Ben Bold
Nov 26, 2023

‘We’ve reached peak purpose’, Adam & Eve/DDB’s Martin Beverley says

Adam & Eve/DDB CSO believes there’s an appetite from brands, agencies and consumers for work that’s ‘not afraid of selling’, 4Creative's Lynsey Atkin concurs.

Campaign Podcast: Lynsey Atkin (left) and Martin Beverley discussed purpose
Campaign Podcast: Lynsey Atkin (left) and Martin Beverley discussed purpose
Adland has reached peak purpose and is in need of some levity and populism as an antidote to consumer woes, according to Martin Beverley, Adam & Eve/DDB's chief strategy officer.
He was speaking on the Campaign Podcast, which went live on 23rd November, and was joined by Lynsey Atkin, executive creative director at 4Creative, both of whom suggested more fun was needed in advertising.
Their discussion echoed comments made last year by Big Awards co-chairs Felix Richter and Shelley Smoler, chief creative officers of Mother London and Droga5 London respectively. The pair talked about a "saturation" of purpose-led work on the shortlist, with Smoler noting a "heavy presence of purpose-driven work".
Richter pointed out that work was described by some judges as "peak purpose", suggesting the industry is "reaching not only the height [of the trend] but going quickly towards the end of an era where it's all about that".
In a similar vein, talking to Campaign this week, Beverley said: "You asked me [last year] if we've reached peak purpose. I think we definitely have now. Even the CEO of Unilever [Hein Schumacher], the poster child for purpose, has said it's probably not right for every brand."
Beverley said he hoped to "see a return to really proudly populist, entertaining work that's not afraid of selling".
"That's what the industry probably needs to get back to. Also the cost of living crisis continues so I think we'll still see brands being an ally to the problem, offering great value, services that can help those that really need it."
But, he added, brands should also offer consumers some light relief. "I love it when you see a stupid, silly, entertaining campaign, it's an antidote to what's going on. I think that's probably what the public like from advertising."
Atkin noted that some of Channel 4's creative highlights this past year have been its "Partygate" work – "coming at things with fun".
"It's not always the easiest in this industry anymore," she said. "The pressure is on – budgets, accountability, measuring stakeholders. Remembering we are supposed to have fun and reminding our teams it's supposed to be fun... then that hopefully that plays out in the work."
Listen to the podcast here:
Campaign UK

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