The annual event makes a grand comeback after a year. This edition was all about breaking away from traditional thinking and strategizing to build an advanced future for marketing.
After thorough research and ample interviews with creatives from across the field, PHD published its 10th thought- leadership book, Shift, which encourages marketers to think ahead in time, while keeping digital advancements and the disruption caused by the pandemic at core. BrainScape carried this vision forth, encouraging marketers from the region to ‘rethink marketing for tomorrow.’
Staged as a hybrid event with both immersive performances and discussion panels, BrainScape was held at La Perle, Dubai in Al Habtoor City. In an exclusive interview, Communicate also spoke to Luca Allam, CEO at PHD about the inspiration for this year’s theme and also on what went on behind the scenes in the process of organizing the event.
“When you think about the future, you want to try and change the mindset of your audiences. Hosting the event in a conference room or an auditorium would be static, it would not convey the theme effectively. One really needs to live and breathe the experience, and what better venue than La Perle. It provided our audience with an immersive experience. Moreover, with the type of physical attributes that the venue embedded in the event, it was imperative to have great content, and we did just that,” said Luca.
The program opened with a breathtaking act following the reveal of PHD’s brand new logo. A stellar roster of speakers then took over, starting with Mark Holden, Chief Strategy Officer of PHD Worldwide. As one of the contributors to the book, ‘Shift,’ Holden discussed the many symptoms of a marketing mid-life crises. Marketing individuals and organizations today need to identify the signs to build a ‘people’s-based future.’ He further explained how the consumer is also directly affected when an organization is facing a crisis.
After a quick break and another acrobatic performance, the session kickstarted with Sally Dominguez taking over the stage, who is an award-winning inventor and futurist, also a part of Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity University faculty. In an interactive session, Dominguez redefined ‘exponential growth’ with respect to the digital advancements we’re going through today. Her session opened the door to ‘possibility thinking’ for marketers. A concept that encourages them to think beyond the lines of existing barriers, while keeping trust and purpose at the centre of building effective strategies.
While speaking to Communicate, Allam said, “With our speakers, we wanted to give our audience different points of view. Bringing unique perspective to the agenda was extremely important to us, hence, justifying the blend of experts from different professional backgrounds.”
The event concluded with a panel moderated by Allam, in discussion with Asad Ur Rehman, Media Director across MENA, Turkey & Russia at Unilever, Anja Petrovski, Marketing Director at Audi Volkswagen, Middle East, Ahmed El Sayed, Co-Founder and COO at FoxPush and Mark Holden. The session summarised the many reasons to ‘rethink marketing,’ and laid the roadmap to building a better future for the industry with recognized roles and capabilities.
Allam explained how cancelling the event last year due to the pandemic was unexpected, but it raised the bar for this year, “At that time, we were so reluctant to cancel it, but then we realized how we have to get back to normal as soon as possible. The idea was to take the year off, but come back bigger and better than ever. BrainScape is not just an event, it is an experience, and the best ones are face-to-face. I am grateful that we had the opportunity to do this in-person again and bring our vision to life,” concluded Allam.