Last weekend, a couple of Digitees braved a wet weekend in Wales in pursuit of new ideas. Hay-on-Wye is perhaps the only festival where the queue for the organic venison burgers is longer than the one for beer. But a clear head and a satisfied stomach turned out to be exactly what was required in order to understand half of the discussions led by world’s biggest brains.
From Gilbert and George talking about the need to be “both weird and normal at the same time”, or Nigella Lawson claiming her baking book “How to be a Domestic Goddess” is a feminist piece of literature, to Philip Pulman discussing religion, there was plenty to ponder on.
The Telegraph did a great job as the main sponsor of the festival. Their tagline for the event – All Ideas Start Somewhere – was perfectly fitting. There were lots of simple yet appealing brand touches peppered throughout the event. Being full of environmentally conscious types, the canvas bag was ubiquitous at Hay, and The Telegraph made sure their bags were the most desirable of all. They commissioned the talented illustrator Ellie Foreman-Peck to create the quirky designs for the bags, instantly making Sky Arts’ (another sponsor) version look cheap and garish. The same illustrations were printed on a series of lovely little postcards which proved very handy for taking notes.
My favourite feature was The Telegraph booth, complete with i-pad versions of the Telegraph, plugs for laptops and comfy leather sofas. It was the perfect haven from the pouring rain, and indeed a welcome escape when the intellectual debates got a little too much! Scattering free copies of the paper throughout this cosy booth was a nice way to encourage people like me to read the Telegraph. And despite myself, it was a very interesting and engaging read! So, job all round on the branding front.