A coffee with Jules Staveley

Welcome back to our agency profile series. Over a fresh coffee, we’re sitting down with our best and brightest to understand more about what drives the creativity in our teams, and what their daily grind looks like.

Cannes Lions is our heritage. We have made a name for ourselves pulling off the impossible along the famous curved Croisette (and beyond) for over twelve years. In lieu of a live festival this June, we spoke to our Brand Experience Director Jules Staveley for a flashback on some of our biggest Cannes projects, his passion for storytelling through events and why multi-format experiences are the future. 

Tell us about your perfect morning brew
My one vice is decent coffee, so I have a Nespresso machine that churns out many strong black coffees across the day. 

What is your most memorable brand experience or campaign?
I’ve been really lucky to work in this industry for 20 years now, and I’ve been part of some amazing brand experiences along the way. Our work in Cannes always holds a special place in my heart. I’m really missing being onsite for the festival this year. In the past, we have delivered some incredible stands on the French shores, including an award-winning sustainable build for BBC Studios and a luxury communications playground for The Wall Street Journal

A brand experience I will never forget was working on a South Pole expedition for a global insurance firm. The client wanted to increase brand awareness within key business sectors, and decided to tell its story of resilience through a compelling, human lens— they went to the bottom of the Earth and took a camera crew with them.

A bespoke studio in the lobby of the client building in London streamed daily to the South Pole expedition team via iridium satellite systems built from scratch. Part of the campaign involved six press and client events in London, New York, and Iceland as well as transmitting live interviews from the South Pole on a custom-built 6-wheel Toyota Hilux.

The campaign was bold, creative, and truly unforgettable storytelling. 

Tell us more about your role.
As Brand Experience Director, my role is really to drive synergy and a meaningful experience across audience journeys online and IRL. I like finding new ways to tell a brand’s story within a bespoke event or through a compelling activation, and bringing audiences on that journey.

Pre-pandemic, I would be onsite for Cannes Lions, Dmexco, MWC or CES working alongside our clients on their trade show event programs and custom stand builds. We are starting to see that come back, especially in the US, but with an integrated online element. It’s great to see how the exhibition market has embraced digital and it makes my role even more interesting. 

What are you currently working on? 
With summer peeking around the corner, some of our FMCG clients are rolling out their consumer activations and branded bar assets. It’s been exciting exploring new ways to engage the public in branded live environments.

Separately, I’ve just completed work on a fully immersive, 3D virtual art gallery and exhibition experience for one of our luxury clients. We’ve designed the UI to take remote audiences deeper into the experience, and showcase each art piece in 360 viewability and AR— it’s really pushing the boundaries of a digital experience.

My continued focus is to support our global partners and clients on where we see the future of brand experiences. We’re seeing major shifts in the way brands are communicating their event programs and I’m eager to be involved in a new era where multi-format communications journeys play a role in large-scale events and exhibitions. 

Who would be your ideal mentor & why? 
My ideal mentor would be Steve Jobs. He may not be the greatest technologist or engineer of his generation, but he is perhaps the greatest advocate for technology and how it shaped consumer habits. 

His approach to technology and putting the end user’s experience at the heart of every product made him a true trailblazer.  

Do you have a work mantra? What is it?
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Benjamin Franklin

We are planning multi-format event contingencies for all our client projects to ensure we can support their communications campaigns with flexible and creative solutions, whatever new challenges they face.