Ep 31: Urban Brand-Utility: Impact Branding for the Urbanising Century – Sérgio Brodsky

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Sérgio Brodsky


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About this conversation
Aggressive urbanisation and middle-class growth have compromised the delivery of appropriate public utility services for urban residents’ wellbeing worldwide.

Enters Urban Brand-Utility (UBU), the emerging thinking and practice reframing brand communications as a catalyst for sustainable development via people-public-private-partnerships and radically innovative use of media.

UBU applications happen when brand communications touchpoints elevate their role from being mere messengers to delivering public utility services that supplement cities’ infrastructure, alleviating urbanisation’s growing pains.

By enhancing instead of interrupting people’s moments this approach is a response to the decay of the advertising model, offering the conditions for ingenious advertising to step up from eye-catching stunts onto an infrastructure of creative, urban resiliency. To enable a virtuous circle, cities would then arrange for tax breaks, rebates, R&D contributions or other types of incentives. This way, marketing budgets are effectively turned into marketing investment funds where returns are reaped by brand, monetary and societal metrics.


More About The Speaker
Sergio Brodsky (LL.M, MBA), internationally experienced marketing strategist, regular columnist at Marketing Magazine, scholar of the prestigious The Marketing Academy and Chairman of its Alumni program. Sérgio is a sought-after speaker regularly featured on local and international circuits. Sérgio began his career as an IP lawyer before pivoting towards brand strategy, media and innovation, internationally. He is passionate about cities, culture and the role of brands and technology in society. Follow him on Twitter: @brandKzar


Conversation Notes

  • When it comes to a brand it’s not about what ‘matters’, it’s about what doesn’t matter. It’s the intangibles, it’s the meaning.
  • Fundamentally, return on investment will always be a key consideration. Going forward, this will mean creating value beyond the billboard.
  • The DNA for any advertising campaign is a big idea, which often comes from a big ego. This idea is only expressed once we’re interrupted.
  • Advertising does not change behaviour, it only prompts our behaviour. The context upon which the advertisement takes place changes behaviour.
  • Brands that are good for people are also great for business.


“If you only build your brand, you will die. If you just sell your product, you’ll become irrelevant. It’s an orchestration of both, you need to sell your stuff and your story.” – Sérgio Brodsky


Sérgio’s Linkedin: Sérgio Brodsky

Sérgio’s Twitter: @brandKzar


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