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Going Underground: dare you confront your own bias?

Campaign Underground, April 18, challenges Adland's elephant in the room...

Going Underground: dare you confront your own bias?

Campaign’s much-loved anti-conference Underground is back.

The third edition, The Unconscious Bias of Brands, in association with R/GA, explores how prejudice taints marketing campaigns, why and where brands are getting it wrong, and how to break adland’s problematic mirror-image syndrome.

Biases can manifest themselves into creative decisions without people realising it, according to Jen Heazlewood, creative director at R/GA London: "Considering diverse teams from the outset is so important as we create work for cross-cultural products and services targeted toward diverse, global audiences. At R/GA, we’re constantly asking ourselves how can we create systems that respond to diversity and measure the impact it will have on the end user?"

"It has been shown that we do 98% of our thinking in our subconscious mind. This is where we store our implicit or unconscious biases.  As creators, it is our responsibility to be aware of our natural biases as we make design decisions so that we can better connect with and design for a wider audience".

Taking place at London nightclub Fabric on April 18, attendees should expect the unexpected. Previously, attendees have been delighted with insect culinary delights, professional lie detectors, VR experiences and even the opportunity to volunteer for a tattoo. This time, Campaign is teaming up with sensory branding agency Vetyver and unconscious bias training company EW Group to give guests another immersive and sensory experience.

But hard-hitting content remains key to the experience. One attendee described the last event as: "Inspiring, pacey, educational, upbeat, informal, well organised and fun!  The interesting agenda came alive with speakers who were knowledgeable and passionate about their subjects and was enhanced by deliciously experiential surroundings".

A sneak peak at the agenda:

How things we don’t know change our behaviour
Professor Moran Cerf, professor of neuroscience and business, Kellogg School of Management

Recent understanding from marketing and neuro-economics shows that our decisions are partially driven by unconscious biases and acts that are inaccessible to us. We later explain them, often erroneously, post-hoc as if they were under our full control. This session explores how neuroscience can inform marketing understanding. What is ‘choice blindness’ and how does it drive our behavior? How does new marketing research combine the two, allowing us to change behavior and drive decisions beyond the conscious decisions of people?

Adland - The Battle To Evolve
Naomi Sesay, head of innovation & diversity, Media Trust

Beneath the human psyche, lies some murky business. Old perceptions, damaging ideas and stubbornly held notions of who we believe we are. Naomi Sesay from Media Trust, unravels these prickly concepts and reveals the raw essence of how and why we acquired the belief systems that create such a hew & cry in Adland today. Using the concept of a collective conscious, Naomi throws a fresh light on Unconscious Bias and issues a call to action to the evolving ad industry.

Designing Stories Without Unconscious Bias
Jen Heazlewood, creative director, head of experience design, London, R/GA

80% of consumer purchasing power is women, 28% of the US are in the non-white minority and 60% of the world is from Asia. Everyone is different but traditionally when we design, our unconscious bias steps in and we ignore signs to design for different people. The R/GA design model helps us get behind the context, environment & mindset of our users in order to create conscious ecosystems. The more we understand our unconscious mind, the more it starts to impact the way we think and create. What does this mean for creating global experiences where different mindsets are required to align to our design?

Stamping out Stereotyping
Myralda Derks, VP CMI Home Care, Unilever UK & Graham Page, MD offer and innovation, Kantar Millward Brown

As a founder of the Unstereotype Alliance, Unilever has been at the forefront of the industry in reviewing its brand campaigns globally, with the pledge to remove gender bias from all creative outputs and more accurately portray people. Hear more about this initiative, and how Unilever and Kantar Millward Brown have joined forces to demonstrate that progressive advertising is not just an ethical imperative, but a business imperative too.

Book tickets and view the full agenda.