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On My Radar: Morgan Whitlock

Morgan Whitlock, our EP at Sweetshop UK & Europe, is disappointed with Covid creativity, takes solace in a Friday Night Dinner, and points out three key advertising learnings. Read his On My Radar piece for Shots Magazine here.

What the most creative advertising idea you’ve seen recently?
To be entirely frank, I’ve been disappointed by the responses I’ve seen the restrictions Covid-19 has imposed and the situation we now find ourselves in. The Covid montage has quickly become a parody. It’s a shame as there was so much incredible, crowd-sourced content created, but it seemed to fall away as we continued to focus on existing expectations of what an ad should look like.

I’d been hoping to see older ideas like B-Reel‘s The Beauty Inside or Selfridge’s Denim Lovers inspire the industry to use this challenge as a launch pad for some really creative and engaging UGC solutions. That seems to be changing, and we’re starting to see some boards suggesting the next wave of UGC content might make the most of the possibilities at our fingertips.

It’s not strictly advertising, and while it was created pre-Covid, Jacqui Kenny’s The Agoraphobic Traveller was the most inspirational and beautiful project. As someone challenged by anxiety and agoraphobia, Jacqui’s had to deal with the challenges we’re all now experiencing under lockdown for a while, and this was an incredible creative response.

What website(s) do you use most regularly?
Netflix. Because Covid. And Ozark [below].

What’s the most recent piece of tech that you’ve bought?
A webcam… more on the why later.

What product could you not live without?
Anything connected to the internet. So, the internet? Sounds boringly obvious. Sorry.

What’s the best film you’ve seen over the last year?
World cinema seems to be in incredible health doesn’t it? Or maybe it’s just the explosion of platforms giving us so much more access and breaking down the kind of boundaries that have prevented foreign language films finding more success. It’s almost impossible to pick. So, I won’t. Instead, Knives Out was a great watch with my 10-year-old daughter, who loved it so much we’re now wading through the archives of classic Agatha Christie films. There’s something really enjoyable about watching actors running up and down the pyramids in the days before mass tourism removed so much of the romance and mystique from these places. And who doesn’t love a good whodunit?

What film do you think everyone should have seen?
We got a film club going at Sweetshop when we started working remotely, and last week’s suggestion from our Directors Assistant, Rayaan, was Roma, which I think a lot of us missed because it’s on Netflix, yet is in no way the disposable, easy-viewing style of film we often reach for when at home. It deserves to be seen by everyone.

What’s your preferred social media platform?
Instagram has been a constant source of positivity when that has been in such short supply.

This piece was first published in Shots on 28 April, 2020.