Please see below for LBB editorial contacts, regular editorial features, our editorial calendar and upcoming features, and the interview series we've created for LBB members.
The LBB Editorial Team:
Laura Swinton (Editor in Chief, Brands & Global) firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Reeves (EMEA Editor & Deputy Editor) email@example.com
Nisna Mahtani (EMEA reporter: MEA & DACH) firstname.lastname@example.org
Zoe Antonov (EMEA reporter: UK, CEE) email@example.com
Addison Capper (Americas Editor) firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Conway (Americas reporter) email@example.com
Josh Neufeldt (Canada reporter) firstname.lastname@example.org
APAC & ANZ
Esther Faith Lew (APAC/ANZ Editor) email@example.com
Delmar Terblanche (APAC/ANZ content & reporter) firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send all press releases to email@example.com
REGULAR EDITORIAL FEATURES
These are features that LBB's Editorial Team run throughout the year. For the most part, there’s no hard and fast calendar, these are features that e run on an ongoing basis and editorially we’ll be trying to balance out international representation and industry sectors and overall diversity. It’s worth mentioning that particularly for features like 5 Minutes and The Directors we are keen to use the platform to showcase female and marginalised talent. We also spontaneously do plenty of off-the-cuff interviews and stories that don’t conform to any formula. Inclusion in these features is not guaranteed. See 'Members Interviews' for series with guaranteed coverage. Please download the specifications for pitches by clicking on the title of the feature.
High Five - Each day, an industry expert from a different market will share five great pieces of creative work from their country. We’ve got a pretty thorough calendar on this to make sure we really are getting around the world and sharing work that hasn’t been shared internationally. If you would like to pitch yourself or someone you work with, please get in touch and we’ll let you know more. Find the brief here (and one for USA and Canada here). Also, check out our layout guide!
5 Minutes with... Interviews with the top people in the international advertising, marketing and creative industries
Advertising 101 - Before covid, it was easy for new joiners to build their knowledge of the industry and various specialisms through casual chats. Now that’s changed - so we’re going to be breaking down different roles and specialisms across the industry - from planning to compositing, UX design to colour grading.
Behind the Work - Behind the scenes on some of the most exciting creative campaigns. These can be traditional film campaigns but also digital projects, experiences, and category-defying activations too. What we care about is the insight, creative and production stories.
Brand Insight - Stories and interviews with marketers about their brand’s recent direction and future plans. This tends to be broader than just one campaign. We are open to stories where we speak to both the marketer and agency about work they’ve done together but the marketer/client must be involved in the interview.
Dream Teams - Trust and teamwork are at the heart of creativity and the industry is bursting with incredible partnerships. We want to profile and showcase the tightest twosomes in the business – how you met, why you work together so well, and what you’ve learned from each other – and advice for people navigating their own working relationships. This can be art director/copywriter pairs, directors and editors; MDs and ECDs; experience designers and creatives; character designers and animators… ultimately it’s all about those enduring professional collaborations and friendships.
Making Music - Making music is a series where we talk to the composers, producers and supervisors of some of the best new and classic commercial soundtracks.
Uprising - Spotlights on the up-and-coming junior and mid-level industry talent making amazing work and shaking up the future. One of the most popular features on the site when it comes to traffic!
The Opinion - Quick and responsive round up of takes on hot industry issues. This will be a quick turnaround piece inspired by a newsworthy development or issue where we’ll ask a selection of relevant industry people for their perspective.
Trends & Insight - Stories with a bit more depth that don’t conform to any template.
These features are designed to put the power in your hands. You can platform your talent and work whenever you like. And the great news is, we've devised the concept and format for these feature interviews already, so all you need to do is pick your talent, choose a relevant feature for their job role and get them to fill in their answers.
To take part, simply download the brief and questions by clicking on the titles below in bold. When you or your talent have answered, email the document and any images or videos you'd like included in the article to firstname.lastname@example.org for publishing.
There's no strict guidelines on schedule. We leave that down to you - but one hot tip to get more views and clicks is to spread the publishing out over regular intervals.
Essential List - A fun listicle piece about the kit, culture and cuisine that keeps the industry’s creative folk going!
My Biggest Lesson - This is where experienced ad folk and production people can share the pearls of wisdom that have shaped their career and can help those making their way to avoid the same pitfalls.
My Creative Hero - This piece explores the creative inspirations behind the industry’s talent. This usually means non-advertising creative heroes, allowing participants to explore their broader influences.
The Work That Made Me - The best way to understand a person’s career is to look at the work that made them. Their first campaign. The campaign that someone else did that made them jealous. The campaign that taught them some painful but useful lessons. The work that they’re proudest of. This is also a great feature as it’s a chance to share older work and work from different markets that readers around the world may not have seen before.
Thought Leaders - This is our channel for opinion pieces. We find that pieces that are closely aligned with newsy or timely topics perform particularly well, whether it’s a big sporting event or a hit new Netflix show that everyone is talking about. We’ve mapped out a few events that we think will prove to be talking points to get you started.
Business & Leadership
Bossing It - Leadership doesn’t come easy and everyone has their own views about what makes an effective leader. In this series of regular features we interview leaders, founders and entrepreneurs and creative management about their journey towards leadership and their own lessons and insights. Specifically for CEOs, COOs, MDs, Founders, EPs.
The New New Business - The creative industry wouldn’t be able to create without the people bringing in business and closing sales. As the industry evolves, so too is new business and sales. We want to speak to the people making the gears of the industry turn, whether they’re at agency, production, post, tech or media platform, to share their insights with those struggling to close the deal.
DE&I: Accelerating Change - We want to interview the industry’s DE&I leads to find out about their perspective and how the wider industry can take responsibility for transforming the industry for the better.
Creative, Account Management, PR & Strategy
Creativity Squared - A creative profile with a difference – psychologists have distilled creativity down to four factors, and we’ll be exploring those with copywriters, art directors and creative directors to get a 360° view of who they are and how they work.
Magic Numbers - Data-driven creativity is something that brands and agencies all over the world are investing in and banking on - but what does that really mean, what are the best practices and potential blindspots? This feature is for brand and agency data experts.
Problem Solved - This is a new feature about agency projects that go beyond campaign work and use creativity to solve business problems. These can include digital transformation project, product development, employee engagement initiatives, ecommerce platforms and behaviour change initiatives.
Planning for the Best - The intellectuals of the industry, planners arm their creative colleagues with the human insights and hard data to make sure their ideas are founded in truth. We want to celebrate the planners and strategists and pick into their processes and thoughts about the evolving discipline.
Film & Content Production
Camera Obscura: Production Obsessions - This is a piece for anyone involved in craft and production, from directors to animators, compositors to composers, cinematographers to sound designers. We want you to nerd out about an element of your craft that you are absolutely obsessed with. It could be a particular kind of camera lens or shooting format. It could be aspect ratios. It could be a particular tool that feels like it’s become your right hand. It could be a part of the process that you just always find incredibly fun.
The Directors - This feature allows directors to go beyond their reel to talk about their thoughts about the business of directing and how they like to work, giving potential clients and collaborators a clearer idea about their problem solving and working styles.
Meet Your Makers - Interviews with producers specifically aimed at production, post and service companies all about the business of content and commercial production, insights into an evolving industry and some career advice for those making their way.
Production & Technology - This is an interview series for producers with a passion for technology and innovation. Here we’re diving into the technological innovations that are changing production, or at least broadening the demands on and possibilities for production.
Producing Tomorrow’s Producers - This feature is for producers, particularly those in leadership roles (EPs, senior producers, heads of production) who are keen to develop the next generation of producers, make sure that skills and expertise are passed on, while also learning from the up-and-comers of the creator economy.
Production Line - Interviews with agency and brand in-house producers talking about the challenges making work that works while navigating and integrating new channels and technologies and helping brands to solve their problems.
Sustainable Production - This is an interview series for producers with a passion for sustainability and who have been working to reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of their productions. It is intended to highlight best practice, share helpful pointers and also discuss some of the challenges moving forward. It’s a feature that’s appropriate for producers working in agency, production, production service, or even in-house at brand.
Photography, Animation & Design
Animate! - Animators are the magicians of filmmaking - to animate means, quite literally, to bring to life after all. So we want to celebrate the animators who fill our eyeballs with pure wizardry with this series of interviews.
Picture This - In which we ask a photographer to break down one of their favourite commercial photographs, revealing the story behind it. It doesn't have to be a recent project, in fact, famous/iconic advertising image would be most welcomed here!
Style Guide - This piece is for any sort of image-making artist working commercially. It could be illustrators, photographers, graphic designers or animators. It best suits those with a really distinctive flavour and style...
By Design - We want to talk to a range of the industry’s design experts about their careers and views on what ‘good’ design looks like. This series is open to everyone from UX designers, CX designers to product designers and graphic designers.
Location Spotlight - Interviews and guides with production service specialists from around the world about inspirational locations and practical production issues.
Editing & VFX
Finely Sliced - We speak to editors about the art of the cut and explore the knife edge between good editing… and great editing.
Making the Grade - The grade is one of the most fascinating parts of the post process so we want to talk to talented colour graders about how they practice their craft.
The VFX Factor - This feature is a place for the visual virtuosos of advertising, the VFX artists, to discuss the trends in their role in 2021: the technological advancements revolutionising the way they work, the beauty of ‘invisible’ post, and how the pandemic will impact their work forevermore.
Music & Sound
Sonic Boom - Sonic Boom is a series on creative and technological innovations in sound design.
Thinking in Sound - We want to delve into the minds of the industry’s fantastic music and sound specialists to show just how creative this part of the industry is. We want to really dig into what inspires you and how you approach your work, while also getting a taste of how the music and sound part of the industry is changing.
Writing Your Own PR - Not everyone has the resources to justify a full-time PR person or agency. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of being a Little Black Book member. If you have a piece of creative work to share or someone new joining the company, check out our News Guide.
Welcome to 2023! Please check out the topics we’re planning to write features about in the coming year. These are outside of our regular features (please see above), which we write all year round. Moreover we do endeavour to respond to news developments in the industry and more broadly in our features. As the year progresses, this document will be updated and expanded throughout the year. As we assign writers and develop briefs we will contact LBB members.
Chinese New Year Showcase/Feature- January 22nd
Australia Day - Jan 26th
2023 trend pieces:
The advertising industry has started to embrace accessible design in a big way when it comes to developing products and platforms, but what about the content it creates? In 2022 Google produced best practice guidelines to ensure that content is as accessible as possible in terms of visibility, audio descriptions, subtitles, language and more. But what’s happening in the production industry to ensure that content is as accessible as possible for everyone?
Writer: email@example.com Deadline: January 10th
As first party data becomes more important, there are few categories with as rich data as retail - which is leading retailers like Walmart, Tesco, Sainsburys, Boots etc to launch Retail Media Networks. As well as brands clubbing together to share first party data.
Inquiries around retail media have been growing steadily in 2022, so now that momentum has grown, what does that mean for 2023? What is retail media, how does it work and how can marketers take advantage of it - both the retailers-turned-platforms and the brands? And what are the debates and challenges that currently are causing a headache for marketers and agencies in this space - and where do the opportunities lie?
Writer: firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline: January 12th
Make Do and Mend (circular models and the rise of repair in recession)
As the recession bites, how are brands providing tools and services that help people prolong the lifespan of their belongings - or to recycle and re-sell goods in a circular model? And where does that sit within the context of CX and building brand equity, helping people when times are tough for long term benefit?
Historically this has been a model that premium purpose-driven apparel brands like Patagonia, Birkenstock, Arc’teryx has embraced but how are brands in other sectors approaching this model? And what can we learn from those brands that followed this ethos for some time? Are we likely to see a surge as the reality of recession sets in?
Writer: email@example.com Deadline: January 13th
Business Outlook 2023
We want to talk to global and regional CEOs and industry bodies about the challenges and opportunities for the year ahead. There’s no doubt that 2023 looks like it will be a choppy year economically in many if not most markets, so what does that mean for agencies and are there any rays of sunlight? Where do you see growth coming from, how have the last few years prepared agencies for this challenge and how can agencies help clients and consumers get through?
writer: firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline January 19th
The Unique Value of Marketing in a Recession
As the economy falters, marketeers have two wolves inside them. A wolf that says ‘cut the marketing spend first’, and another that says ‘brands that advertise during a recession emerge stronger than the competition that cuts’. Which wolf will win?
We’re familiar with the study of the 89-91 recession, but what does the most up to date data tell us? Can advertising in a recession really benefit a brand longer term - and how can markterers persuade CFOs and board members focused on immediate quarterly returns?
We want to speak to CEOs and heads of strategy, data and insight about their views and the strongest arguments in favour of protecting marketing in tough times.
Writer: Nisna@lbbonline.com Deadline: January 13th
Production Outlook 2023
Looking ahead to the coming year, what opportunities and challenges are on the minds of production companies? Is it adapting to new technologies like virtual production? Is it navigating a downturned economy? Is it embracing a new generation of diverse talent? Is it shifts in the business model?
Whatever it is, we want to here from production company EPs and MDs - 200-300 words each.
Writer: email@example.com Deadline January 20th
If 2022 saw the industry get excited about the metaverse, the output from that excitement didn’t always live up to the dream. So, instead of thinking about the metaverse in terms of a Ready Player 1 style virtual bubble world that has a high barrier to access and cuts us off from the world around us, will 2023 see a more nuanced and mature pivot to Extended Reality - a digital layer enhancing our physical reality. We’re already seeing it take root in the ad industry with the growth of virtual production and extended sets, and there’s growing buzz around Apple’s XR glasses. Snapchat filters and iPhone LiDAR cameras are second nature now, so perhaps Extended Reality will prove to be a more grounded, actionable space to experiment and create meaningful and useful experiences and services.
Writer: firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline January 13th
Where Next for Gaming in 2023
When it comes to engaging gamers, something of a formula has emerged. Do a brand collab on Fortnite, recruit a big Twitch streamer. Ta-da! But gaming is a rapidly evolving space and brands/creatives need to keep up with the opportunities and new spaces emerging. So what looks like it will be big in gaming in 2023?
We see this as a feature that breaks down into 3 or 4 sub-sections, each dealing with a different gaming microtrend. Possible trends include: the battle for the gaming metaverse; accessibility; modding; cloud gaming; fitness gaming; mobile gaming’s graphics boom.
Writer: email@example.com Deadline January 13th
Making Sure DE&I Stays Top Priority as Recession Bites
Agencies have been investing in DE&I initiatives and the industry still has so much ground to cover and work to do. Amid this precarious economic climate, why and how should agencies double down on that commitment and how can they ensure that talent from marginalised groups don’t end up in a vulnerable position as pressures rise and budgets tighten (e.g. mothers being squeezed out of agency life; last-in-first-out mentalities potentially impacting more diverse cohorts of talent etc).
Writer: firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline January 11th
Talent in 2023
The past two or three years have been characterised as a ‘talent crunch’, with agencies scrambling for talent. All of this was exacerbated by the Covid crisis. Is that still the situation or is the economic situation likely to create a very different landscape for talent in 2023? Will the power dynamics shift? What does it mean for freelancers (ie more opportunities for freelancers or are agencies looking to leverage full time talent across their networks to cut freelancer spend?)? How are agencies looking to look after talent in tough times?
We want to speak to CEOs, COOs, CCOs and Chief Talent Officers about their views and to find out their network/agency’s approach to talent in 2023.
Writer: email@example.com Deadline: January 19th
Super Bowl LVII
Super Bowl is February 12th 2023. We're looking for op-eds, trend features and more
Black History Month
Sydney Pride - LGBTQI+ inclusivity in Australian advertising
Going back to the GayTMs, the Australian ad industry has pioneered LGBTQI+ inclusivity in its work. With Sydney Pride around the corner , we want to find out where the industry is regarding its engagement with and allyship with the community, including in the content of its creative, Pride-specific work and its support of its LBGTQ+ colleagues.
Writers: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
UX: Join the Dark Side
As users embrace ‘dark mode’, we speak to UX designers about the challenges and opportunities inherent in designing for the dark side. The benefits of dark mode are claimed to include better readability as well as better energy efficiency - but what are the challenges involved? Are we likely to see more brands and platforms going ‘dark-first’?
Deadline: February 20 Writer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative: The Look of Love
The Look of Love: we speak to art directors/ graphic designers/typography obsessives about creating romantic looks that set hearts a-flutter. Do brands need to avoid saccharine cliches in favour of a more modern romance - or is it time to fully embrace the soppiness and wear our hearts on our sleeves. Examples of work that’s got it right would be fantastic.
Deadline: February 10th Writer: email@example.com
Creative & Direction: On Screen Chemistry
Casting is a tricky enough thing to do at the best of times, but when you're looking to cast perfect strangers who have to convince the audience they've got genuine chemistry, it's even tougher. We want to talk to directors and casting directors about casting and directing commercials that are all about lurve.
Deadline: February 10th Writer: firstname.lastname@example.org
VFX: Creative Compositing
Directors to Look Out for in 2023
An editorial-led selection of up-and-coming directors who have made waves in music video, social media at who we feel are going to break through in commercials. We can't guarantee that anyone you pitch to us will be feature.
Deadline: February 20th Writer: email@example.com
Wrapped in Sound: 360 vs Binaural audio
Immersive sound design has been gathering steam over the past few years, so we want to talk to sound designers about projects that they've worked on that used binaural or dolby particularly effectively. Each sound designer can choose one project to talk about, ideally from the past year. We want to know why immersive or 360 sound was so key for this project and how they leveraged it to make it as impactful as possible.
Deadline: February 20th Writer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Colour Grading: Trends in Colour Grading for 2023
What are we seeing in culture and media, what ‘looks’ are starting to feel tired and played out, how are incoming, social media-native gen-z colourists shaping the industry, any new platforms/tools that might be opening up new kinds of 'looks' ... We want to find out what trends we're likely to see on-screen and behind the grading desk.
Deadline: February 17th Writer: email@example.com
IWD 2023 - March 8th
SXSW - March 10-19
Oscars - March 12
Data: The New Privacy Paradigm
Creative: Dealing with Creative Cringe
Q1 LBB Industry Index - March 27
Strategy: Strategy in the trenches of the culture war.
VFX: New Developments in AI and VFX
Production: Career Advice for Aspiring Producers in a Changing Industry
Music: Off-Beat - the beauty of unexpected choices and deep cuts in ads
Editing: Cut for Emotion (The renowned Walter Murch said that half of a good cut was down to how emotionally effective it is - so we want to talk to editors about that rule, whether it’s still relevant in the age of diminishing attention spans and projects they’ve worked on that exemplify this rule).
Ramadan 2023// Eid al-Fitr (April 21) - Middle East & Africa Ramadan Feature
Global Ramadan Feature - How Ramandan Advertising is Evolving Around the World
Earth Day (April 22): Can the Industry Kick Its Greenwashing Habit for Good?
Media: How Adland is Tackling the Environmental Impact of Its Media Buy?
Creative: The New Creative Toolkit. From psychedelics to AI art, we explore the tools and tricks that are helping creatives open their minds to new possibilities
Commerce: Brand Equity and Marketplaces
VFX: Tips for Marketers Navigating VFX-Heavy Projects
Production: Animation Directors We Can’t Get Enough Of
Sound: Why Sound Design Can Be Strategic
Colour Grading: An Eye for Colour (how can non-experts like creatives and clients understand the architecture of a good grade - what should they be looking out for, and what impact does a great creative grade have on the impact of a film or ad?)
Design: Why UX Design and Accessibility are Intrinsically Interlinked
Creative: Copywriters on Writing Dialogue that Connects
Tech Showcase: Creatives Creating Web3
VFX: The Changing Role of the VFX Supervisor in Virtual Production
Production: Diversity Behind the Camera
Music: The Key to the Perfect Commercial Cover Song
Editing: Close Cuts (the director-editor partnership)
Cannes Contenders - Networks and Indies
Cannes Jury Interviews
Pride Month US
E3 - Gaming Trends and Highlights from E3
Q2 LBB Industry Index - 26 June
VFX: Let There Be Life - the key to lifelike CG animation
Production: Questions Marketers Should Ask About Their Treatments
Sound: Sound Design Meets Experience Design
Colour Grading: Vintage Vibes
Women’s World Cup 2023 - Global Sports Marketing andWomen’s Sports
How Australia & New Zealand’s Marketing Communities are Celebrating the Women’s World Cup
Media:Up-and-coming Media Planners Showcase
Creative: Creative Inspiration: Adland’s Favourite Album Covers
VFX: VFX Supervisor Showcase
Production: Changing Production Business Models (agency and Prod co)
Music: Music that Resonates
Editing: Cutting for Music Videos
Indian Independence Day Showcase/Feature - August 15th
Creative: Street Art not Wallpaper - The Key to Designing Beautiful OOH Ads
ECommerce - Time to Drop the ‘e’?
Strategy: Advertising Strategy’s Most Enduring Debates
VFX: How Games Engines Have Transformed VFX
Production: Producing Content in a Web 3 Future
Sound: In the Studio with Adland’s Leading Sound Designers
Colour Grading: Female Colourists Showcase
Creative: Copywriting feature
Creative/art: Illustration Trends
UX Design and Creativity
Sustainability: How brands and agencies can factor sustainability into pop up experiences
Q3 LBB Industry Index - Sept 25
VFX: How the Role of VFX Supervisor Has Evolved
Production: Animation Advice for Marketers
Music: What Are Adland’s Music Supervisors Listening To?
Editing: Sharp New Talent Showcase
Black History Month UK
Creative: Art Direction Inspiration in the Spooky Season
Strategy: Why Brands Need to Understand the Psychology of Fear
Cricket World Cup - Sports Marketing, Sponsorship and Cricket
VFX: Creating Perfectly Imperfect VFX
Production: Cinematography All Stars - who are the DPs everyone wants to work with right now?
Diwali (Nov 12) - How the Diwali Advertising Has Become a Global Affair
Singles Day - China
Sustainability: Ad Net Zero Global Conference// Cop 28
Commerce: Commerce and Christmas
Creative/ Data: Creatives Who Have Embraced Data and AI
Music: Big American Music Tour (showcase of music companies around the States’ musical heartlands)
Editing: The Craft of Editing in the Social Media Age
Q4 LBB Industry Index - 18th December
2021 ‘All Stars’ - regional ‘who’s who’ heroes of the year across production, agency and client
Annual trend pieces
Look Ahead to 2024