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Market Leader Interview - 5 minutes with...

Rebecca White

Business Lead for Marketing, Research and Insight at Heathrow

From directing multi-million programmes with Avis Budget Group to managing a local portfolio at Nestle Waters, Rebecca has been fortunate to lead some of the world’s finest brands, and best marketing teams. Achieving significant results, through balancing long term brand development needs with shorter term commercial pragmatism, has been central to her success. Rebecca’s main motivation is making real consumer connections through great innovation, impactful communication and powerful brand strategy.

Creativebrief: As Business Lead for Marketing, Research and Insight for Heathrow, what is your primary focus?

Rebecca White: To ensure we put the passenger at the heart of everything we do. Our communication needs to inform and inspire; our services must be relevant and enhancing; and we work with all our partners to deliver the best start, finish or connection to their onward journey.

Creativebrief: What are the main issues facing Heathrow today?

Rebecca White: From a passenger perspective, Heathrow needs to be a motivating and relevant part to their journey. We want to ensure that time with Heathrow, at every touch-point, is time well spent. This Summer, we aim to make sure passengers know how fun and what great value for money Heathrow is; through communicating our much loved ‘Kids Go Free’ offers, with fantastic flights, delicious food and smooth transport on Heathrow Express. Heathrow’s own ‘Mr Adventure’ is back, and will be joined by a new friend soon….

Creativebrief: Last year Heathrow launched its first ever TV campaign celebrating 70 years. Will we be seeing more of you on TV?

Rebecca White: Yes! We have learned a lot from last year’s successful campaigns, and the positive reaction worldwide to the arrival story of Edward and Doris Bair at Christmas has encouraged us to return to television in 2017. It was fantastic that we had such a warm reception from Heathrow passengers (and soon to be passengers) from our ‘Love Actually’ tribute.

Creativebrief: How do you stay in touch with industry trends and agency work?

Rebecca White: From everywhere. I read voraciously, am digitally obsessed and try to regularly attend conferences and events – particularly those talking about the new and emerging thinking. I really appreciate the ‘debate-led’ events with industry leaders; with a true story to tell, and a great lesson to learn. I genuinely love great advertising, and to really get under the skin of what it takes to make amazing creative work.

Creativebrief: Industry wide, what work has excited you most in the last year?

Rebecca White: I am a sucker for the Christmas ads. I think it’s a time of year when people are heading home to loved ones; the nights are drawing in; and we are all in the mood for something meaningful and heart-warming. Last year was a fantastic year of innovation – particularly with CGI and animation – and the level of story-telling and cinematic impact keeps improving. I think the industry is getting its swagger back, and playing with all the toys in the technical cupboard. Couple that with music which moves you; it can be over 90 seconds of brilliance.

Creativebrief: What work are you most proud of over the course of your career and why?

Rebecca White: Last year’s work for Heathrow, with Havas, hands down. I have had previous experience with scalable and innovative communication (Unlock the World for Avis with VCCP was a close second); and last year’s warm response to real passenger stories. Our own reflection of a first departure and a loving arrival -  has encouraged me that an airport can really be a hub for global emotional connections. Not only was the quality of the work outstanding, but the reaction we had – with a truly viral campaign (over 120 million views in 3 weeks) was astounding.

About the author

Ben Somerset-How, Client Director

Ben heads-up the brand focused business development team which sees him dedicate time to engaging both new and existing clients of Creativebrief. He is also the driving force behind our Market Leader Interview series and regularly guest-lectures at a variety of university marketing & management courses.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-somerset-how-2a3697a

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