Takeaways from 4A’s Transformation 2011 Conference

Transformation can be a scary and difficult journey for companies and individuals, as Sam noted in her introductory post.

Traditional agency executives certainly know that’s true. They have been blasted, as a group, in recent years for being head-in-the sand types who are reluctant to adapt in changing times. How many years have we been reminded at this conference that “the 30-second TV spot isn’t dead”? That came up as recently as last year at the ad group’s conference in San Francisco, where there was a lot of hand-wringing as one top marketer urged the jittery group to, at last, think beyond the 30-second TV spot. Embrace social media, they were told. Well, duh.

But, finally, signs of change. At the the 4A’s Transformation Conference in Austin this week the group is facing up to changing and challenging times–and agencies are trying to adapt. Many of the sessions and cocktail discussions (before the second cocktail) are about mobile apps, online video, crowdsourcing design, virtual collaboration, and brand-created content. Attendees—there are some 1,000 people at this conference—are eager use technology that’s transforming advertising.


  • Web video is big and growing. In 2011 twice as many videos will be viewed than searches queried we heard Tuesday from Tremor Media. Marilyn Mersereau, CMO of Cisco, says 90% of all Internet traffic by 2013 will be video.
  • Crowdsourcing  is part of the future of advertising. “Collaboration is here,” Winston Binch, partner/managing director of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, said. One conference speaker, Tim McClure, co-founder of GSD&M, used the term “curativity,” noting that it may take some traditional agency jobs away. (How long before there’s a Chief Curator at agencies?)

Posted on March 9, 2011, in 4A's Transformation 2011, Melanie Wells and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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