Event Summaries

Curiosity Week: Insights from Brief to Debrief

By | Event Summaries, Featured

Understanding our audience and prioritising people lies at the heart of what we do within the the7stars Insight team. After hosting our inaugural Curiosity Week last year, which aimed to spark curiosity within our agency, we returned with a new iteration focusing on how to find and utilise insight from ‘brief’ to ‘debrief’.

Our first Curiosity Week led to a culture change within the7stars, with teams around the agency understanding the value of asking the question “Why?” and questioning what they know about their audiences. Being curious and inquisitive is an innate trait in Team Insight, and it was only a matter of time before we started thinking about hosting another week which could enhance the agency’s understanding in a tangible way. Following mathematician and statistician Paul Halmos’ advice: ‘the best way to learn is to do’, we decided to democratise the process of looking for and discovering insights within the agency.

The theme of the week was getting to grips with the practical elements of audience understanding, using the tools within our arsenal to find, analyse and communicate insights more effectively to the end stakeholder. Ultimately, we wanted to improve the planning teams’ understanding on how to approach their day-to-day work using the lenses of curiosity and creativity in every step of the process to produce ‘killer insights’.

We organised multiple activities each day for a week, tailored to individuals with diverse levels of experience in the media industry, to ensure that the implications were tangible to all. After kicking off the week, we hosted a ‘Tools Roadshow’, aimed at increasing familiarity with three key bespoke tools/approaches used at the briefing stage for those in planning teams (The QT, Joydex and Consumer Profiler). We enhanced agency-wide insight identification, enabling them to think smarter and act faster. Furthermore, through a lively ‘Kettle Challenge,’ we showcased the rapid gathering of insights, emphasising it can be done as fast as a kettle can boil!

Curiosity Week 2024: Tools Roadshow

On Tuesday, we held bespoke ‘Insight 101’ sessions to help people of differing levels draw out insights using our top techniques. For newcomers to the industry, we focused on effectively utilising desk research. Those with one to three years of experience were guided through understanding and cultivating audiences. Lastly, for those with 3+ years of experience, we explored extracting pertinent insights and connecting them with actionable implications for our clients.

On Wednesday, our most recent cohort of grads competed against each other in a ‘Consumer Safari’ challenge where they lived and breathed the consumer journey process for some of our clients including Twinings, Wagamama and Iceland. The competing teams were tasked with presenting their findings along with actionable media implications in our weekly company meeting. They emphasised the diversity among consumer journeys and the importance of understanding them to connect more deeply with each unique audience. The winning team suggested capitalising on a sense of ‘luxury associations’ for their client, suggesting insight-led partnership opportunities and planning implications.

On Thursday, we held a drop-in breakfast session for those with burning questions for the team and we arranged a ‘storytelling symposium’, in collaboration with Team Strategy. This focused on the ‘debrief’ aspect of the week and emphasised the power of storytelling and connecting emotionally with the audience in delivering ‘killer insight’.

Curiosity Week 2024: Storytelling Symposium

Finally, a detailed wrap-up on Friday brought the learnings of the week to a close.

Curiosity Week stemmed from the idea that to defeat the bad and the boring, we need to revitalise the agency’s understanding of the power of insight and create autonomy for planners to find and utilise insight. By creating a sense of curiosity around the work we create, and by looking at the world from this lens, we can better empathise with audiences, and ultimately deliver better quality outputs.

Giving people tangible ways and shortcuts to achieve ‘killer insights’ from ‘brief’ to ‘debrief’ embodies the ‘think smarter and act faster’ ultimately producing richer outputs that are more interesting and unique. By drawing insights from diverse sources and perspectives within the agency we can craft engaging narratives that appeal to both intellect and emotion. Thus, increasing the likelihood of surpassing stakeholder expectations and evoking a resonant “ah!” reaction.

Looking ahead, we plan to further empower the agency by emphasising and democratising insights across the agency as well as providing accessible tools and ongoing applicable training sessions. Ultimately providing greater value to our clients through more insight-driven outputs delivered across the agency.

This, we believe, is the recipe for any truly killer insight!

Inclusivity Week: Driving Inclusion in Media

By | Event Summaries, Featured

In late February, we celebrated our annual Inclusivity Week, honouring our diverse workforce and educating ourselves on how we can be more inclusive in our work and daily lives. As an agency, we deeply value creating a welcoming and inclusive culture for people from all walks of life, and this initiative – spearheaded by our Inclusivity Team – enables us to continue discovering new ways that we can improve in doing so.

For this year’s celebration, we ran three events throughout the last week of February, beginning with an insightful panel discussion – hosted and led by the7stars’ employees – exploring how we can be more inclusive in our various campaigns. This ranged from a discussion on how we can continue utilising inclusive planning (led by Emma Ramji, Hannah Partington, and Eve McGladdery) to how we can better use audience insight to ensure we reach a diverse audience (led by Rob McLaren and Melike Dogan). Following this, Tommy Gleadell explored how we can activate more inclusivity and consider more niche partners, highlighting the importance of supporting these businesses. The panel was a resounding success and sparked important conversations throughout the agency about how we can actively improve going forward.

Inclusive Planning Panel as part of our Inclusivity Week initiative.

The following day, we were fortunate to have the esteemed John Ayres OBE leading a session on how we can assess our progress as an agency when it comes to inclusivity in policy, practice, and culture. In this thought-provoking workshop, John provided actionable insights relating to what ‘good’ should look like and how to achieve it, giving us much to think about and more insight into areas for improvement.

John Ayres OBE delivering a talk on a framework for inclusivion as part of our Inclusivity Week initiative.

Finally, this year’s Inclusivity Week came to an end with our International Food Festival (hosted by Biren Datta and Megan Bennet), which was sponsored by Captify, celebrating the wealth of cultures that exist at the7stars. We set up a station in our Reception/Bar area filled with delicious foods from a wide range of countries, accompanied by information cards that enabled our team to learn more about each food, country, and culture. The event was a hit! People from across the agency came to try the various snacks and were equally eager to learn more about the different cultures.

International Food Festival as part of our Inclusivity Week initiative.

While these three events captured our team’s attention, we also recognised the importance of sending out agency-wide educational communications every day throughout the week, teaching our team more about communities and topics such as the LGBTQIA+ community, social mobility, mental health, race and ethnicity inclusivity, and accessibility for people with impairments.

Overall, our Inclusivity Week initiative is particularly important for the agency as it raises awareness about diversity and equality, while also encouraging much-needed dialogue among our team. Not only this, but it also addresses unconscious bias, discrimination, and microaggressions through our impactful events and communications, providing a platform where people can work together to promote positive change and create a more inclusive workplace for all the7stars’ employees.

Moving forward, we look forward to continuing to create opportunities such as this to educate ourselves and celebrate diversity. Every year, we hope to grow and learn from previous events, taking feedback from colleagues on what worked well and what we can do more of.

Field of greenery and trees from a top-down angle.

Championing Sustainability: Inside our Green Week Initiative

By | Event Summaries, Featured

February marked the debut of Green Week at the7stars, an initiative spearheaded by our internal sustainability team, the EcoStars. The initiative sought to celebrate all of the ways that we can be environmentally friendly and champion sustainability in our media planning, office culture, and day-to-day lives. We also wanted to celebrate all the amazing steps that our industry is making towards change. 

The week kicked off with a flexitarian lunch, courtesy of the social enterprise Humdingers. We also unveiled the first edition of the EcoStars newsletter, showcasing commendable environmental initiatives by our clients. Highlights included Wagamama’s new eco-friendly uniforms crafted with PANGAIA, Higgidy’s partnership with The Garden Army, a mental health charity that champions therapeutic farming, and Avanti West Coast’s carbon emission reduction goals, aiming to slash emissions by 61% with their new Hitachi train stock. Our consumer tracking team, Lightbox, also produced a special sustainability edition of their bi-weekly Lowdown, revealing intriguing insights into consumers’ eco-consciousness, with 2 in 3 adults willing to pay extra for climate-friendly products and 57% saying that they stop shopping with brands after seeing negative climate stories about them. 

Throughout the week, we hosted enlightening talks from three industry leaders in sustainability: Ad Net Zero, Scope3, and Mobsta. Ad Net Zero outlined a five-point action plan for a more sustainable advertising industry. Meanwhile, Mobsta and Scope3 shared their innovative approaches to sustainability and reducing carbon emissions, with a special guest appearance stealing hearts – Kenny, the golden retriever puppy! All three talks were incredibly informative, giving us new ideas on how to keep championing sustainability in our media plans. 


Finally, our Green Week celebrations ended with the7stars’ Swap Shop, a collaborative effort with the DoGooders, our charity leadership team. Transforming The Mews meeting room into a fashion oasis, colleagues brought in over 90 items of clothing and books to swap, breathing new life into pre-loved items and diverting them from landfills. 

The resounding success of our inaugural Green Week left our team energised and inspired. It reinforced our commitment to crafting media plans that are not just effective but also environmentally responsible (all whilst making our office look even more fashionable!) As proud supporters of Ad Net Zero, tackling the climate crisis remains at the forefront of our agenda. With the valuable insights gained, we can’t wait to translate our learnings into action and continue championing sustainable practices. 

Curiosity Week: A Journey of Insights and Inspiration

By | Event Summaries, Featured

We recently launched and hosted “Curiosity Week” – a series of events and initiatives that brought the entire agency together. The aim was to emphasize the significance of curiosity and shed light on the fundamental role that insight plays within media planning and activation. We challenged the whole agency to “be more curious” through activities and thought-provoking discussions.

Inspiration Behind Curiosity Week

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

We couldn’t say it better than Albert Einstein himself!

Being curious fuels our ability to understand people better. It is through curiosity that we find the insights that drive creativity and innovation in media. Einstein’s words inspired the creation of a dedicated week aimed at exploring the importance of insight and the ways in which we uncover it.

Highlights from Curiosity Week

Curiosity Week was a jam-packed week of engaging events for the whole agency. From hosting the Nation’s Favourite Breakfast to conducting Consumer Safaris, everyone got involved. We spoke with a range of consumers from Gen Z to Boomers about their thoughts on brand trust, social identity, and equality. Curiosity Week also coincided with the publication of the latest report from our proprietary “State of the Nation” tracker (The QT, May 2023). We quizzed the wider agency to educate and inspire on the latest trends impacting the British population.

We hosted a Panel Discussion, inviting our CoppaFeel! client and research experts Peek Content to join us to explore the challenges of finding true insights in a rapidly evolving media landscape. Additionally, an Inspiration Session with Word on the Curb encouraged us to embrace curiosity when understanding the needs and experiences of people from minority communities.

A crowd of people at the7stars office listening to a panel discussion with CoppaFeel! and Peek content.

We hosted a Panel Discussion, inviting our CoppaFeel! client and research experts Peek Content to join us to explore the challenges of finding true insights in a rapidly evolving media landscape.

The Importance of Curiosity Week

Our people-first approach at the7stars means putting people at the heart of everything we do. With the pace of change and development of technology combined with the scale of mobility and continued diversification of demographics, it has never been more important to prioritize those we are trying to communicate with. This necessitates being curious and open to new perspectives. Importantly, curiosity allows us to uncover and avoid biases – when curiosity is triggered, we are less likely to fall prey to confirmation bias and stereotyping.

What We Learned

Our headline takeaways are:

  1. Insights can come from anywhere: Valuable insights can emerge from unexpected places, reminding us to remain open to diverse perspectives.
  2. Observation is as important as questioning: Insights aren’t solely obtained through direct questioning but also through observing and experiential immersion.
  3. Uncover the “why” behind what: Taking insights from good to great involves delving deeper and understanding the underlying motivations and drivers.
  4. People are more than just consumers: People live multifaceted lives. We can establish more meaningful connections and create impactful campaigns when we consider them beyond their role as consumers.
  5. Embrace diversity and intersectionality: Recognizing the heterogeneity within consumer groups helps us understand and cater to the unique needs and experiences of different communities in society.
  6. Understand the drivers of behaviour: Comprehending the core needs of consumers enables us to develop stronger brand propositions that resonate with their desires.
  7. Make it actionable: With any insight, it’s crucial to ask the question “now what?” to help translate insights into actionable strategies and initiatives.

By nurturing curiosity and putting insight at the heart of what we do, Curiosity Week successfully inspired us all to continue generating exceptional ideas, building meaningful connections, and delivering impactful results for clients.

Black History Month at the7stars

By | Event Summaries, Featured

Following on from last year’s amazing celebration of Black History Month, we were excited to go even bigger and better with our celebrations this year.

Our Inspiration for this Year

Our celebrations were inspired by and centered around the words on the amazing mural in our reception area (created by Julian ArtJaz) with the theme of “Time for Change: Actions not Words”. With that spirit behind us, we decided it was time to hear from voices within the Black community about their experiences and the challenges they faced in both their personal and professional lives, whilst also celebrating Black culture and history throughout this culturally significant time. One of the big inspirations for this year was the belief we hold that Black history should not only be commemorated in the month of October but all year round; we believe that Black history does not stop being important when the month ends.

How We Celebrated at the7stars

We hosted several incredible talks, training sessions, and events in the agency (along with some tasty food!) to provide our team with insight and moments of learning that we could all enjoy and take something away from.

The was kicked off with an amazing talk from acclaimed Director and Creative Commissioner Nathan James Tettey, hosted by our own Isaac and Malique. Nathan shared his inspiring story and detailed how he made his way into the profession of directing music videos, working with some of the biggest stars in music, from Dave to Stormzy and many more. With quick wit and turn of phrase, Nathan revealed the highs and lows of his life and career, his upbringing, and more with poise and panache.

Nathan James Tettey speaking on a panel in the7stars offices.

We kicked off our Black History Month celebrations with an amazing talk from acclaimed Director and Creative Commissioner Nathan James Tettey, hosted by our own Isaac and Malique.

Following this, we hosted a pair of coaching sessions with the first session being exclusively for our Black colleagues and the second being open to all colleagues who wanted to attend and learn. This was done to provide a safe space for our Black colleagues to be empowered in being their best selves, as well as facilitating communal energy and adding value to the lives of those that attended by adding clarity around some of the things that they wanted to achieve.

Our next talk came from documentarian and former Premier League footballer Anton Ferdinand, who provided our team with invaluable insight into his experiences with racism both during and following his Football career.

To round up our Black History Month celebrations, we hosted a customary DJ battle between the heavyweight titans of the mix, with DJ Jess Mavz backing Sarps and DJ Dapstar backing Isaac. In the aftermath of the track-after-track battle, it was Team Sarps who took the crown.



Isaac and Sarps hosting our Black History Month celebrations in the7stars office.

To round up our Black History Month celebrations, we hosted a customary DJ battle between the heavyweight titans of the mix

The Importance of Black History Month

The commemoration of Black History Month highlighted the need to consistently battle systems of oppression that are centuries-old and built-up discrimination with events that are designed to break them down. We are dedicated to showing our team that these systems do not and should not continue onwards as they have done for centuries, whilst also providing spaces for people to learn and develop themselves in a positive and safe fashion. Finally, it is important to remember that this is not something that we should only confine to one month and put away. Black History Month is every month, as Black History and Black struggle do not end when the month ends.

Our plan is to continue onwards with uplifting our Black colleagues throughout the years, as it is time for change and our actions speak a lot louder than our words.

Marvyn Harrison giving a speech in the7stars offices to an audience of employees.

Exceed Expectations – Value Week

By | Event Summaries, Featured

Many of you will know that the7stars lives and breathes six values: Clients Come First, Exceed Expectations, Think Smart Act Fast, Be an Entrepreneur, People Above Process and Do The Right Thing. They are principles that guide us on how to treat ourselves, our colleagues, clients and partners every day.

Throughout the year, our Values Team organises ‘Values Weeks’ – a week that shines a light on each of our values. Having just returned from an incredible couple of days of training and team bonding on Osea Island (that truly did Exceed Expectations), we thought there was no better way to continue the momentum by celebrating that very value the following week.

We kicked off the week with a special company get-together, where we outlined our plans for the week and reminded everyone what Exceed Expectations really means. Throughout the following days, we were encouraged to call out any team members who had lived and breathed this value, for which they were awarded a delicious packet of Magic Stars. We all felt the love with over 20 people being recognised for their amazing work.

We were also lucky enough to have two guest talks that week. First up we welcomed the CEO of CALM, Simon Gunning, into our offices. In a talk hosted by our very own Liam Mullins, we learned how their helpline Exceeded Expectations every day and saved lives. We also discovered how their creative ideas Exceeded Expectations, most recently, their powerful ‘The Last Photo’ campaign, which was met with high acclaim. You certainly don’t need big budgets to Exceed Expectations. Instead, you need brilliant teamwork, diversity of thinking, freedom to push boundaries and passion for what you do.

The following day, we were incredibly excited to host the amazing broadcaster and author, Marvyn Harrison – the Founder of Dope Black Dads. He gave an inspiring and powerful talk on how, for him, Exceeding Expectations involves breaking down racist stereotypes about what being a black dad means and creating a community of black dads who can come together and share their experiences – both good and bad.

Marvyn Harrison giving a speech in the7stars offices to an audience of employees about exceeding expectations.

We were incredibly excited to host the amazing broadcaster and author, Marvyn Harrison – the Founder of Dope Black Dads – discussing Exceeding Expectations


Exceed Expectations week provided us with a great opportunity to celebrate team members and brilliant people who are striving for positive change. It has reminded us to constantly challenge each other, never be complacent and continue to be brave by pushing the boundaries on the products, services and partnerships we create.

Stay tuned for Think Smart Act Fast week in November!

Colourful graffiti mural in the7stars Reception area of various people with text saying "We rise by lifting others"

Pride Month at the7stars

By | Event Summaries, Featured

the7stars celebrated Pride 2022 this year in style, with events over the month of June designed to educate, communicate and celebrate with the whole agency. We wanted to shout it loud and proud for our LGBTQ+ members of staff and the allies among us, both within our own agency walls and in the wider media community.

What was our inspiration?

With it being the 50th anniversary of Pride in London and the first coming out properly after lockdown, we knew the city would be buzzing and we were determined to bring some of that energy home. Our Equality Leadership Team decided that our theme for this year should be Intersectionality, embracing the multifaceted nature of our own individuality. We were eager to celebrate our uniqueness, whilst also educating ourselves in order to become better allies to every corner of the Queer community.

What did we do?

This saw us running multiple events throughout the month and decorating our reception area with a beautiful mural, commissioned by an independent artist that brought Pride 2022 to centre stage.

We also wanted to facilitate people educating themselves, so we shared information on Pronouns and why sharing your own will help empower others, as well as updated our Untold Library (which hosts borrowable books written by authors from marginalised communities) with new books from new perspectives. Adding to this, we showed Ted Talks in our communal areas continuously so that people could scoop up some new understanding of human nature in all its colourful variance over their morning coffee and cereal.

Going even further, we hosted internal seminars with Pink News’ CEO coming to speak on planning for inclusion and with WE CREATE SPACE, we ran a talk about Intersectionality in partnership with the land of independents. We had Pride Payday drinks, with Jungle Creations serving delicious rainbow cocktails and a parade party feel, as well as online Drag Aerobics from Home to get ourselves moving and feeling fabulous.

People gathered around a table filled with colourful snacks and drinks

On top of this, we encouraged our colleagues to get out and about and experience Pride by doing a twist on our Discovery Dosh scheme, where people could be in with a chance of winning their ticket money back if they attended a Pride event. Normally Discovery Dosh has an educational or skill-learning focus but, for Pride, we decided anything goes! We asked only that people embraced the Queer community so, from a Pride bike ride to a Drag Disco, people could win their ticket value back.

Why is this important to us?

Respect Each Other and Have Fun (REOAHF) is one of our core values at the7stars, and we wanted to celebrate our diversity this Pride. Choosing Intersectionality as our theme for this year felt right as there are so many wider identity issues in the mainstream news at the moment and viewing people as individuals instead of labels or statistics has become more important than ever. With the7stars’ mission statement of Freedom running through everything we do, we wanted to celebrate the freedom to choose who we love and the freedom to be ourselves at work.

What have we learned?

Whilst celebrating Pride was always going to be an opportunity for a big old party in June, it is important to remember that celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community is for life and not just for Pride. With that being said, we are not planning on stopping now that it’s July! Our Equality team is continuing to passionately drive forwards our internal initiatives to ensure that everyone at the7stars feels at home and, if you visit our office in person, you may just see something colourful on our reception walls, that lives on past 1st July.

Take a look at our Pride Payday Drinks video below, courtesy of Jungle Creations and Four Nine.