Government backs ad industry trade mission to SXSW

UK House Hero imageThe UK Advertising Exports Group and the Department for Business & Trade have joined forces to launch a new campaign to help promote the UK as the global hub of advertising and innovation to the world’s buyers.

The campaign comes ahead of preparations for an extensive programme of activities at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, from March 10 to 14, which will see over 40 UK companies participating in the trade mission, many featuring in the special “UK House” at the event.

The campaign is a first for UK advertising, targeting North America, and features the work of several UKAEG members to showcase the UK’s global leadership in embracing technology and changing the way brands connect with audiences.

As part of the new campaign, a podcast series produced in association with Advertising Week will launch during SXSW. Hosted by Dino Myers-Lamptey, founder at The Barber Shop, the podcast will look at how brands can use new ways to connect with audiences and capture their attention; speakers include Nikkita Sidhu, Croud; Andy Cooper, Draw and Code; Charli Cohen, RSTLSS; Hans Stolfus, Epic Games and more.

UK House will aim to promote the best of UK creativity and provide networking opportunities for those looking to build business connections worldwide, with a four-day programme of panels and roundtables featuring top UK executives and industry experts hosted by UKAEG.

Among the events planned at UK House are a round-table in partnership with the American Advertising Federation (AAF). For the first time, the AAF and UKAEG are uniting global brands and the advertising community and on March 11 they will bring together several senior leaders from the UK and US to discuss the future of the creative economy. On March 12, UKAEG and the AAF will host The Branding Arms – the only meet up for SXSW attendees working in content creation and branding.

There will also be over 50 talks during the four-day event, with UKAEG members participating in a variety of discussions featuring guests from Wired and Vogue Business. Topics range from storytelling in the metaverse, how the creator economy is redefining brands, and climate change.

UKAEG members Adam & Eve DDB, Creature London, VCCP, and Qumin will also feature in SXSW’s advertising and brand track this year. Topics include “The C Word, Advertising’s Guilty Secret” and Les Binet heads to SXSW for the first time to discuss why brand building matters. VCCP has two sessions, “Be More Dog” and “Come Play in the Real Metaverse” as does Qumin, with “The Great Metaverse of China” and “Prepare for the Social Commerce Era and Look East”.

AA international trade director Aisling Conlon said: “We are delighted to return to SXSW and launch this campaign in partnership with the Department for Business & Trade. This year is set to be our strongest yet, as we continue our mission to showcase the power of the UK advertising industry as a true force for economic growth.

“UKAEG is delighted to open the doors of UK House and co-host two exclusive networking events with the AAF. The UK is a concentrated hotbed of new ideas, diverse skills, global talent and smart thinking and we look forward to bringing US businesses and UK talent and innovators together for the first time.”

Department for Business & Trade sector specialist for advertising and creative technology David Moody added: “The UK Government recognises the size and value of the sector to the UK economy and as a way to break down barriers between creative disciplines from music to fashion to film. We see the central role that advertising plays in connecting the whole spectrum of our creative industries to brands and buyers around the world. Great advertising is worth celebrating at prestigious events such as SXSW.”

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