Archive for April, 2014

Michael Acton Smith Speaking at Adobe Summit

Mind Candy is ‘an entertainment company that creates magical brands with a digital heart’ and are the creators of Furi, Poppet, Luvli, Katsuma, Diavlo and Zommer (also known as Moshi Monsters).

The man behind these hugely popular pet monsters - Moshi Monsters has over 80 million registered users online - is Michael Acton Smith, CEO and creative director.

I caught up with Michael before he takes to the stage at Adobe Summit in London, May 14-15, to find out how these pet monsters came to life, what motivates him and of course, what he’ll be sharing at Summit.

TW_speaker_michaelsmithCan you tell us a bit more about how you came up with the idea of Moshi Monsters in a coffee shop?

The first game we created at Mind Candy was a very complex online and offline treasure hunt called Perplex City. It was ground breaking, but sadly it wasn’t a hit and with our money fast running out we needed another idea

I had a favourite coffee shop in Battersea that I would spend hours in doodling and daydreaming ideas.  This is the location where Moshi was sparked to life. I had seen how kids loved the Internet and so wanted to create a fun but safe virtual world for them to play within. I liked the idea of populating this world with little pet monsters for them to adopt and nurture

What’s the next step in building ‘the largest entertainment brand in the world for the new digital generation’?

We’re trying to build the greatest entertainment company, rather than the ‘largest entertainment brand’.

We want to continue creating magical entertainment that kids of all ages love. Our brands have a digital heart but can be enjoyed in many other ways such as magazines, books, toys, music and movies. We have several new exciting projects bubbling away

Can you give us a little teaser into what you will be exploring in your Summit talk?

I’m going to tell the story of my entrepreneurial adventures and share the lessons learned along the way that will hopefully be useful for the audience.

I will also talk a little about the next big project we’ll be launching at Mind Candy.

What new digital approaches will you be taking on your current or future projects?

We don’t have a single digital approach, but are very aware that kids are the ultimate early adopters and it’s important for us to stay on top of what technologies and apps they are excited by.

Do you see any links between your passion in music and your entrepreneurial drive?

I love the entertainment business and that has been a common thread through all my projects: FireboxPing Pong Fight ClubMind Candy, and Berwickstock, the music festival.

If you want to hear more from Michael, Mind Candy’s next big project, and of course, Monsters, register now for Adobe Summit.

Follow Michael @acton and take part in the conversation with ‪#AdobeSummit.

See you there!

Dr David Cox from Headspace Speaking at Adobe Summit

Headspace, the meditation experts, are on a mission. That mission is to get as many people in the world to practice meditation for 10 minutes a day, to help us experience a healthier a happier mind.

We caught up with Dr David Cox, chief medical officer at Headspace to explain a little more about this mission, how digital marketers can embrace meditation and what he will be talking about at Adobe Summit in London, 14-15 May, when he takes to center stage.

How did you first discover mindfulness?

I’d been interested in meditation for years, but never managed to find a style of learning that worked for me. Headspace was featured in a magazine article about mindfulness, and I downloaded the app. From the first session I knew I’d found something I could incorporate into my life. The excuse “I don’t have the time” didn’t apply!



And how might it help those working in digital marketing specifically?

Mindfulness is incredible in its broad applicability. In essence it teaches greater awareness, of yourself and of others. Huge benefits follow, both in terms of health – less stress, depression, anxiety, bad habits, and so on – and also in terms of relationships and performance – greater focus, attention, empathy, creativity. I find it hard to imagine how anybody in digital marketing wouldn’t find a benefit from more focus, empathy and creativity!

Do you see any similarities between the digital landscape and mindful meditation?

Interestingly we’re starting to see an increasing number of tech companies (including Google) introducing mindfulness training into the workplace. I think this is due to companies becoming more aware of the need to look after the wellbeing of their workers. The benefits of mindfulness training are embedded in science, with over 2000 studies conducted to date.

What are you most looking forward to at Adobe Summit?

I’m really looking forward to hearing the breadth of perspectives from key innovative thinkers!

Can you give us a little teaser into what you will be exploring in your Summit talk?

People have a lot of preconceptions about what mindfulness meditation is and what it entails. I’m hoping to show people how straight-forward mindfulness is, and how by putting aside as little as 10 minutes a day to practise it can help you lead a healthier and happier life.

To hear more from Dr Cox you still have time to register for Adobe Summit. Plus, take part in the Adobe Summit conversation with ‪#AdobeSummit.

Will Hayward Speaking at Adobe Summit EMEA


Second up in our series of blogs, where we get to know a little bit more about some of the speakers that will take to the stage at Adobe Summit in London (14-15 May), is Will Hayward, vice president of advertising for BuzzFeed.

Will talks bravery in digital marketing and reveals his favourite campaign, which of course features a cat….being more like a dog!

Can you tell us a bit more about your role at BuzzFeed?

I head up the commercial side of the business in Europe – so the creative work we do for brands, the sales team, the account management team and our product positioning.


What key digital marketing trend do you see making it big by the end of 2014?

I think brand owners will finally move beyond the age of destinations. This is something that very much belongs in the history books – the idea that the entire function of digital marketing is to drive clicks through to a website is as equally limiting to your interaction with customers as it is unrealistic. Lets work harder to go to where consumers are, and tell stories so good that they get shared across the social web.


What are you most looking forward to at Summit this year?


Can you give us a little teaser into what you will be exploring in your Summit talk?

We think about social currency quite often. Why do people share? What is it about the bits of content that they share that makes them want to do so? And how can brands create something of value that would encourage their target audience to repost the content?

What is your favourite thing about being a digital marketer?

The pace. Working with really smart people. Thinking about the future and focusing on the creation of great work, in-spite of the dearth of such work in the market.

What campaigns have inspired you the most recently?

O2′s be more dog, of course.

If you were given complete freedom, both creatively and financially, what would you do next?

There is a common pot of brand values that all marketers claim – customer first, inclusivity, tech focused. If I had total freedom I would focus on work that defines what a brand ISN’T – Facebook do this well (they aren’t perfectionists, they “move fast and break things), as I think Apple do (they aren’t humanised, they are to a certain extent anonymous). That doesn’t require financial freedom, just a little bravery.

To hear more from Will come down to Adobe Summit in London on 14-15 May, follow him on Twitter (@billyhayward) and tell us what you think by taking part in the ‪#AdobeSummit conversation.



Amber Atherton Speaking At Adobe Summit EMEA

With only a few weeks till Adobe Summit, we’ve been catching up with our speakers to find out what makes them tick, who inspires them, and what they’ll cover when they take to the stage in London on May 14-15.

First up, Amber Atherton, named 5th most powerful person in Vogue’s Digital Power List and founder and director of My Flash Trash talks fashion, creativity, and educational reform … .

Amber AthertonCan you tell us a bit more about how you started My Flash Trash (MFT)?
After various dabbles in ecommerce, fashion and gaming ventures throughout childhood, I set up MFT from my dorm at school. As one of the first UK fashion blogs to have a shopping cart function, we quickly gained a following that catalysed us into a marketplace for the world’s coolest jewellery designers.

Can you give us a little teaser into what you will be exploring in your Summit talk?
I’ll be giving an insight into how some of my ideas transformed into businesses, from the age of 16, and how you can unlock creativity and solve problems with a few curious case studies. Mainly, I want to motivate the whole audience so when they leave my talk they are ready to be a total boss.

What is your favourite thing about being an entrepreneur?
The ability to direct my own schedule. For me, time is the most valuable asset and having the freedom to control how I spend it is one of my favourite things about being an entrepreneur.

What campaigns have inspired you the most recently?
Strangely, mainly men’s deodorant campaigns. What Old Spice did in the USA was amazing and Lynx’s most recent ‘make peace’ campaign was so virally epic.

If you were given complete freedom, both creatively and financially, what would you do next?
I’m passionate about creating a greater synergy in education between academia and entrepreneurship. There is a massive lack of practical business and career defining experience in school curriculum. So I want to work on changing that in some way next.

Follow @AmberAtherton and take part in the Adobe Summit conversation with ‪#AdobeSummit.

You can also check out the list of other stellar speakers on our website, where you can also register, for what will be THE digital marketing conference of the year in Europe!