Brent Smart, Mim Haysom, Liz Taylor, Damon Stapleton: This Way Up reveals line up

This Way Up - hero

Mandie van der Merwe: “Our focus is on having the right people in the room, those who enrich and expand the conversation in every direction, but mainly up.”

This Way Up, the advertising festival of creativity, is returning to Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art from 13 to 15 August.

AWARD has rallied together innovators, critical thinkers, and emerging talent to present across three days.

The theme of “Creativity’s breeding ground for worthwhile opinions” aims to challenge attendees to play a more active role in debating the pressing industry issues of the day, spotlighting creativity as a key driver of business and career growth.

Mandie van der Merwe, AWARD chair and chief creative officer at Saatchi & Saatchi, reflected on the previous year’s success and noted that it inspired greater aspirations for the 2024 festival.

“This Way Up is renowned for attracting top-tier creative leaders, both local and international, and marketers and clients who are committed to sharing their perspectives and driving creative thinking forward. Our focus is on having the right people in the room, those who enrich and expand the conversation in every direction, but mainly up.

“The carefully curated program is designed to propel the discussion, offering attendees a chance to engage with a raft of ideas and leave inspired by the limitless possibilities of creativity,” she said.

See also: This Way Up advertising festival announces its lineup of local and global speakers
Highlights of the upcoming festival include:
Speaker sessions
Internationally celebrated creatives, Liz Taylor and Damon Stapleton, are among the first keynotes for This Way Up in 2024. Taylor, Ogilvy’s global chief creative officer and 45th AWARD Awards jury president, made history as the first woman to be named top CCO in The Drum’s 2023 worldwide rankings. Stapleton, CCO and founder of The Monkeys Aotearoa, and MD, Accenture Song, is one of the most acclaimed creatives in the region.
The festival will include panels from CCO and CMO teams who have thrived thanks to long-term creative partnerships and the careers of respected industry luminaries. Speakers include Mim Haysom, EGM brand and customer experience, Suncorp, Andy Fergusson, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett, Brent Smart, chief marketing officer, Telstra, and Micah Walker, founder and chief creative officer, Bear Meets Eagle on Fire, plus Dave Bowman, chief creative officer, Publicis Groupe ANZ, Tara McKenty, head of innovation and co-ECD, BMF, and Steve Coll, chief creative officer, M&C Saatchi.
AWARD Hall of Fame black-tie dinner
The festivals activities also include a gala dinner on Tuesday 13 August, hosted by AWARD. The evening celebrates this year’s Hall of Fame inductees – pioneers with a celebrated body of work who have defined a generation of advertising.
Inductees are usually nominated by the AWARD membership; however, for the first time in AWARD’s history, Hall of Fame nominations have been accepted from the broader industry, with close to 100 trailblazers nominated so far.
AWARD Uni returns after its sellout inaugural year in 2023 with a refreshed course syllabus curated and facilitated by Jonathan Kneebone (co-founder, The Glue Society), van der Merwe (CCO, Saatchi & Saatchi)Julian Schreiber (partner and CCO, Special Australia) and Sarah McGregor (ECD, Denstu Creative).
Designed for mid-weight creatives, two modules of a six-workshop program will take place at This Way Up, equipping delegates with practical hands-on experience, critical thinking and the confidence to maximise their day-to-day and long-term career potential.
The Gold Pencil Award Party
AWARD will wrap the festival with a party on the evening of 15 August for the 45th AWARD Awards’ Gold and Special winners and AWARD School 2024 National Top Student, held at the MCA’s Foundation Hall.
This Way Up is supported by Meta, Google, LinkedIn, OMA and the CRA.

To Top