Luke introducing Effectiveness at 2019 Brand Film Festival Picture Credit:

I thoroughly enjoyed my contribution to this year’s Brand Film Festival and left feeling enriched.


Campaign and PR Week’s third Brand Film Festival was split into three categories: Craft, Creativity and the section I hosted – Effectiveness, something that’s close to our heart at Maker.

When you invest blood, sweat and tears into the films you make, you want them to achieve the impact they deserve. Whatever the message or audience, when you deliver a brand film you want every second to earn its keep when you release it kicking and screaming into the big, wide, world.

To begin – a panel discussion with two Bens. This isn’t some new industry lingo fresh from Dalston – I was joined by two heavyweights in creative agency data analysis: Ben Bale, Creative Innovation Director at Drum, and Ben Shaw, Head of Strategy at BBH. Drum’s Ben Bale summarises it rather well:

“I think the interesting point for me was just how much brands and filmmakers are still focusing on vanity metrics. You’re making a film to solve a business objective and that objective is almost certainly not “YouTube views”, so why focus on them? If your client wants video views, Facebook likes, et al, either try and find out what their real objective is and measure that, or if you can’t convince them, go buy the engagement. It’s at the core of most online publishers’ business model. Sell engagement for higher than you can buy it.”

It was a fascinating panel to host, ending with some thought-provoking audience ponderers. It really drove home how much more there is to learn about the reach of data analysis in creative advertising – how a video brief that lands on my desk from certain agencies has been so finely honed by layer upon layer of detailed analysis before their agency producer even gets a whiff of it. Ben Bale concludes:

“We need to remember that we’re not independent artists. We’re using those same artistic and creative skills to sell product or change opinions/behaviours. This means that we need to be brutal in our focus. Evidence behind every decision, science at the heart of everything we do. I once heard someone say “data doesn’t kill creativity, it kills the creative ego”. We need to take that to heart. If the data says we’re wrong, we’re wrong NOT the data. Similarly, don’t try and justify your ideas, try and break them. Those left standing at the end are the right ones.”


At last year’s festival one film dominated – Squatty Potty’s unicorn and his ice cream plopsies.

Two films had notable, and well-deserved, impact this year. Two films we would have loved to have produced!

AMVBBDO’s 3 minute ode to vaginal pride for Essity, helping them nab Creative Agency of the Year.

And “Dear Dorothy” from Jaguar Land Rover / Commotion


Good chats with industry talent spread from Manchester to the South Coast – I particularly enjoyed meeting the fine folk from Pegasus in Brighton who quite rightly found themselves on the podium twice collecting Golds for “Small Talk Saves Lives”.


It’s held at Hawker House in Docklands, a mecca for delicious street food stalls. I think they gave me double my quota of food / drink vouchers – I tried them all. Great curry slider things. All in all, the perfect day out of the office.

To see more about this year’s festival, it’s all encapsulated in this video. See you next year!