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The dragons of Cannes

How one network is transforming the lives of dementia carers and retaining young talent - all in one fiery breath...

(Left to right) Chris Pearce, joint chief executive, TMW Unlimited; Natalie Price, creative production assistant, TMW Unlimited;  Tim Bonnet, chairman, Creston Communications and Insight; and Barrie Brien, group chief executive, Creston
(Left to right) Chris Pearce, joint chief executive, TMW Unlimited; Natalie Price, creative production assistant, TMW Unlimited; Tim Bonnet, chairman, Creston Communications and Insight; and Barrie Brien, group chief executive, Creston

The lives of people with dementia and their carers around the world are being transformed thanks to Natalie Price, a 24-year-old creative production assistant at TMW Unlimited.

Her groundbreaking tech invention, Proximity, helps people living with dementia – as well as those who care for them – by preventing them from getting lost.

Proximity is the first simple low-cost solution to one of the biggest challenges faced by dementia sufferers and their carers. The device, which acts as a warning system, connects a low-energy Bluetooth-enabled badge with a specially designed mobile app to show the user’s whereabouts.

Price showcased Proximity on stage at the Palais des Festivals at this year’s Cannes Lions. She spoke alongside the TMW Unlimited joint chief executive Chris Pearce as part of the agency’s seminar on nurturing young talent, entitled "Retaining Young Creative Talent with Purpose, Technology and Dragons".

At Creston Unlimited, strategists, creatives, producers, researchers and technologists can collaborate in an agile way, unconstrained by silos or traditional ways of working

The funding to turn the device from idea to reality came from TMW Unlimited and Creston Unlimited’s business incubator programme, Project Iliad. The initiative is one of many within Creston Unlimited that are inspired by the creative talent, technological innovation and entrepreneurialism at the group’s core.

Project Iliad offers employees the chance to pitch their creative tech ideas in a Dragons’ Den-style contest. The winner receives hard cash and, more importantly, support from across Creston Unlimited.

The initiative also helps fuel the entre­preneurial mindset of Generation Y, nurturing the best talent and ideas from the industry’s young workforce.

Price, Project Iliad’s first winner, accessed the capabilities across Creston Unlimited to achieve her dream. This included expertise from the market research agency ICM Unlimited and the health specialists Red Door Unlimited.

Proximity also received prototyping and app development support from TMW_Labs, TMW Unlimited’s in-house tech hub. "If you want an idea to work, it takes a team effort," Price told the audience at Cannes.

Creston announced the creation of Creston Unlimited last year – a new model that enables seamless creative collaboration across the award-winning agencies within the group.

At Creston Unlimited, strategists, creatives, producers, researchers and technologists can collaborate in an agile way, unconstrained by silos or traditional ways of working.

Each agency at Creston Unlimited, which also includes the neuroscience researchers Walnut and the PR experts Nelson Bostock, rebranded last year, taking on the "Unlimited" suffix to denote this new collaborative and flexible way of working.

"While we continue to evolve and expand our capabilities internationally, the future is becoming more exciting by the day"
Tim Bonnet, chairman, Creston Communications and Insight

18 Feet & Rising, which has recently joined the Creston Unlimited fold, will also operate collaboratively within the model.

Bespoke teams of people from relevant disciplines are created from across the group to solve individual client business problems, and these can be adapted according to clients’ needs.

In addition, all Creston Unlimited clients can avail themselves of the tech know-how and invention at TMW_Labs, where employees not only test emerging tech but have the resources to build new products.

Pearce said: "We are more open to genuine collaboration as we recognise each other’s strengths and, where we can, play a more effective, joined-up role for clients."

All Creston Unlimited clients, from Danone to BMW, not only get access to the best specialist talent across a range of powerhouse agency brands but are creatively and technologically one step ahead of the curve, thanks to the group’s spirit of innovation and invention.

Tim Bonnet, the chairman of Creston Communications and Insight, said: "We’re just at the start of the journey with Creston Unlimited, and it is developing at pace. While we continue to evolve and expand our capabilities internationally, the future is becoming more exciting by the day."

Magnum

People Tweeted in their droves to vote to turn landmarks in eight European cities, including the London Eye, either pink or black for Magnum. The poll was part of a Creston Unlimited campaign, led by TMW Unlimited, marking the release of two limited-edition Magnum ice-cream flavours, Magnum Pink Raspberry and Magnum Black Espresso. The work, which also transformed Regent Street into a traffic-free party zone, displayed truly integrated brand engagement and spanned digital, social, experiential, print and outdoor activity.

Vue

Creston Unlimited’s specialist local agency EMO Unlimited was able to define the target audience for Vue cinemas by using local audience insight and mapping. Customer value propositions for each audience informed the creative work, which took film as its inspiration and ran across multiple channels. The objective was to increase Vue admissions and, within the first three months, the company achieved a jump in market share and ticket sales. The programme is now rolling out to the network.


Canon

Five Creston Unlimited agencies now support Canon’s UK and European business across B2B, B2C and corporate. Canon continues to brief individual agencies for specialist discipline responses but for larger, more strategic requirements, the brand makes a single briefing to receive an "Unlimited" response where the idea, channel and method of connecting with the audience are not predetermined. The ability to build agency-agnostic teams ensures the right people collaborate to deliver the best possible results.