting and retargeting customers.

Will AI take my job?

Adrian Weckler of INM, Dr Patricia Scanlon of SoapBox Labs and Prof Barry Smyth of UCD spoke about AI. Will it take our jobs? It was a resounding ‘no’ from the panel. They believe we will diversify into new roles, for example data scientists did not exist decades ago. AI will amplify human intelligence and we, as a race, will invent new occupations.

Still feeling threatened? Check out, enter your job title and see if it’s time for a career change!

The World’s Best Campaigns

Imaad Ahmed from Warc presented the world’s best marketing campaigns. Key trends included long term ideas, marketing and PR blended campaigns and brands with purpose.

If you’d like to see some the worlds’ top 100 effective campaigns, check out

If you’d like to see some of the world’s top 100 creative campaigns, check out

Creative Bravery

Finally, it was all about LOVE! Dave Palmer from LOVE presented ‘a serenade to marketing bravery’, demonstrating courageous concepts rejected by clients and focus groups that went on to be great. The Haagen-Dazs case study stood out as an example of great creativity, bravery and conviction. Concepts were rejected by focus groups and marketing territories, however marketers bravely launched new packs to UK and Irish markets. This bold move was rewarded by a 50% increase in UK sales and a 118% increase in Irish sales.

Key take aways in summation:

  • Get on the ground
  • Be interesting
  • Be focussed
  • Don’t be creepy
  • Be brave
  • And you will be rewarded!