Visiting Leeds for the first time, it was great to hear Roger Marsh, chair of Leeds City Partnership, highlight how the city is embracing its technology and digital expertise.

Laying claims to now be the UK’s second largest economic city, Leeds certainly offers plenty to learn for other parts of the UK. But the real reason for my visit was to hear from brands breaking new ground in visual media, brand and marketing. My highlights from this year's event were drinks giant Coca-Cola and rising augmented reality star Blippar. Here's an overview of what they discussed.

Coca-Cola (Keynote Session)

James Sommervile, VP Global Design

It was a pleasure to be able to listen to James Sommervile discuss the creation of the new unified Coca-Cola brand. Explaining how the use of the black (Coke Zero), silver (Diet), and geen (Life), would cannibalize the brand over the next 20-30 years. So the decision was made to focus on the liquid and taste with the new campaign “Taste The Feeling”.

James went on to show aspects of the creative process, including concept, ideas, graphic design, photography, and video. The quality was exceptional and something any designer or creative should aspire to. The results of the campaign were then shown and the sheer volume of social media engagement certainly demonstrated that using the highest quality of creative will deliver a return on investment.


Omaid Hiwaizi, President, Global Marketing

Blippar uses augmented reality and visual search technologies, the app is installed on android or iOS and when pointed at objects recognises them and can then produce visual information on that object. Retail application examples were shown where it can recognise items and can provide further information, recipes, where to buy, cheapest places to buy etc.

This is certainly a technology which is going to grow, and there will be great opportunities for brands to enhance their products and sponsored opportunities for advertisers.

You can download it for free on android or iOS and it's well worth a closer look.