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Editorial Toolkit

2022 is here and, you know what, we reckon the industry is just about getting used to this ‘new normal’ malarkey. Change is constant - technology, business models, processes, err, lockdowns - and major, global threats like the climate crisis loom large. And with all of that going on, the creative industry has learned how to adapt on the go, while running at full tilt.

It’s not easy, but it is exhilarating. And what it means for LBB is that we need to step things up to make sure that we’re doing everything we can, editorially, to help the advertising and marketing business navigate it.

And so we want to make sure that you’re up to date with everything we’re doing and that you can get involved in.

In terms of other topics and projects we’re excited for this year, we are particularly keen to delve deep on creative case studies related to growth areas like DATA, COMMERCE, SUSTAINABILITY, EXPERIENCE and VIRTUAL PRODUCTION on an ongoing basis. The key criteria should be that there’s demonstrable creative thinking and problem solving at the heart of them.

We’ve been growing the brand presence on the site and in the past year have spoken to marketers and creatives from the likes of The New York Times, Carhartt, Unilever, Samsung, TikTok, Mailchimp, Virgin Media O2, Lowe’s and more. 

We’d also like to highlight some new features. Magic Numbers is an interview series with the industry’s leading data experts about what data-driven creativity really means. Dream Teams is all about the partnerships and enduring relationships behind some of the best work of today. The New New Business is all about the evolving and ever-present challenge of making deals and winning clients in a tough environment. We’ve also opened up more production-focused features, looking at sustainability, technology and ‘producing’ the next generation of producers.

As ever, we’ll be doing our utmost to cover the broad and diverse world of commercial creativity and advertising, from strategy, digital and creative to production, post, music and sound and technology. From all of us at LBB, we hope that 2022 is a year of growth, prosperity and innovation - but most of all, dazzling creative ideas.

All the best, 

The LBB Editorial Team

Addison Capper (Americas editor) addison@lbbonline.com

Alex Reeves (EMEA editor) alex@lbbonline.com

Ben Conway (Americas reporter)  ben@lbbonline.com

Laura Swinton (Editor in chief, brands & global) laura@lbbonline.com

Nisna Mahtani (MEA reporter)  nisna@lbbonline.com

Zoe Antonov (APAC reporter)  zoe@lbbonline.com 


REGULAR FEATURES

These are features that we run throughout the year. For the most part, there’s no hard and fast calendar, these are features that we 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.

Some of these features are written by editorial and need to be pitched, some are templates designed to free you up and don’t need to be pitched.


Editorial Features - to be pitched to the editorial team

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.

Film Club - production companies do more than just commercials and often their really creative short film projects get overlooked, so Film Club is a place to talk about new shorts.

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.


Self-Publishing Feature Templates - downloadable templates for members only. Click on bolded feature to download

These features are designed to free you up and help you give a platform to your talent and work. Simply use the feature templates and briefs and go wild!

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.

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.

Essential List - a fun listicle piece about the kit, culture and cuisine that keeps the industry’s creative folk going!

Influencers - this is our channel for opinion pieces and we send out a special influencers newsletter every two weeks. 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.

Location Spotlight - interviews and guides with production service specialists from around the world about inspirational locations and practical production issues.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Sonic Boom - Sonic Boom is a series on creative and technological innovations in sound design.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Data - Magic NumbersData-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.

Sustainable ProductionThis 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.

Production & TechnologyThis 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 ProducersThis 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.

Camera Obscura: Production ObsessionsThis 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 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. 

Art of Animation - 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.

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.


CALENDAR

A note on this calendar. This is not definitive and, of course, does not include more responsive features that react to developments in the industry and in wider society/culture. We have been working in a more nimble fashion in the past year and we’ve found that it has helped us be more relevant and useful - and the editorial team welcomes ideas and pitches!

The topic ideas will be firmed up one-two months ahead of time, so please get in touch if you have any angles or candidates to contribute. Also, please feel free to take inspiration for your own Influencer or op-ed pieces!

Please speak to regional editors about specific region/country-based features and themes.

January 

- New Year’s Trends pieces on the following topics: Production & Service Production; Virtual Production; Commerce; VFX & Post; Creativity’s Roaring 20s; Beverages; Travel; Gaming; Meta-Gaming; Talent; Will the Industry Build Back Better

- Agenda-setting interviews

- Country round-ups looking forward to 2022 spanning January and February (looking for 200 word submissions about the state of the industry, mood of the market and challenges/opportunities ahead for the following companies: Australia, UAE, India, Singapore, South Africa, Ireland, Germany, Spain, France, USA , Canada, Mexico, Brazil


February

General Themes:

- Chinese New Year (Feb 1st)  work round up and features 

- Super Bowl, Feb 13th

- Black History Month (US stories)

- Winter Olympics

Features:

- How Livestreaming is bringing together Content and Commerce teams

- Loyalty Programmes


March

General Themes:

- March 8th – International Women’s Day  

- Dubai Lynx Showcase

- SXSW op-eds 

- Oscars (March 27th)

Features:

- Touch Grass - (Strategy deep dive on the rhythms of nature and how brands can balance tech innovation with deep, unchangeable biologically rooted behaviours and instincts)

- Fresh Cuts - Up and Coming Editors Showcase


April

General Themes:

- 22nd – Earth Day: Sustainable production; Beyond Greenwashing; 

Features:

- Diversity and Inclusion in Post & VFX - specific challenges facing the sector

- Ramadan (starts April 2 ends May 1 )- Round up of Ramadan work. Ramadan trends 2021 feature.

- Audio & Sound Design Technology

- The Creator Economy

- Financial Services Sector Marketing

 

May 

Features:

- Social Strategy Showcase

- Why Virtual Production is Putting Post First

- Behaviour Change and Activation - latest thinking

- Strategy Piece: How to burst out of the adland bubble

- B2B Marketing


June

General Themes

- Cannes Lions - predictions, commentary of a year without Cannes, coverage 

Features:

- On the Road with the Location Scouts

- Refill, Re-Use, Recycle… Retail? (Sustainability, CX and Behaviour Change in retail)

- Animation feature


July

Features:

- Colouring In - The Next Generation of superstar colourists

- Is Advertising Still an Important Platform for Launching New Musical Artists?

- OOH Feature

- Strategy Feature

- Entertainment Marketing


August

Features:

- 25 years of Netflix

- Sound Design Feature

- Experience Feature

- Mobility/Automotive Features 


September

- Top Brand Transformations

- Composers Showcase

- The Role Procurement Can Play in Driving Sustainability and Diversity


October

General Themes

- Black History Month Europe

- Halloween

Features:

- Cutting In - Career advice for aspiring editors

- Music video feature

- Luxury sector


November

- Diwali

- China Singles Day and eCommerce

- 50 Years of Pong 

- Christmas ads opinions, making of, round ups etc

- Immortal Awards coverage


December

- 2021 ‘All Stars’ - regional ‘who’s who’ heroes of the year across production, agency and client

- Annual trend pieces

- World Cup