The Wrap – Brian Kennedy, Managing Director of Electric

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Each Friday in The Wrap, one of the North’s leading media and creative figures will be giving us their take on the news covered by Prolific North over the last seven days.

This week it’s the turn of Brian Kennedy, Managing Director of Electric

As managing director of a design and digital agency in Leeds, I was delighted by the latest tech growth reports.

Tech Nation and the Government’s Digital Economy Council published an update on Manchester and Leeds’ tech sectors on Tuesday.

Although Leeds and Manchester are known as digital giants, it’s nevertheless great to hear that both cities are not only attracting ecommerce retail businesses but unicorn companies too ($1 billion tech companies). It’s also fantastic news for creative teams - like my own – in Leeds and Manchester. This report helps to raise awareness of the brilliant talent working in both cities.

I personally credit part of the North’s digital and creative success to the friendly collaboration between agencies and clients. A key example of collaborative knowledge sharing comes in the form of the annual eCommerce Show North (eCSN) that will take place in November. Speakers from influential brands like Google and John Lewis will be once again analysing what the latest eCommerce trends mean for agencies and brands. The expo will also host the Fashion Network that’s set to attract fashion influencers, agencies and brands alike for panels and networking events.

Another reason behind the North’s creative success lies, in my opinion, with localised campaigns. I therefore found the story about radio station Key 103’s rebrand to Hits Radio Manchester rather interesting. This particular rebrand hasn’t had the impact on listener numbers it aimed for, but the story highlighted how the approach of BBC Radio Leeds and Minster FM to local content was successful.

Additionally, I enjoyed the Prolific North stories about creativity. The first story was on the new game, Storm Force, for Loughborough University. It offers children an engaging game play while simultaneously teaching them about climate change. The second story was the new BBC app for CBeebies that enables children to design their own toys. It’s great to see projects encouraging children to be creative. The next generation of creative talent is in the starting blocks so current teams of creative agencies should be wary of the new talent that is currently skilling up.

On a personal note, I’m very keen to see how Lancashire lads, Freddie Flintoff and Paddy McGuinness, get on as new Top Gear presenters. I’m from Lancashire myself and so I’m looking forward to hearing some Lancashire accents on primetime TV.