Most Contagious

Most Contagious





Most Contagious is the acclaimed year-end event staged by Contagious. It makes sense of the most important trends in marketing, technology and consumer culture from the past year and analyses what impact these ideas will have on the immediate future for brands and agencies.


The event includes a full-day conference programme, with talks from Contagious as well as expert guest speakers, panel debates and discussions. There’s also a startup award competition and an exhibition to showcase disruptive ideas, innovative new technologies and the makers behind them.


For 2016 sponsorship enquiries, please email



Contagious equips companies across the globe to achieve the top 1% of marketing creativity through our research platform, consultancy, quarterly magazine and live events.


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Laurence Blair

Laurence Blair /

The Economist

Paul Kemp-Robertson

Paul Kemp-Robertson /





After graduating with a masters degree from Goldsmiths College in London, Paul started his career at corporate communications firm Maritz before helping launch shots magazine in 1990. After a spell in commercials production, Paul returned to shots and became editor in 1994. Subscriptions trebled under his tenure.
In 1998 he was appointed worldwide director of creative resources at Leo Burnett in Chicago. In 2004, Paul co-founded Contagious with shots founder Gee Thomson and media entrepreneur John Gordon.
Paul has written for publications including Business 2.0 and The Guardian, as well as co-editing D&AD’s The Commercials Book. He has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme and his talk on alternative currencies has been viewed more than 438,000 times at

Nick Parish

Nick Parish /





An award-winning writer and editor, Nick established Contagious in North America in 2010. He runs every aspect of our North American business, including client-based consulting projects like the groundbreaking Project Fly initiative with Mondelez International. Nick has spoken at dozens of leading events including the Cannes Lions and SXSW Interactive, and his writing has been published in New York magazine, the New York Post, Advertising Age, Creativity, Flaunt, Mashable and others. He resides in Brooklyn and enjoys fly fishing, dystopian fiction and any music that sounds like it could have come from Detroit.

Click on speakers from previous years below to watch their talks:


Dennis Maloney

Dennis Maloney /


Dennis Maloney

Chief Digital Officer, Domino’s


Dr Erin Marie Saltman

Dr Erin Marie Saltman /

Institute for Strategic Dialogue

Dr Erin Marie Saltman

Senior Counter Extremism Researcher, Institute for Strategic Dialogue


Nils Leonard

Nils Leonard /

Grey London




Anna Pickard

Anna Pickard /





Christine Cattano

Christine Cattano /


Christine Cattano

Executive Producer, Framestore’s Virtual Reality Studio



Robert Lane Greene

Robert Lane Greene /

The Economist




Dr Chris Brauer

Dr Chris Brauer /

Goldsmiths, University of London




Malin Hanås

Malin Hanås /


Malin Hanås

Creative Director, Razorfish


Ed Sanders

Ed Sanders /



Head of Marketing, Google Glass, Google


Rick Ridgeway

Rick Ridgeway /



VP Environmental Initiatives and Special Media Projects, Patagonia


Maxine Bédat

Maxine Bédat /




Fernando Machado

Fernando Machado /



Global Brand Vice President, Dove, Unilever




Check out what was covered last year:

Brands of the Year / Two of the advertising industry’s most contagious brands of the year join us on stage to reveal the mechanics and the magic behind their success. Domino’s focus on speed and ease of ordering reached its zenith with a single tweeted emoji and won it the Cannes Lion Titanium award. Volvo took its ‘people first, cars second’ philosophy to the streets with a can of spray paint, winning it two Grand Prix in the process.

AI / Artificial intelligence: we’ve all heard the hype. But let’s cast aside Hollywood’s apocalyptic predictions for a moment. What does the Rise of the Machines actually mean for our industry? We’ll assess the impact that this new digital era will have on marketing and purchase decisions over the next five years, and show you the smartest brands that are already using algorithms to their advantage today.

Evolution of Communication / 72% of 18-25 year olds in the UK find it easier to express emotion in pictures than the written word. From emoticons, to emojis, to stickers, the way that people are communicating is becoming increasingly visual. Is your brand fluent in emoji?

VR / A perfect storm of investment, creative briefs and headset launches means that marketers now see Virtual Reality as a real opportunity rather than a virtual gimmick. We’ll explore the key players, best work and creative opportunities for brands in this exciting space.

Mobile Video / Consumer demand and a host of new players in the space, including Periscope, Snapchat and Facebook, are ushering in a golden age of video. We’ll freeze frame to examine what’s going on right now and fast forward to see where the opportunities lie for brands.

Unexpected Environments / From selling airline tickets at the supermarket to dog food at the airport, some brands are now identifying unusual places to market their products to create greater cut-through. We’ll share examples of brands that have successfully promoted themselves in locations away from their competitive set, giving them an instant advantage.

The Most Contagious Exhibition


Contagious invites people, companies and products from the Wildfire section of Contagious Magazine and Contagious I/O to showcase their projects. The exhibition is a chance for delegates to up close and hands on with need-to-know technologies, products and services that will reshape the future.


Sponsorship opportunities are available in the exhibition. For more details email


Previous exhibitors include:


FoPo /

FoPo gives new life to expiring fruits & veggies from groceries by drying & powdering them, saving food waste & help end world hunger.

ACE by MPC Creative

ACE by MPC Creative /

MPC Creative, the innovation and content arm of global VFX studio MPC, have developed an installation to help showcase ‘ACE’, an animated character engine developed to bring 3D production into the real-time advertising space.


ACE allows brands and agencies to create and distribute 3D animated content for social media platforms within minutes. Play with the installation, have a go with the app and see for yourself how ACE can enable agencies and brands to get better, faster and more creative social media content.


Blaze /

Blaze create beautiful and innovative products for urban cyclists. Their flagship product, the Laserlight, is a revolutionary device tackling the most common cause of cyclist fatality – being caught in the blind spot, or a vehicle turning across an unseen bike. The Laserlight is a front light (required by law) but which also has a green laser that projects the symbol of a bike down onto the road ahead. It alerts drivers in front of the bike of its presence, preventing them turning across its path. The Laserlight gives the cyclist a bigger footprint on the road, allowing it to be seen in time, and when it is otherwise invisible.


Blaze began as Founder and CEO Emily Brooke’s university project just three years ago. Since then  they have fulfilled one of the first successful Kickstarter campaigns in the UK, have a team based in  East London with manufacturing in Shenzhen, have raised seed investment from the likes of Index Ventures and the Branson family and their flagship product is shipping around the world to 51 different countries. They are also stocked in every Evans Cycles store in the UK as well as some key retailers abroad, such as the MoMA Design Store in NYC and Mission Bicycles in San Francisco. The Laserlight is the first in a range of products for Urban Cyclists from Blaze.


Blaze were featured in issue 42 of Contagious Magazine as a Small But Perfectly Formed company.

Blaze /

BLAZE bus 02


Musio /

Meet Musio, the World’s First Artificially Intelligent Robot


AKAStudy (AKA), the leading technology company in machine learning and natural language processing, has created the first, true Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) device, available for purchase on Indiegogo. Musio carries on conversations and remembers what it is told; it can tell jokes, provide calendar reminders, share emotions, and communicate with surrounding objects and devices.
Musio’s human-level intelligence has the capacity to learn new phrases, ideas, and information the more you interact with it. This means that over time, Musio behaves less like an artificially intelligent machine and more like a friend who can interact with you socially and talk to you about your favorite books, restaurants, or sports teams.
“AKA’s international team of engineers, machine learning specialists, data scientists, and linguists have worked on creating Musio for years,” said Raymond Jung, CEO of AKA. “It’s been our mission to create an A.I. robot for the average consumer that can think on its own and facilitate an interactive learning environment. We’re excited to pioneer the future of this technology.”


Originally conceived as a tool to help Asian children learn English, Musio has evolved into a multifaceted, highly functioning “friend” to children and adults alike. People of all ages can play, interact and learn with Musio. A more advanced component allows developers to take engagement to a more sophisticated level, enabling them to transform their surroundings into a smart home by programming Musio to communicate with nearby devices and objects.

Musio /



what3words /

what3words is a new global location referencing system based on a global grid of 3mx3m squares where each square has been pre allocated with a fixed and unique 3 word address.


3 words are easier to remember and communicate than any other coordinate or alphanumeric systems and it is quicker and cheaper to implement than a street addressing system.


75% of the world suffers from inconsistent, complicated or inadequate addressing systems affecting aid delivery, financial inclusion & legal recognition.


Even in countries with advanced systems, people get lost, packages aren’t delivered and businesses aren’t found.


Poor addressing is very & annoying in developed countries and it limits social & economic growth in  developing ones, often costing lives.


Our technology is being integrated into businesses, apps & services to improve efficiency, customer experience, drive growth and save lives.


what3words has given everyone, everywhere and everything a simple address.

what3words /

Volvo LifePaint

Volvo LifePaint /

Volvo has always taken safety seriously. They invented the three-point seat belt in 1959 and then opened up the patent so that any car manufacturer could use it. Now they’re giving away a product to take Volvo safety beyond its cars.


LifePaint is a unique reflective safety spray aimed at increasing the visibility and safety of cyclists, and other vulnerable road users. Invisible by daylight, it glows brightly in the glare of car headlights, making the invisible, visible at night.


Though designed for safer cycling, LifePaint can be applied to any fabric — clothes, shoes, pushchairs, children’s backpacks — even dog leads and collars. It is transparent, washes off and will not affect the colour or surface of your chosen material, lasting for approximately one week after application.


Available from today, LifePaint will be trialed in six London and Kent-based cycle shops, including Peloton in Spitalfields, where cyclists can get one of 2000 cans being given away. This is the first phase. If LifePaint proves popular, the project will expand nationally and internationally.


The LifePaint concept was developed by creative agency Grey London, in collaboration with Swedish startup Albedo100 and is one of a series of projects to highlight the key product innovations of the all-new Volvo XC90.


“Our job isn’t just to advertise our clients,” said Nils Leonard, chairman and CCO of Grey London, “it’s to help them make a positive impact on culture. With the creation of LifePaint, we’ve turned Volvo safety inside out, giving it away to the most vulnerable road users. What more positive action can a brand take than to try to save lives?”
The initiative marks another step by Volvo to promote safety for those both inside and outside its cars. It builds on the development of Intellisafe, a state-of-the-art Volvo safety system which integrates some of the most cutting-edge safety technologies to Volvo cars.


The technology uses a combination of radar sensors and cameras to identify other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists and automatically brake if the driver fails to take the necessary action. This works in conjunction with Volvo’s Active Bending Headlights, which adjust left to right according to the steering input to help see round corners better.
Intellisafe’s unique pedestrian and cyclist detection system, enhanced to work in darkness on the all-new Volvo XC90 to be introduced to the UK in June this year, was the inspiration for the LifePaint project. Together, these innovations contribute towards Volvo’s Vision 2020 — the concept that that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020.LifePaint is the physical embodiment of Intellisafe.


To promote the product and showcase its properties, Grey London has created an online film featuring interviews with a wide range of cyclists, from commuters, to couriers to accident survivors. Introducing LifePaint with a dramatic demonstration of the product in action, the agency spent three nights shooting in London, testing the spray and working out how to rig lights to mirror the effects of headlights.


The agency also built a site to house the project and direct people to retail outlets, stream Instagram images from the first customers via #volvolifepaint, and link to the advanced safety technology on


Grey London has also been testing new print technology, using LifePaint to create ‘invisible’ black posters that only reveal themselves in the flash of a smartphone.

Volvo LifePaint /


MindRDR TV /

MindRDR TV, developed by This Place, is the first platform to enable control of video content on Smart TVs using the power of thought alone.


It works by measuring brain activity using a small EEG headset worn by the user. This is then used to control a specially designed user interface, allowing the viewer to select and play video content from Youtube and BBC iPlayer streamed to a smart TV.


“MindRDR TV allows those with disabilities, such as Quadriplegia or Locked-in Syndrome, to lead more independent lives in an increasingly digital world. It is an exciting area for innovation and makes meaningful positive change in people’s’ lives” - Dusan Hamlin, CEO, This Place


This Place is a digital studio in Shoreditch. Our focus is creating market leading digital experiences on web, mobile, tablet and wearable devices. In addition to client work, the team also dedicates time to commercially viable digital innovation projects.


The company specialises in user experience design, which is the practice of making digital services easier and more enjoyable to use. This Place also creates ‘optimal profitability’ interfaces for high transaction destinations across web, mobile and tablet, and is the preferred partner to major global brands such as The Delhaize Group.

MindRDR TV /

Clear Channel

Clear Channel /

Artificially Intelligent Poster


Over time, machines have taken over many tasks. Could this be extended to advertising? Could an advert be created that writes itself? So using technology alone, could the world’s most engaging advert be created? This exhibit is the resulting test.


A fake brand called Bahio was created for this test to remove any bias or pre-awareness. An iD6 (interactive digital 6 sheet) with bespoke camera system was installed on Oxford Street with bespoke software designed to generate new posters, learn which posters performed  best and then evolve them using a genetic algorithm.


The genetic algorithm continually creates new versions of the poster displayed on screen, using 200 images stored locally & a natural language generator to create the copy (text), fonts & layout.


The elements of the ad (words, font, image & layout) are genes. Successful genes that attract attention, survive, whilst unsuccessful genes die off – similar to how survival of the fittest works in nature. Also, as per nature, random genes are introduced and mutate together with the successful genes to create even more variety in the poster.

Over time the ads shown will be made from more and more of the successful genes and therefore should be more successful/attention grabbing ads.


The faces viewing the ad are tracked by a Microsoft Kinect camera, specially developed by to work outdoors. This tracks whether faces look at or away from the screen, as well as their facial expression e.g. happy/sad.

Clear Channel /

Tate Sensorium

Tate Sensorium /

Can taste, touch, smell and sound change the way we see art? This summer, Tate Sensorium invited visitors to find out, bringing multisensory installations to four artworks in the Tate collection.


At Most Contagious meet the Sensorium creators, Flying Object, and sample one such installation, while learning how our senses work together – often in unusual ways – to create perceptions in the brain.

Tate Sensorium /

TS image


Framestore /

Framestore’s VR Studio will exhibit their most recent Virtual Reality experiences on a range of devices, from the powerful Oculus Rift to the hands free Samsung Gear VR device.

Huit Denim

Huit Denim /


NeuroSky /

Orange Labs

Orange Labs /

Rasperry Pi

Rasperry Pi /

The Twitter Dress

The Twitter Dress /

Visualise & Oculus Rift

Visualise & Oculus Rift /


The Small But Perfectly Formed Award 


Each year, Contagious shortlists six to eight Small But Perfectly Formed companies, as featured in the pages of Contagious Magazine, for the Most Contagious Startup award. The companies are selected for their achievements in investment, growth and disruption to their sector (forget sectors: some even created totally new categories).


A representative from each startup takes to the Most Contagious stage to pitch their company to the audience of 400+ delegates from the world’s top brands and agencies. This year’s shortlist will be announced at a later date.


Period pants startup THINX won the Most Contagious 2015 Small But Perfectly Formed Startup Award.


The brand’s clever reimagining of feminine hygiene products and purposeful stance on womens’ education impressed the judges. THINX were chosen for not only creating a product which brought innovation to a category which had seen no new developments for decades, but which also had the potential to positively impact millions of women.




Founder and CEO, Miki Agrawal, collected the award at the event in 2015. She said afterwards: ‘We have a lot of work ahead of us. There is a real gender-equality problem on our hands. Tackling that through creating a category disrupting product is a great start.’



 Early bird tickets available until 1 August


Contagious Magazine and Contagious I/O subscribers are entitled to a 10% discount. Email to book.




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