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Diageo and Avon have each signed to run £20k+ pitches at MAD//Fest

By By Dan Brain, Co-founder + Content Director, MAD//Fest

The two global brands are the latest additions to join the line up at MAD//Fest London on 13-14 November, where NDA will also be bringing its My Digital Hero series with on-stage interviews with some of its stars.

In addition, Digitas and Zenith have been signed up as MAD//Fest London’s Innovation Partners. The agencies will be backing the Innovation pitches at the event.

Diageo has teamed up with MAD//Fest London to launch PITCH//It – a search for start-ups who can propel new and innovative experiences across its portfolio of drinks brands at MAD//Fest London on 13-14 Nov.

Diageo, which owns brands including Guinness, Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff, is looking for innovations to drive the engagement and experience of its brands, in areas such as personalisation, loyalty, smart packaging and AR.

15 start-ups will be selected to pitch at MAD//Fest on 13 November, with three heat winners and one wild card selected by the judges to participate in the PITCH//IT live final on 14 Nov.

The winner of PITCH//IT will receive a Diageo pilot valued at £20k+ and free exhibition space at MAD//Fest London in 2020. The pitch is being led by Diageo Head of Emerging Technology + Innovation Benni Lickfett, who leads Diageo’s Futures team.

“Innovation is at the heart of how we do business at Diageo — whether that’s product development in our six innovation labs around the world or investing in the most exciting founder-led drinks brands via Distil Ventures,” said Benni Lickfett, Diageo’s Head of innovation + Technology.

“We’re also focused on innovation outside of the bottle that can add a new dimension to the experience of our brands — so we’re excited to discover new innovations and lay the foundations for future collaborations by getting behind the PITCH//It start-up competition at MAD//Fest.”

Start-ups interested in the competition can apply here until Fri 25 October.

Beauty brand Avon launches £20k search for ‘tech solutions in low tech environments’

Avon’s brand challenge will focus on how innovation can enable Avon’s 6 million representatives worldwide to power more personalised marketing content from its content hub, Avon ON.

Whilst Avon ON features thousands of mobile-optimised content assets, Avon’s representatives in different parts of the world often rely on low capability tech.

Avon is particularly interested in technology that can drive more relevant, personalised marketing and support its fast-growing ecommerce division.

Following an application process, 5 companies will be invited to pitch live on 13 Nov at MAD//Fest London to Avon’s Chief Beauty Officer James Thompson, and Executive Director, Procurement – Global Marketing & Transformation Stephanie Bell.

 The winner of the pitch will receive £20k to develop a pilot for Avon.

MAD//Fest London attendees can also sample the latest Avon products by visiting a special Avon pop-up at the show.

 “Avon is undertaking a major marketing transformation right now that will build on our heritage and lead to us firmly establishing the brand as a digitally-enabled global beauty player,” said James Thompson, Avon’s Chief Beauty Officer.

“There’s a huge opportunity to create more engaging, personalised and effective mobile marketing content for our global audiences but it requires the right technology, partners and approach. We’re excited to be teaming up with MAD//Fest to encourage collaborative innovation in our unique international business.”

Entries to the Avon Brand Challenge at MAD//Fest London are open now until 18 October. Click here to apply free of charge.

“The beauty of this challenge is the huge opportunity for start-ups, scale ups and more established tech and content businesses to collaborate and play a pivotal role in the transformation of an iconic brand, added Dan Brain, MAD//Fest London’s Co-founder and Content Director.

4,000+ industry leaders are expected to attend MAD//Fest London, which is the UK’s only invite-only marketing, advertising and disruptive tech festival. Speakers include Ogilvy Vice-Chairman Rory Sutherland, Dishoom Co-founder Shamil Thakrar, Burger King CMO Katie Evans, former Manchester Utd striker + AxisStars co-founder Louis Saha and leaders from organisations including Extinction Rebellion, Lidl, Starling Bank, L’Oréal and Paddy Power.