How we embrace the change – A watershed moment for brands

PrettyGreen Breakfast Briefing debrief

Sometimes in life, restrictions can be viewed as an advantage and opportunity, rather than be seen as a hindrance or limiting. 

This was very much the consensus that resonated from our recent Clearing Breakfast Briefing. The event explored how brands creatively address existing and new regulations that impact their products and industries. 

From high fat/sugar/salt (HFSS) to the Portman Group code regulating the alcohol industry, our expert panel consisting of senior executives from Red Bull, ISBA, Mangold Consultancy, and PrettyGreen explored and summarised some of the key strategies brands are using to ensure compliance doesn’t stifle creativity. 

Our panellists provided insight and first-hand experience on how some of the UK’s biggest brands are changing their marketing approach, and adapting their channel mix for life with a TV watershed & proximity marketing restrictions.

Here’s some of the key points from the presentation delivered from PrettyGreen’s planning director, Jo Hudson, and our panel including Nina Caplin (Red Bull), James Barge (ISBA), Abby Mangold (Mangold Consultancy) and Jess Hargreaves (PrettyGreen). 

Jo kicked off the briefing by exploring how brands should embrace regulation and restriction as it can help frame the narrative they want to communicate. Jo also highlighted what is possible for brands by focusing on creative ideas for new channels that are relevant to the audience in relation to the brand rather than being too product-centric and sales focused.

Here are some of her key points from Jo’s talk.

  • Don’t moan about regulation, embrace it. Regulation is only a reaction to wider cultural trends and attitudes to protect consumer interests
  • Thinking is to humans as swimming is to cats – if we force ourselves to do it and get creative, we can overcome restrictions in an engaging way
  • Lack of restriction is a real trap – having a blank canvas is not always helpful when it comes to brand marketing
  • Regulations and restrictions help frame what is and isn’t possible – marketers should be enthusiastic about change
  • Find the humanity in everyday activities, whether it is good or bad – it’s better to celebrate real-life than sugar coat it

Jo summarised the current issue and environment for brands with a simple 4 step process ……

Following Jo’s talk, Abby Mangold hosted the panel exploring what the TV watershed means to the advertising and marketing mix, which brands are doing it well, how to engage with regulators well, are regulations fair to all and how does this affect partnerships and sponsorships?
Here are the key points made by the guests from the panel discussion in relation to Abby’s questionning.

Nina Caplin – Red Bull

  • Building your brand through events, talent and sport is an authentic way to grow beyond just product and has been a key strength for us at Red Bull
  • People want to feel a connection to the brands they resonate with, especially if it falls within their personal interests
  • The brand can migrate across trends if you take a genuine and audience-led approach

Abby Mangold – Mangold Consultancy

  • Sometimes changing tact and being proactive about an issue can maintain brand reputation, especially when challenged over new or incoming regulations
  • Regulation is not a crisis, not responding in time is a failure on the brand’s part
  • Choosing the right brand to partner with is an essential starting point that all brands need to explore

Jess Hargreaves – PrettyGreen

  • If brands are moving away from TV advertising, brands need to consider how they use their ATL assets and campaigns to cross-over into outdoor and experience led marketing to give consumers a different but familiar brand experience. Coca Cola is one brand that has managed to do this well moving beyond the traditional coke ads to more inclusive events
  • Brands focused on quick sales will struggle in this evolving world where brand advocacy is seen as a long-term goal
  • Partnerships and sponsorship if done right offer an engaging way for brands to connect with their audience that doesn’t infringe on regulations

James Barge – ISBA

  • Politicians and regulators are consumers too and are just as sensitive to brands and advertising as general consumers that might be put off by an ad. The difference is that they have the power to do act and legislate
  • The days to be rebellious and subversive are dying out, as one poorly judged ad, or campaign can set off a wave of new regulations and scrutiny
  • Brands that want to help resolve social issues and become part of the fix will do well as they demonstrate empathy and will come across as genuine as opposed to being just sales focused – this is true in terms of gambling, health, alcoholism, and obesity etc

What is clear from our speakers, the onus is both brands and agencies to stay ahead of regulation and the restrictions in place so that we can collectively navigate these parameters to deliver the best creative marketing communications, campaigns and experiences we can for our audiences. These will now be delivered across multiple channels in order to generate the best levels of brand awareness, advocacy and ultimately loyalty, to inevitably drive a sale in some format n the future.


If you’d like to attend a future Breakfast Briefing, please do get in touch via hello@itsprettygreen.com to be added to the mailing list and keep eye out across the PrettyGreen social channels, newsletter and our blog for details of future events.