Partner Content: How the UK is leading in advertising technologies of the future


British creatives are re-engaging audiences through technology innovation in advertising

‘Probably the best lager in the world’. ‘The world’s local bank’. ‘No FT, No Comment’. ‘I think, therefore IBM’. ‘Beanz Meanz Heinz’.

For decades, the UK’s advertising industry has been helping to create some of the most successful and famous global brands. It’s a different advertising world today but the UK sector has changed to embrace new technologies and media to enable their clients to stay ahead. The UK was the first major market in 2015 where over 50% of advertising budgets were digital media. And the UK’s advertising market is now the largest in Europe.

However, the advertising industry globally has reached a standstill – with ad spend slowing, consumers’ attention span shortening, and a rapidly evolving, splintered and complex media landscape. In this new world, how can an industry that in the past relied on simple interaction with the consumer remain relevant?

Innovation is critical, and the UK advertising industry has worked hard to overcome these challenges by exploring new, digital-first options. With an emphasis on mobile and other tech channels – including online, social media, and gaming platforms – businesses have had to develop new ways of engaging audiences. Using its position as one of the world’s major technology hubs, advances in AI, VR and AR have made these tools accessible to advertisers.

For example, by working with the agency Adam & Eve/DDB and production studio MPC Creative, the UK retailer John Lewis used VR hardware Oculus Rift to create Buster’s Garden – an experiential set up that allowed consumers to ‘visit’ the setting of its latest advert and participate in the full experience of the story – amplifying and personalising the brand experience.

At the Dubai International Motorshow 2017, British creative agency, Imagination, communicated Jaguar Land Rover’s presence in Formula E and as a leader in innovation by creating a first-of-its-kind, fully immersive, 4D, social VR experience, taking guests on an exhilarating multi-sensory journey through unforgettable fantasy cityscapes inspired by cities on the Formula E racing circuit.

At Dubai Lynx, the UK’s Department for International Trade delegation includes RETìníZE – an award-winning VR studio that creates world class cinematic VR content for major brands, sports organisations, theatre companies and broadcasters. Drop in to the UK Pavilion see their powerful VR documentary film about the work for Save the Children. This 3D 360 film was a central part of an awareness raising and fundraising campaign that raised over £350,000 for the charity.

The move to digital is also well represented by ‘Better Than Paper’ – a new online platform developed by Ashwin Saddul for businesses to easily create exciting and dynamic digital publications. The technology intelligently filters data and content from the web and mixes it with your company’s owned content to rapidly produce beautifully crafted material such as digital magazines in real-time, at a fraction of the cost when compared to traditional publishing models.

Great advertising has great storytelling at its heart. The British advertising industry taps into a combination of a fantastic storytelling heritage and a world-leading technology sector. This ensures the UK is home to many of the world’s most successful agencies and production studios, employs the best talent, and develops, embraces and defines the newest technologies and trends to help companies from around the world benefit from innovative thinking and disruptive campaigns.

The UK exports over £4.7bn in advertising services – making it a critical part of its national economy. It is an area of which the region is exceptionally proud, having been named as the most awarded nation in Europe for creative advertising. Much of the industry’s talent comes from the education system, where many specialist, world-leading courses are being taught.

These are just some examples of the many reasons why any international business seeking to source the best in creative advertising would benefit from working with the UK.

The UK’s Department for International Trade will be bringing some of the best British creative minds to Dubai. From the 11th to 14th March, you will have the opportunity to connect with British creatives and advertising sector innovators at the UK Pavilion at Dubai Lynx.