What we learned at this year’s Modern Affluence Summit.

March 29, 2019 saw the first ever Modern Affluence Summit – a marketing strategy event hosted by Bloomberg Media Group and delivered by Keko London, Adoreum Partners and Vice.

Modern Affluence /ˈmɒd(ə)n/ˈaflʊəns/
a new consumer, whom, unlike their
predecessors, bases their purchasing decisions
on a set of values; aspiring to consumption that
provides authenticity, purpose and passion.


A one-day event comprising a series of presentations from contributors including Dazed, Pulse Films, One Luxury Group and Eco Age, it culminated in a fascinating panel discussion on the way ahead for today’s brands. Combining the latest research with anecdotal insight from those who have witnessed first-hand the changes now sweeping the modern affluent world, it could

be seen as a clarion call. For some, however, it will be more of a wake-up call. That’s because  the motivations behind the money the world spends on premium and luxury brands have begun to change. Firstly, there is a move to a more entrepreneurial mindset. Of course, it is no surprise that many affluent consumers are entrepreneurs in some form. But the accelerating pace of technology will bring many new opportunities for business minded consumers. And as 5G networks are rolled out globally, opportunities for the next generation of wealth will quickly follow. As a result, the world’s population of high net-worth individuals is set to grow fast – and it’s going to get younger.

According to Joss Duggan, founder and chief executive of investment firm Arcturus Ventures, many consumers in their twenties are holding off on forming their own companies – a trend he linked to the growth in student debt. “People in their twenties are not taking on the risk of doing that kind of thing; they’re likely waiting a bit longer.”

On that basis, he surmised that in the years ahead, we may see an explosion of entrepreneurship, as today’s twenty-somethings put their college debt behind them and begin to invest in their future. You might not see it happening right now, but the next decade could bring a revolution. Social media will prove critical.

As Ron Timehin, a photographer and Sony Imaging Ambassador, explained, in social, it’s all about authenticity. For an audience that has grown up with celebrity endorsements, sponsored posts and paid influencers, true authenticity is valued so highly that they eye all brands’ communications with unprecedented suspicion. Timehin went on to outline a set of principles for successful social media use in this new, more demanding arena. Genuine authenticity can be daunting for some marketers, it’s true. But bravery will prove absolutely necessary in making the most of the opportunities ahead.

The big upheaval, however, was discussed in the final hours of the summit. Premium and luxury brands now need to align with ethical values their customers can empathise with. Because for this rapidly growing audience, authenticity is not just about being who you say you are. They expect the brands they interact with to have a moral compass – a set of values that as consumers, they can proudly represent themselves.

The most prominent takeaway from the day? The needs for brands to be brave in the face of these challenges. Because, while the market for luxury and premium products is changing at a phenomenal rate, huge opportunities lie ahead for those with the insight and agility to adapt. Plans are already underway for the Modern Affluence Summit 2020 and, whether you made it last month or not, we’d love to see you there.

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Forevermark Exceptional Campaign: One of One

Following a competitive pitch last year, Keko London was awarded the relaunch of Forevermark’s Exceptional Diamond Collection (EDC) – an exclusive selection of some of the most exquisite and rare diamonds in the world. Today, the agency is excited to share the creative work they have produced for the EDC ‘One of One’ campaign.

The aim was to create something that would make the EDC stand out in a crowded, homogenous category.

Building a narrative around the diamond’s provenance, the campaign was shot in South Africa by photographer Kevin Mackintosh and stylist Daryl McGregor. A set of four arresting images were produced, bringing to life the unique character of the individual stones, personifying them as unworldly, mythical figures within striking landscapes that relate to their origin.

This campaign aims to highlight the uniqueness of every Forevermark Exceptional Diamond – inspiring the world’s HNWI to form an emotive connection with the jewel and bring it into their own unique story.

The work will run in the USA, Japan and India.

This creative follows the recent launch of Bentley Motors’ new brand campaign film which was produced in collaboration with Mill+.

An Extraordinary Grand Tour: The Story of Bentley

Keko London has collaborated with Mill+ to create Bentley Motors’ new brand campaign film, reminiscent of a film or series opening credit sequence.

The 90 second film: ‘An Extraordinary Grand Tour: The Story of Bentley’, celebrates Bentley Motors entering its 100th year of creating the world’s most iconic Grand Tourers, honouring decades of innovation, achievement and craftsmanship.

To bring the creative idea to life, the team used a combination of state-of-the-art 3D-scanning techniques to transform actors into metallic statues alongside fluid motion graphics and live action elements to tell the captivating Bentley story.

The short film can be viewed here:

Triumph Motorcycles awards a Global campaign to Keko London!

Following a competitive pitch back in December 2017, Keko London was chosen to launch a new global campaign for Triumph Motorcycles –  the Modern Classics range.

Over the last few months, we’ve been excitedly working on the ‘Spirit of 59’ creative campaign, now successfully launched globally across 700 Triumph Motorcycles retailers. The campaign will run across all channels including advertising, owned digital and social platforms, sponsored social, experiential and retail… make sure you check it out!

The idea, ‘Spirit of ’59’, celebrates the sense of individuality, adventure and freedom that was born in ‘59 – the same year that witnessed the birth of the Triumph Bonneville legend. It signaled the beginning of a youth-inspired cultural revolution and fueled seismic changes in music, art, fashion and film. It was all about living life to the full and an attitude of strident defiance.

Defiance inspired legions of riders from movie stars to teenage café racers. The motorcyle movement became a potent cultural symbol and the link with Triumph inevitable.

The spirit lives on today in every Triumph Modern Classic; each loaded with original character, iconic style and modern capability.

Creatively, we had to find someone or something that could bring the campaign to life, combining creativity with authenticity whilst remaining true to the values of this iconic British brand. We found that someone in D*Face.

Not only one of UK’s most prolific street artists, he’s also a long-standing Triumph fan and owner, fusing Street Art, Pop Art and Punk in a guerilla creative style, selling his art the world over.

Authentic. Tick. Creative. Tick. Unique. Tick.

Over the next few months he worked closely with the Triumph team at their factory HQ in Hinckley customising three unique bikes inspired by the Spirit of ’59, each one a model from Triumph’s Modern Classics range. You can have a look at his designs here and our behind-the-scenes ‘making of the bikes’ film here.

Our first account win under the creative stewardship of Paul Zeidler, Creative Director, the Triumph work is a great source of agency pride. To quote the man himself, “We worked hard to do justice to the incredible heritage of the iconic Triumph Modern Classics range. We’re hugely excited to bring to life a creative campaign that will continue the brand and product range’s success.”

In true Triumph spirit, these bikes were produced for an incredible ride. So, if you’re a biker and you fancy the chance to win one of the D*Face designed bikes, all you need to do is book a test ride with one of the Triumph Modern Classics before the 30th April 2018 (full terms and conditions are available on the Triumph website). What are you waiting for?!

Keko London’s Journey.

By Ben Whattam.

Managing Partner.


Time certainly flies when you’re having fun. This month, Keko London turns five (just writing it makes us feel old!) In the last half decade, we’ve grown up and grown bigger, adding brains to our headcount and brands to our client list faster than we ever expected. Among the jobs we’re most proud of, you’ll find a defining brand idea for a 99 year old brand, Bentley Motors creating their Be Extraordinary campaign. A campaign capturing the Spirit ’59 for Triumph Motorcyles. You’ll find comedy content for Top Gear, the launch of Yorkshire’s only single malt whisky and social stories for British sparkling wine.  We also have an inspiring campaign for Forevermark the De Beers Brand for the Exceptional Diamonds in development.

Today, we create campaigns for global brands and local start-ups in categories as diverse as fashion, automotive, jewellery and premium drinks. We’ve had three homes in Soho to accommodate our continuing expansion and in 2017 alone, we completed a dizzying 829 projects. Our work spans everything from PR to CRM, including social media, display advertising, paid-social, website content, experiential concepts and data propensity modelling for direct marketing. We also have a film production and motion graphics unit– and we execute our campaigns across five continents. Our in-house team includes native speakers of seven languages and collectively, and we travelled more than 200,000 miles on business in the last year.

We’re very proud of the culture we’ve created. A lot of agencies say they are fun places to work, but few really live up to that claim. Keko London does – and between us, we’ve got enough experience of life in our competitors’ offices to know. We’re a tight team founded on mutual respect and genuine care for each other. It makes a big difference.

In the last five years, we’ve also learned an awful lot about the affluent consumers in which we specialise: about their buying behaviour, their social habits and what, in essence, makes them tick. But most of all, we’ve learned that you can’t stand still in this business. Five years isn’t a long time really, yet we’ve had to adapt and evolve since day one. We’ve learned to thrive on constant change – so much so that we’re already looking forward to the next five years and all the opportunities they’ll bring.

One thing we’re sure of is the blending of traditional advertising craft with the contemporary disciplines of customer experience planning and social-science is the platform for the most exciting and hardest working creative campaigns in today’s world.

So thank you to everyone who has helped us stay nimble – clients, colleagues and friends of the agency alike. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Be Clear.

By Jenni Ashwood.


Authenticity is a word used a lot these days, whether it’s from the production of your food to the way a company acts to the rising use of social influencers and, of course, the proliferation of fake news.


It’s hard sometimes to be a customer. When supermarkets use names on their devised products that sound like they could be an ancient farm in rural England but which are created in offices in the suburbs of European cities, it’s difficult to know who or what to trust. Of this practice, the UK Soil Association says “People deserve better. We increasingly want to know where our food comes from, and we want honesty and authenticity1.”

It’s about far more than just food, or the UK though. And we’d argue that it’s actually about more than authenticity too. That word has become a catch-all for craft and ‘hand-made’ – multiple stores and experiences claim to be ‘authentic’ when they’re as fabricated as the supermarket pork brands (Jack Wills2, we’re looking at you). A lot of this came from the desire to ‘tell stories’ that permeated the advertising landscape in the mid-2000s. As our trends change, so do our expectations from the brands we use.


From our point of view, the natural evolution of authenticity is transparency. From production lines, to working conditions, to history, we’re finding that (as in the rest of life) if you tell the truth and are clear about things, people are more likely to believe you.


Is this going back to an older and more traditional approach to advertising messaging though? Feature + Benefit = Reason for customer to buy. Going from the emotion-first-approach of the last fifteen years back to a much more product led approach?

No – it’s more sophisticated than that. In fact, it’s about combining that sensible and explanatory product benefit, with something that tugs at the heart-strings too and, crucially, doesn’t feel like there’s any smoke and mirrors hiding things.


Who’s doing this well?


Well, the monarch of authentic and truthful marketing continues to be Patagonia who are totally open in how they produce their clothes, how and why they sell them, and what their company is about. But it could be argued that even they aren’t going far enough.

Everlane3 (a relatively new US brand that, until very recently, has had no bricks-and-mortar presence) focus explicitly on their transparent pricing structure and their belief in being open and obvious. This comes across in everything that they do, from their break-down of costs, to their product naming strategy, and their #transparencytuesday campaign where they will answer any question you send in on their Instagram stories. We were particularly big fans of their method to demonstrate the effectiveness of their waterproof and warm down jacket… floating them on a lake in Canada!4

And proof that it doesn’t work… well, the old American Apparel store across the road from our office on the end of Carnaby Street speaks volumes. A transparent approach to product that didn’t manifest itself in the company’s own actions.

As a movement, this is something we’re really excited about, from a communications point-of-view but also as consumers ourselves. Because not only does it give compelling reasons to align yourself to a company and their ethos but it actually works the other way too. As a company, you might not be super ethical or sourcing your products from the most responsible places. However, as long as you’re telling the truth and not trying to hide it, you’re giving your customers a reason to both respect and buy.



1The Telegraph, 2016

2 The Guardian, 2010

3 Everlane Website

4 Everlane Instagram


Acquisition, Acquisition, Acquisition.

By Mark Walker.


2018 will be a pivotal year for digital acquisition. The cleansing nature of GDPR is going to see the consumer database size diminish in quantity but not in quality. Brands will start to see much higher returns from their acquired consumers. Conversion and engagement will rise and the desire to feed the top of the funnel will seep into the boardroom. More and more brands will look to bring consumers back, topping their numbers back up to pre-GDPR numbers. Some will go with the good (offering a true personalised digital value exchange), the bad (hiding content and experience behind a wall), and the ugly (sign up for 30% discount).


Brands that harness acquisition in 2018 have an opportunity to lead the way. Great creative that meets the consumer where they are while collecting data in an open and transparent manner will flourish. This is a time to break boundaries, try things not tested and engage prospects with campaigns built around influence, segmentation and storytelling. Offering a premise that consumers can engage with and believe in is the next step for brand purpose. Offer this and those consumers that engage will go on to become the most valuable leads and customers for years to come.

CMO’s should look to 2018 to shift their consumers’ behavior, acquiring consumers’ data and delivering back an engaging promise that turns prospects into leads and leads into customers. Customer lifetime value will increase and the marketing cost of each customer will decrease.

However, this doesn’t just happen on its own. To achieve it, growth-hacking brands must forget the bad habits of the past and embrace a more strategic, data-led approach. By identifying the trends and insights acquired from their data, they will reveal opportunities to understand consumers better than ever before, learning what their customers and prospects are really looking for and how they can be nudged further towards it.


Acquisition and growth hacking will become central to many brands’ marketing plans in 2018. Those brands and agencies who can unite creative, branding, design, media, AI and data as a new mentality and skill will lay a foundation for years to come.

2017 Be Extraordinary Campaign Wins Gold!

The Internationalist’s Awards for Innovative Digital Solutions are an outgrowth of The Internationalist’s Awards for Innovation in Media and an acknowledgment of how today’s marketing strategy is affected by the media and technology revolution in a Post-Digital Age*.

Last night in New York, the ‘Be Extraordinary’ campaign for Bentley Motors won gold at the Internationalist’s Awards for Innovative Digital Solutions 2017.

A huge congratulations to everyone who took part in making this happen, including the Bentley Motors and PHD teams.

To read more, click the link below:


Keko London wins De Beers’ Forevermark Exceptional Diamond Collection brief.

Following a competitive pitch, Keko London has won the account for Forevermark’s Exceptional Diamond Collection – an exclusive selection of some of the most exquisite and rare diamonds in the world (over 5 carats).

Keko London will be responsible for creating and activating a new global marketing strategy. The agency has also been tasked to redefine the brand’s experiential strategy to engage with present and future UHNWIs.

This win follows the agency’s retention and expansion of the global Bentley Motors account earlier this year, underlining the agency’s expertise in reaching, influencing and selling to high-net-worth consumers. It demonstrates Keko London’s continued commitment to expanding their client base and applying their expertise to new sectors.

 Costantino Papadimitriou, Senior VP of Brand Strategy and Innovation at Forevermark said: “We ran a comprehensive tender process to find an agency that could demonstrate global expertise, and Keko London proved they could deliver this together with an innovative model for client collaboration”.

Ben Whattam, Managing Partner at Keko London said: “We’ve proven again that hard work and focus pays off for independent agencies. Our expertise in finding, influencing and selling to high-net-worth individuals allows us to help Forevermark with a global challenge across a diverse set of global markets”.

The Changing Face of Retail.

By Jenni Ashwood.

Being based between Soho and Mayfair definitely has its advantages – every day, as we head out to buy our lunch, we’re surrounded by some of the world’s most impressive brands, from the luxurious to the bargainous. They are the brands that refuse to keep doing what they’ve always done and from walking past their windows each day, we can learn a huge amount about what they’re offering and how they are evolving to suit a changing and increasingly digital customer base.


Here are three of our observations on the changing face of retail:


An engaging retail environment is a piece of cake

Perhaps it was Rapha that started it; some may say Burberry made it ‘a thing’; arguably department stores have been doing it for years. Visit the stores lining streets Regents, Carnaby and Oxford and one thing stands out: from Arket to Jack Wills to Sweaty Betty, coffee machines and cakes (and after-hours cocktails) compete with clothes hangers. And why shouldn’t they? In a world where experiences are proving more of a draw than things, it makes commercial sense to offer ‘more’ than a simple sale. It increases footfall and brand loyalty too… as long as the coffee’s up to scratch


Don’t just sell it, live it

If you’re looking for premium clotheswear in 2017, you’re spoilt for choice. Name us a sport and we’ll name you three outstanding marques designed to excel at that discipline. How can the dedicated yogi choose between Sweaty Betty or LuluLemon? ‘Just’ creating extraordinary products is no longer enough. It’s about the community that surrounds them and the loyalty that engenders. In fact, specialist stores that only offer sales now feel, almost, (dare we say it) lazy.

It’s a spectrum admittedly. At one end, Rapha’s Cycle Club boasts over 20 ‘chapters’ worldwide and organises rides, races, pop-ups and in-store talks; Sweaty Betty’s new flagship hosts a café, a blow-dry bar, and classes; it would be possible to spend a day in Topshop and barely even look at the clothes. Nike and Asics running clubs are now stalwarts of many cities’ running scenes.

But there’s a balancing act at play – when does so much become too much? Can the experience overshadow the product?


Collaborate unusually 

Brand collaborations are nothing new but whereas partnerships used to rely on similarity (e.g. Kate Moss and Topshop, Barbour and Liberty), now it seems that the opposite is taking place. The really stand out collaborations are those that seem unexpected to start with… Middle-England stalwarts L K Bennett, famous for Kate Middleton’s nude court shoes, partnering with sexy, body-con Preen, and J W Anderson, known for outsize shapes, use of colour and prints, partnering with the infinitely practical Uniqlo (that tartan puffer jacket is everywhere)

The leader of all of these partnerships, unarguably, is H&M, who proves that just because a collaboration is unexpected it doesn’t mean it’s not wanted, and who isn’t afraid to target very different audiences with each collaboration. From Karl Largerfield, to Comme des Garconnes, to Maison Martin Margiela (and many more) the company has shown that it truly understands the wide and varied demographic of its customers and that it recognises this not only in the products themselves but also in the very different types of communications and influencers who that surround each campaign too: Kendal Jenner for Balmain, contrasted with Baz Luhrmann for Erdem..