Sometimes You Wanna Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name: DGC’s Key Takeaways from Advertising Week New York 2016

The more sessions we attend at Advertising Week, the more we find it’s not just about Advertising.

The truly prescient and poignant remarks speak to changes in our society – not just how we relate to brands, but how connect to each other and the world around us. How we listen to music, get our news, find our voices and express our views. Through the right lens, Advertising Week is a crystal ball not only for the advertising industry, but for society at large.

Take for instance a talk by Danielle Lee, Global Head of Partner Solutions at Spotify entitled Man vs. Machine: Putting Humanity Back into the Marketing Mix.” She spoke eloquently about how it is no longer man vs. machine…it’s man loves machine.  Machine learning – such as Discover Weekly which curates music based on consumer preferences – and it is greatly enhancing our collective lives. In fact, people are increasingly seeking content that is customized for them. In an endless and ever-growing sea of information everywhere we turn, it makes sense that people are seeking someone – or something – to help navigate it and identify the nuggets about which they care most.

That theme echoed throughout the week’s events. During a panel entitled, “Don’t Call it a Phone: Marketers’ New Mobile Perspectives “Beyond Advertising,” Jeff Rossi, Global Director of Business Marketing at Spotfy, talked about how his Spotify app figured out he was headed to New Orleans and served him up a local jazz playlist. Michael Donnelly SVP, Group Head Global Digital Mktg, Mastercard similarly talked of a particularly genius and entertaining method in which Waze – the navigator app – caught his attention. While driving in Sleepy Hollow around Halloween time, the app asked him if he’d like to change the navigator’s voice to that of Ichabod Crane. Waze quickly became both his navigator and buddy!

The trend of connection was also on stage at the Tap Conference, where Facebook’s VP of Design, Margaret Stewart spoke in a keynote entitled “The Value Exchange.” Margaret shed light on the need for companies to design not for people, but rather with people. Rather than relying on data alone, the talk showcased brands who shifted their strategy based on consumer insights and reactions to their products. One example was Playdoh, originally created to clean wallpaper, pivoted and evolved into the phenomenon we see today all over the world. Whereas the “power” was once in the hands of the brands, Margaret showed just how important the consumer is in today’s always-on, mobile world, and the impact each individual can have, if brands are humble enough to listen to them.

From programmatic platforms to ever “bigger” data, to curated playlists and navigation provided by a well-known literary character, we are all hungry for content that impacts and enriches our lives – and we need help to find it.  Making your way in the world today takes more than what you’ve got. And machines are picking up where humanity has left off.

Posted on September 30, 2016, in The Hit Board. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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