News & Views

Inside Contagious 42 / From the Trenches of Tough Mudder to the Future of Artificial Intelligence

by Contagious Team
Issue 42 of Contagious is winging its way around the world to subscribers. Here's a preview of some the topics, ideas and people who've been on our radar this quarter

Contagious magazine Issue 42


Lush is a beauty brand that is determined to keep things natural. Chloe Markowicz’s case study considers why Lush isn't shouting about its sustainability, fresh products and transparency but instead is quietly providing a leading example of a business whose ethical commitments run through its core and come to life in all content and commerce. 

How would you go about building one of the most engaged young audiences of any brand in the world? Taco Bell’s solution was to change everything from its motto to its menu over the past four years. Chris Barth gets to the heart of the brand’s revitalisation.



The implications and applications of artificial intelligence loom large in this issue. Goldsmiths academic Chris Brauer tells us why he believes virtual assistants will be the next evolution in how we access information online. We spoke to him about their potential impact on brands and the people that use their services. Meanwhile, leading economist and author Tyler Cowen explains how artificial intelligence will impact the wider economy and the marketing industry in particular.

As a riposte to the tumultuous implications of this kind of technological change, Arif Haq shares the advice that Contagious Insider gives to clients about how to consistently develop braver, better creative work. He discusses how to build a programme of structured excellence, and how to avoid the pitfalls that could disrupt this process.



Issue 42 also contains an extract from Rick Webb’s latest book, Agency. The founder of The Barbarian Group turned venture capitalist discusses how to spin a startup company out of a creative services firm.

Tough Mudder founder Will Dean and marketing chief John Fidoe speak to Kate Hollowood about how the endurance event has grown by emphasising experience. And our sector focus delves into with how museums and galleries are enhancing visitor experiences with emerging tech. Lucy Aitken looks at what brands, particularly retailers, can learn from this experimental sector. 

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