Author Archives: Sam DiGennaro

Face-to-Face With Mobile’s Future

Mobile World Congress 2016

Day One has closed on the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the largest conference in the world dedicated to the art and science of mobile technology. It’s a gathering of the greats who believe passionately in unlocking mobile’s untapped potential.

Mobile video was a headline theme of the day and the topic of a colorful debate in the “Mobile Video Explosion” panel discussion. It was an all-star line-up of the industry’s best mobile players – from Facebook to YouTube to Viacom to Netflix – each sharing their unique points of view.

Facebook’s Head of Global Tech & Telco Strategy, Jane Schachtel shared her views on how video is pushing the boundaries of innovation by creating immersive experiences for people and businesses. Facebook is seeing numerous brands seizing upon this opportunity and firmly believes that video is, “the” global medium that transcends language barriers and sparks great creativity. image1.jpeg

“We’re building a canvas for businesses,” said Schachtel. “If the content is relevant, people will create it and continue to discover it. The richness and relevance on your newsfeed is what’s helped drive such explosive video growth at Facebook.”

Alex Wellen, CNN’s chief product officer, explained how the app, CNNgo, is tracking every story in real time, each minute of the year, annotating real frames with every piece of live content that augments the story.

But there are challenges at the 24 hour news network. CNN “needs to be a technology and storytelling company at the same time, and it’s really tough to be famous for both,” mused Wellen.

There’s good news, though: “People are now binging on [Anthony] Bordain, when no one had consumed news programming like this in the past.”

David Benson, Director, Brand Strategy EMEA for YouTube, agreed about binge watching mobile video content, which he said is driving deep change in the market. Benson added that 400 hours of content are uploaded via YouTube every minute.

“The way in which we consume and connect has been rewritten by mobile,” Benson added. He posited there’s no more water cooler chatter and comparing notes about, “what you watched last night.” In its place, we have become a culture of spoiler alerts and binge-watching.
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“We’re having less sex as a result,” said Benson, who cordially invited us to chat with him after the panel for more info on the “sex” stat.

The consensus among all the panelists: Mobile is exploding and there’s an obligation to continue to make great content — via stellar storytelling — so that people will to want to engage.

In his day-one closing keynote, the one-and-only Mark Zuckerberg took the video discussion to the next level saying that video will have to get increasingly better for virtual reality; in particular, resolution will have to be very high.

Zuckerberg closed with something important to consider, “Video is just as big in 2016 as mobile was in 2012. Bandwidth opens up desire to make and consume videos, which makes the developers want more, which ultimately perpetuates demand.”

 A great finish to a great opening day.

 I am looking forward to a week of seeing and hearing about the technology and creativity that is going to reshape our world.

 More soon.  #MWC16 #MWCVID

 

 

Face-time and Fancy Free: When in Cannes…

Day two on the Croisette. Mixing and mingling with everyone who’s anyone in the global marketing and media worlds. And all I can think is, “I can’t believe I’m still coming to Cannes, 13 years later.”

Then again, who can complain? It’s much more exciting to work against the back-drop of the calming azure Mediterranean than to the mellifluous moaning of sirens, horns and subways. Not to mention, my single most important business mantra (well, behind honesty and integrity): There’s no time more valuable than face-time.

And so it goes. In a business world of five-screen distractions, version 4.0, real-time message mania, block-out-the-enemy headphones, and millennials with ADD who seem more comfortable hiding behind a screen than emerging from it, this beautiful little [might I add, grossly overpriced] pocket of the world offers a once-a-year opportunity to spend real time…face time…quality time…with just about anyone who means anything in our business.

And that’s why DGC counsels our clients on the benefits of participating in the real-time, LIVE conversation that takes place on the Croisette, in The Palais, in the Gutter Bar, on the Carlton Terrace and just about everywhere else the 9,000 delegates convene at all hours of the day (oftentimes after sleepless nights).

That’s why I come back, year after year…as if the years of my life have become framed and bookmarked by this third week in June…when we realize that we “desperately” need to see the very industry peers who work just down the block from us, yet whom we never take the time to see while back home. Then again, why should we? We know we’ll catch up next year at Cannes.

Note: DGC has five clients on juries (including one jury chair); three clients with seminars; one client with an official “exhibition”; and tons of current and past client friends in attendance at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2011.

Welcome to The Hit Board

Dear Friends,

Welcome to The Hit Board, the official blog of DiGennaro Communications.

We decided to launch our blog during the 4A’s Transformation Conference because DGC is deep in the throes of its own exciting Transformation.

The Transformation Conference kicked off this morning with a robust program of high-level content, punctuated by its “Transformers” presentations, quickie interstitials that offer points-of-view about how the industry is regularly evolving. In the spirit of the 4As Transformers, here are a few of our own…

  • Fast & Furious Five: In January 2006, DGC had its official ribbon-cutting as a two-person team. Five years later, DGC now has close to 25 full-time practitioners – and our very own President, Howard Schacter– who strive each and every day to make our agency the leading PR partner for marketing communications, digital, media and entertainment companies. Thanks to this growth we relocated in January to a cool, new loft space in the Flatiron District. That’s a step up!
  • Content is Queen: Melanie Wells, a former executive editor at Forbes and creator of its highly successful CMO Network, recently joined DGC to lead a new practice that we call Shine. Shine is a thought leadership and content development offering that focuses on executive positioning for organizations’ C-suites. This is an exciting new foray that we believe will help differentiate our clients from the industry’s indelible white-noise.
  • The Hit Board: Since its inception, DGC has guided the thought leadership and social media efforts for clients ranging from global agencies to hotshot boutiques. Now that we have our own internal bandwidth (no time to focus on ourselves when there’s client work to do!), it’s time to practice what we’ve been preaching. The Hit Board is one of several new distribution channels you’ll be seeing from DGC in the coming weeks. This blog seeks to be a wellspring of ideas, news, videos, photos and commentary that are relevant and useful to the marketing communications industry at large.

Transformation can be a scary and difficult journey for companies and individuals. Believe me, in 2006 nobody was sure about what was next for the industry and that hasn’t changed a bit. But DGC opened its doors confidently in the middle of the nascent stages of the social-media boom, and we continue to be just as excited now as we were then about the future of our industry. More important, we are better equipped than ever to participate in its continued evolution.

We welcome your engagement and feedback in our social-media efforts, which start right here in Austin, Texas, at the 4A’s Transformation Conference.

You’ll hear from executive attendees via video interviews and editorial postings. Thanks for your continued support.

Next up is SXSWi, where we’ll continue our live blogging updates. Hope to see you in Austin…or on The Hit Board!

Cheers,

Sam

sam

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