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Israel MAD 2014 Guest Speakers: A Whole New Breed of Leadership

We had some of the world’s most brilliant [creative, marketing, social, advertising] minds speaking in Israel today at the MAD 2014 Conference. So happy they made the journey despite everything that is going on right now.

Apart from the valuable insight we all took away what struck me the most was what incredible people they are. They represent a whole new breed of leadership that I came across for the first time today. Even though they are at the helms of huge empires, they are totally down to earth and really nice. They were all very friendly and open to anyone who approached them. It is no wonder that they are hugely successful. The people working with them must love them.

There was actually a lot of talk about love today. These guys are masters at making us love the brands they manage.

Gerry Human, Chief Creative Officer Ogilvy & Mather London, spoke about how when people love what you’re doing, they engage in a conversation with the brand. He said that the consumer hasn’t changed. What’s changed is human behavior as a result of technology. “Honest and real” are the things that work best in communication. We can profit the most by “tapping into the human truths”.

Steve Brabenec, Marketing Director, Disney Channels, Central & Eastern Europe and Emerging Markets, actually sang Let It Go for us at one point from Disney’s Frozen hit. He said some very insightful things about what really makes us happy in this digital age: “Joy comes from the ability to experience this together; as long as it allows me to connect and share the experience.”

Pete Blackshaw, Nestle Global Head of Digital & Social, talked about emotional gratification being sustained by connecting with people in brief ways. He said that a strong brand must have a consistent narrative and consistent brand essence. This is becoming more challenging as mobile becomes more dominant but it also “opens up a ton of upside”. (Thanks for taking my first selfie with me!)

My favorite part was the end of the discussion when Amir Goldstein asked all three a really tough question: What should Israel do today to improve its image? How would you brand Israel?

Steve came right out with a perfect answer: innovation and togetherness. If we needed any further proof to understand why he is managing some of the top brands in the world – that did it for me. Gerry said that the world is not really aware of all the incredible ideas coming out of Israel. I also really liked Pete’s answer. He said he wants to be able to answer that by the time he leaves in a few days.

Well here is my take on how Israel can improve its image. When I work with companies we spend a lot of time defining what is so unique about their solution and how to highlight it in a way that creates value. Israel has something very unique to share with the world and the time has come to share it. However, after hiding it and purposely misplacing it for a few thousand years because we were not ready for it, it’s hard to imagine that its time has finally come.

To make a long story short, Israel has a method for getting along here together in a more sustainable and pleasurable way, and it’s all based on togetherness. So you were all right guys, innovation and togetherness, the need to spread incredible insight from Israel to the rest of the world, and our natural human desire to search for answers, to seek clues about the next stage of our development.

That new consumer we were talking about all day today – that’s the new filling they are waiting for.

Josia Nakash is the founder of the Good Vibe Agency, a global strategic corporate consultancy specializing in brand enhancement, marketing communications, organizational effectiveness and sustainable environments with a clear purpose – to generate good vibes in every area of our lives; in the home, at work, and throughout society on a daily basis.