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We reckon the industry is just about getting used to this ‘new normal’ malarkey. Change is constant - technology, business models, processes, err, lockdowns - and major, global threats like the climate crisis loom large. And with all of that going on, the creative industry has learned how to adapt on the go, while running at full tilt.
It’s not easy, but it is exhilarating. And what it means for LBB is that we need to step things up to make sure that we’re doing everything we can, editorially, to help the advertising and marketing business navigate it.
And so we want to make sure that you’re up to date with everything we’re doing and that you can get involved in. Please see below for regular editorial features, our editorial calendar and upcoming features, and the interview series we've created for LBB members.
In terms of other topics and projects we’re excited for this year, we are particularly keen to delve deep on creative case studies related to growth areas like DATA, COMMERCE, SUSTAINABILITY, EXPERIENCE and VIRTUAL PRODUCTION on an ongoing basis. The key criteria should be that there’s demonstrable creative thinking and problem solving at the heart of them.
We’ve been growing the brand presence on the site and in the past year have spoken to marketers and creatives from the likes of The New York Times, Carhartt, Unilever, Samsung, TikTok, Mailchimp, Virgin Media O2, Lowe’s and more.
As ever, we’ll be doing our utmost to cover the broad and diverse world of commercial creativity and advertising, from strategy, digital and creative to production, post, music and sound and technology. From all of us at LBB, we hope that 2022 is a year of growth, prosperity and innovation - but most of all, dazzling creative ideas.
All the best,
The LBB Editorial Team:
Addison Capper (Americas editor) email@example.com
Alex Reeves (EMEA editor) firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Conway (Americas reporter) email@example.com
Delmar Terblanche (APAC reporter) firstname.lastname@example.org
Esther Lew (APAC editor) email@example.com
Laura Swinton (Editor in chief, brands & global) firstname.lastname@example.org
Nisna Mahtani (MEA reporter) email@example.com
Zoe Antonov (Europe reporter) firstname.lastname@example.org
Josh Neufeldt (Canada reporter) email@example.com
Members should send their news directly to the content team at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you think one or more of your staff sounds right for the features below, get in touch with the editor and reporters in your region with a short description of why that individual will suit the series and any other important or exciting information about them. If the person in mind works globally, then send your pitch to email@example.com
We also spontaneously do plenty of off-the-cuff interviews and stories that don’t conform to any formula. So if you have an interesting news hook or angle that doesn't relate to one of the below, don't hesitate to pitch it to us.
High Five - Each day, an industry expert from a different market will share five great pieces of creative work from their country. We’ve got a pretty thorough calendar on this to make sure we really are getting around the world and sharing work that hasn’t been shared internationally. If you would like to pitch yourself or someone you work with, please get in touch and we’ll let you know more. Find the brief here (and one for USA and Canada here). Also, check out our layout guide!
5 Minutes with... Interviews with the top people in the international advertising, marketing and creative industries
Advertising 101 - Before covid, it was easy for new joiners to build their knowledge of the industry and various specialisms through casual chats. Now that’s changed - so we’re going to be breaking down different roles and specialisms across the industry - from planning to compositing, UX design to colour grading.
Behind the Work - Behind the scenes on some of the most exciting creative campaigns. These can be traditional film campaigns but also digital projects, experiences, and category-defying activations too. What we care about is the insight, creative and production stories.
Brand Insight - Stories and interviews with marketers about their brand’s recent direction and future plans. This tends to be broader than just one campaign. We are open to stories where we speak to both the marketer and agency about work they’ve done together but the marketer/client must be involved in the interview.
Dream Teams - Trust and teamwork are at the heart of creativity and the industry is bursting with incredible partnerships. We want to profile and showcase the tightest twosomes in the business – how you met, why you work together so well, and what you’ve learned from each other – and advice for people navigating their own working relationships. This can be art director/copywriter pairs, directors and editors; MDs and ECDs; experience designers and creatives; character designers and animators… ultimately it’s all about those enduring professional collaborations and friendships.
Making Music - Making music is a series where we talk to the composers, producers and supervisors of some of the best new and classic commercial soundtracks.
Uprising - Spotlights on the up-and-coming junior and mid-level industry talent making amazing work and shaking up the future. One of the most popular features on the site when it comes to traffic!
The Opinion - Quick and responsive round up of takes on hot industry issues. This will be a quick turnaround piece inspired by a newsworthy development or issue where we’ll ask a selection of relevant industry people for their perspective.
Trends & Insight - Stories with a bit more depth that don’t conform to any template.
These features are designed to put the power in your hands. You can platform your talent and work whenever you like. And the great news is, we've devised the concept and format for these feature interviews already, so all you need to do is pick your talent, choose a relevant feature for their job role and get them to fill in their answers.
To take part, simply download the brief and questions by clicking on the titles below in bold. When you or your talent have answered, email the document and any images or videos you'd like included in the article to firstname.lastname@example.org for publishing.
There's no strict guidelines on schedule. We leave that down to you - but one hot tip to get more views and clicks is to spread the publishing out over regular intervals.
All Disciplines and Company Types
Essential List - A fun listicle piece about the kit, culture and cuisine that keeps the industry’s creative folk going!
My Biggest Lesson - This is where experienced ad folk and production people can share the pearls of wisdom that have shaped their career and can help those making their way to avoid the same pitfalls.
My Creative Hero - This piece explores the creative inspirations behind the industry’s talent. This usually means non-advertising creative heroes, allowing participants to explore their broader influences.
The Work That Made Me - The best way to understand a person’s career is to look at the work that made them. Their first campaign. The campaign that someone else did that made them jealous. The campaign that taught them some painful but useful lessons. The work that they’re proudest of. This is also a great feature as it’s a chance to share older work and work from different markets that readers around the world may not have seen before.
Thought Leaders - This is our channel for opinion pieces. We find that pieces that are closely aligned with newsy or timely topics perform particularly well, whether it’s a big sporting event or a hit new Netflix show that everyone is talking about. We’ve mapped out a few events that we think will prove to be talking points to get you started.
Business & Leadership
Bossing It - Leadership doesn’t come easy and everyone has their own views about what makes an effective leader. In this series of regular features we interview leaders, founders and entrepreneurs and creative management about their journey towards leadership and their own lessons and insights. Specifically for CEOs, COOs, MDs, Founders, EPs.
The New New Business - The creative industry wouldn’t be able to create without the people bringing in business and closing sales. As the industry evolves, so too is new business and sales. We want to speak to the people making the gears of the industry turn, whether they’re at agency, production, post, tech or media platform, to share their insights with those struggling to close the deal.
Creative, Account Management & Strategy
Creativity Squared - A creative profile with a difference – psychologists have distilled creativity down to four factors, and we’ll be exploring those with copywriters, art directors and creative directors to get a 360° view of who they are and how they work.
Magic Numbers - Data-driven creativity is something that brands and agencies all over the world are investing in and banking on - but what does that really mean, what are the best practices and potential blindspots? This feature is for brand and agency data experts.
Problem Solved - This is a new feature about agency projects that go beyond campaign work and use creativity to solve business problems. These can include digital transformation project, product development, employee engagement initiatives, ecommerce platforms and behaviour change initiatives.
Planning for the Best - The intellectuals of the industry, planners arm their creative colleagues with the human insights and hard data to make sure their ideas are founded in truth. We want to celebrate the planners and strategists and pick into their processes and thoughts about the evolving discipline.
Film & Content Production
Camera Obscura: Production Obsessions - This is a piece for anyone involved in craft and production, from directors to animators, compositors to composers, cinematographers to sound designers. We want you to nerd out about an element of your craft that you are absolutely obsessed with. It could be a particular kind of camera lens or shooting format. It could be aspect ratios. It could be a particular tool that feels like it’s become your right hand. It could be a part of the process that you just always find incredibly fun.
The Directors - This feature allows directors to go beyond their reel to talk about their thoughts about the business of directing and how they like to work, giving potential clients and collaborators a clearer idea about their problem solving and working styles.
Meet Your Makers - Interviews with producers specifically aimed at production, post and service companies all about the business of content and commercial production, insights into an evolving industry and some career advice for those making their way.
Production & Technology - This is an interview series for producers with a passion for technology and innovation. Here we’re diving into the technological innovations that are changing production, or at least broadening the demands on and possibilities for production.
Producing Tomorrow’s Producers - This feature is for producers, particularly those in leadership roles (EPs, senior producers, heads of production) who are keen to develop the next generation of producers, make sure that skills and expertise are passed on, while also learning from the up-and-comers of the creator economy.
Production Line - Interviews with agency and brand in-house producers talking about the challenges making work that works while navigating and integrating new channels and technologies and helping brands to solve their problems.
Sustainable Production - This is an interview series for producers with a passion for sustainability and who have been working to reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of their productions. It is intended to highlight best practice, share helpful pointers and also discuss some of the challenges moving forward. It’s a feature that’s appropriate for producers working in agency, production, production service, or even in-house at brand.
Photography, Animation & Design
Animate! - Animators are the magicians of filmmaking - to animate means, quite literally, to bring to life after all. So we want to celebrate the animators who fill our eyeballs with pure wizardry with this series of interviews.
Picture This - In which we ask a photographer to break down one of their favourite commercial photographs, revealing the story behind it. It doesn't have to be a recent project, in fact, famous/iconic advertising image would be most welcomed here!
Style Guide - This piece is for any sort of image-making artist working commercially. It could be illustrators, photographers, graphic designers or animators. It best suits those with a really distinctive flavour and style...
Location Spotlight - Interviews and guides with production service specialists from around the world about inspirational locations and practical production issues.
Editing & VFX
Finely Sliced - We speak to editors about the art of the cut and explore the knife edge between good editing… and great editing.
Making the Grade - The grade is one of the most fascinating parts of the post process so we want to talk to talented colour graders about how they practice their craft.
The VFX Factor - This feature is a place for the visual virtuosos of advertising, the VFX artists, to discuss the trends in their role in 2021: the technological advancements revolutionising the way they work, the beauty of ‘invisible’ post, and how the pandemic will impact their work forevermore.
Music & Sound
Sonic Boom - Sonic Boom is a series on creative and technological innovations in sound design.
Thinking in Sound - We want to delve into the minds of the industry’s fantastic music and sound specialists to show just how creative this part of the industry is. We want to really dig into what inspires you and how you approach your work, while also getting a taste of how the music and sound part of the industry is changing.
Writing Your Own PR - Not everyone has the resources to justify a full-time PR person or agency. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of being a Little Black Book member. If you have a piece of creative work to share or someone new joining the company, check out our News Guide.
This is not definitive and, of course, does not include more responsive features that react to developments in the industry and in wider society/culture. We work in a nimble fashion, which helps us be more relevant and useful - and the editorial team welcomes ideas and pitches!
The topic ideas will be firmed up one-two months ahead of time, so please get in touch if you have any angles or candidates to contribute. Also, please feel free to take inspiration for your own thought leadership or op-ed pieces!
Please speak to regional editors about specific region/country-based features and themes.
Strategy: In a Data Driven World, How Do You Ensure Your Strategy Doesn’t Lose the Human Touch?
There’s more and more specific quantitative data sloshing around than ever and it’s proving to be an invaluable tool for brands and agencies alike - but in your practice as a strategist which techniques do you use to surface more textured and qualitative insights, and how do you integrate that with the data?
Looking for - strategists steeped in research. Writer Zoe@lbbonline.com. Deadline: August 15th
Domestic sound set ups are becoming higher spec than ever. So what does that mean for the sound design of any content that could be shown on TVs, from trad ads to social media content? Are brands overlooking this vital area of craft? And how can they make sure they’re making the most of it?
Looking for - sound designers. Writer email@example.com. Deadline: 15th
Why Automotive Brands are Driving Virtual Production Forward
The automotive sector has been an early adopter when it comes to virtual production. We’re looking for cases of agencies working on virtual production spots for automotive clients to find out why the tech works for cars particularly, but also how to make the most from the tech (and, equally, what virtual production can’t do for cars).
Looking for - agencies who can talk to this WITH their clients. Writer firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline: August 20th
Netflix at 25
We’d like to ask media experts their view on how Netflix transformed the media landscape, what they think the next 25 years might bring and what the new ad-funded model might mean for the advertising industry and brands/ what they’d like to see from it (e.g. better targeting/personalisation; integrations with the shows…?).
Looking for - media experts to share 200-300 words on the topic. Writer email@example.com. Deadline August 20th.
UX: Biggest Misconceptions about UX Design
Good UX design is more important than ever as consumers expectations rise, touchpoints proliferate and patience shrinks. It’s a skillset that agencies are keen to recruit for too. But what are the biggest or most persistent misconceptions about UX within the marketing world?
Looking for: 200-300 words from UX design leads. Contact Addison and Josh for the full
As the screens, sites and touchpoints that brands need to show up in proliferate and understanding of accessibility develops, brands’ logos and other visual assets are increasingly constrained by a tight array of guidelines. Flat design continues to rage in popularity… So how are designers approaching the challenge of creating distinctive brands while navigating the constraints - and are we likely to see the end of flat design? Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline September 20th
We want to speak to a range of composers about how they approach commercial briefs and what they do to get the creativity flowing. How do they break down a brief? Do they like to immerse themselves in research or start with a clean sheet? Collaboration versus solo noodling? Any tools or platforms you like to use? And how do you like to work with the client when it comes to refining, incorporating feedback?
Format: Name, a photo of the person in an amazing location, a short prose profile of about 400 words. Contact: Josh@lbbonline.com. Deadline - September 20th
The Role strategic production Can Play in Driving Sustainability and Diversity
As brands embrace huge missions to improve sustainability, representation and innovation, production is emerging as a key strategic tool to help brands’ marketing achieve these bigger goals. We’re looking to speak to brands’ in-house production leads about how they are helping to deliver on major business goals around innovation, efficiency, sustainability, representation and more by taking a more strategic view on production.
Contact: Laura@lbbonline.com. Deadline September 25th
How to build a Personalisation strategy with creativity at the heart of it
Personalisation allows brands to target people with content that’s relevant for them. But when you’re making content that’s so infinitely flexible, how do you make sure it’s still distinctive, idea-driven and true to the brand?
Contact: Nisna@lbbonline.com. Deadline September 20th
What Does Data-Driven Production Look Like
How is the use of data informing production, changing the kind of content being produced and feeding into production workflows? We’d like to talk to agencies with significant data practices and that are bringing that into their production offering. This can be using data to inform production choices early in the process, how the need for data-drive personalised content is shaping the kind of content and assets being produced (could be content that optimises and changes in real time, could be the appetite for many many more versions of campaigns), or could be the use of data once a campaign is live to optimise (testing, re-edits, changes in music etc).
Contact: Alex@lbbonline.com. Deadline September 20th.
- Black History Month Europe
Send your news stories into email@example.com
Black History Month Europe
Can the European ad industry face up to its blind spots and stop hiding behind the US when it comes to backing Black talent?
Contact: Zoe@lbbonline.com. Deadline October 15th
Cutting In - Career advice for aspiring editors
We’re looking to speak to editors about their advice for those looking to get into editing as a career. What are the available career routes? How are traditional career paths changing? What new skills and understanding are in demand and what editing skills remain timeless, regardless of platform? What advice do you have for those who don’t have support and accommodation in major cities - is remote working an option for edit assistants or is it still a role that requires face-time?
Contact: Josh@lbbonline.com. Deadline October 20th
Music video feature
Music-related film is evolving beyond the music video. From tiktoks and shorts to the proliferation of album-lengthed short films, elaborately-produced streamed gigs and more, the music video is breaking loose. We want to talk to production companies, directors and music labels about this creative explosion and about what great creative production looks like in the age of high-volume snippets and live-streamed gigs.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline October 20th
Luxury & high fashion in threadbare times
As consumers around the world face challenging economic times, what does this mean for the luxury sector’s strategic and creative focus? What trends are starting to emerge in a sector that’s traditionally had its finger on the cultural and technological pulse?
Contact: Ben@lbbonline.com. Deadline October 15th
Banking/Finance and UX in the age of recession
We want to speak to banking brands and agencies working in the finance sector about creating digital tools to help people track their spending and stay in control insofar as they can.
Contact: email@example.com. Deadline October 10th
How Data is helping agencies and brands navigate cost of living crises around the world
As energy bills grow and consumers carefully interrogate every cent or penny spent, how are agencies using data to identify trends, opportunities and tension points, places for brands to show up and provide support in challenging times?
Contact: Addison@lbbonline.com. Deadline October 20th.
As the festival of lights brightens adland, what were the big trends from this year’s ads and what can the rest of the world learn from them? We’re looking for 200 words from creative leaders, senior strategists and creative tech leads about what shone through from this year’s festival. Please also make sure that you share this year’s Diwali campaigns from your agencies!
50 Years of Pong
The iconic video game turns 50 this month! We speak to the industry’s veteran gamers about the impact this deceptively simple 2D, pixelated tennis match had on the gaming world. As the ad industry embraces gaming we also want to know what brands can learn from this pioneering game that glued us (or our parents) to the sofa.
Contact: Ben@lbbonline.com. Deadline November 20th.
South Korea pioneered a more unashamed version of product placement and both local and international viewers are responding positively. So what can brands and agencies learn from the success of the likes of Subway in k-dramas - and does this mark a new era for product placement?
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline November 20th
Christmas 2022- Behind the Work
If you are able to share your Christmas campaigns with the editorial team ahead of release, we will be better placed to work with you on eyeball-grabbing and timely features. We are more than happy to abide by and respect embargoes. Please contact your appropriate regional editor (EMEA Alex@lbbonline; Americas email@example.com; APAC Esther@lbbonline.com)
Is Santa Claus Coming to Town?
If energy prices and inflation continue the run rampant up to the festive period as predictions suggest they will, what do creatives and strategists think is the best way to create content that connects? Are consumers looking for fantasies and escapism amidst the economic gloom or is it more effective and relevant to acknowledge the tough times and consumers’ need for value?
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline November 15th.
How is the Middle East Ad Industry Responding to the World Cup?
As the World Cup kicks off in Qatar, what impact is it having on the region’s marketing scene and what sort of activations and approaches are capturing the attention of visiting fans in the region as well as local fans?
Contact: Nisna@lbbonline.com. Deadline 18th November.
Immortal Awards coverage
All the winners, runners up and updates from the global juries.
-Immortal Awards winners announced
- 2022 ‘All Stars’ - regional ‘who’s who’ heroes of the year across production, agency and client
- Annual trend pieces
- World Cup Qatar
- New Year’s Trends pieces
- Chinese New Year work round up and features
- Super Bowl
- Black History Month (US stories)
- March 8th – International Women’s Day
- Dubai Lynx Showcase
- SXSW op-eds
- 22nd – Earth Day: Sustainable production; Beyond Greenwashing;
- Cannes Lions - predictions, commentary of a year without Cannes, coverage