Another Advertising Week has come and gone! This year proved to be just as eventful as years’ past. Our team on the ground seemed to have do and see it all (although we know that would be impossible…)
The UCB Comedy: Seriously Funny session was hosted by none other than the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy theater. For those not as familiar with the New York comedy scene UCB is one of the most notable and prestigious theaters in the city (and country) and was the starting place for many famous actors in the industry, not to mention launched by Goddess Amy Poehler. This session was run by UCB Director/Producers Nathan Russell and Julie Gomez and covered the business side of the theater. Some may be surprised to learn that in addition to their hilariously innovative shows the organization also works with both brands and marketing/advertising agencies to create unique branded content that breaks through the clutter by way of comedy. Some takeaways? Collaboration is key, and when pressured about ROI metrics make the brand/product seem as approachable as possible. — Emily Donoho, Junior Designer
I attended a few sessions over the week, but there were two that really stuck out to me. On Thursday, I attended the ‘From Minibar to Megahit’ panel, where Partners + Napier’s CEO and Associate Director, Marketing & Business Development were on stage with the Co-Founders and leading lady entrepreneurs of on-demand, alcohol delivery service, Minibar. The four ladies led a compelling conversation, on what the road to success looked like for Lara Crystal and Lindsey Andrews, as they took on the challenge of opening their business. One of my favorite moments of the session, were when the ladies admitted that the challenge of opening an app in the alcohol space is often intimidating to business people, but Lara and Lindsey saw it as intriguing and took the industry by storm. Check out their app and get your drinks for tonight 😉 — Peyton McCarthy, Account Executive
At Project: WorldWide’s “Stories of Creative Invention” the audience was exposed to a wide breadth of innovation from engineering blocking with Little Bits’ founder, Ayah Bdeir to street art with Bradley Theodore to fitness-like business clothing with Aman Advani. It became abundantly clear that creative invention is around us more than we might have originally imagined. Each speaker radiated inspiration; each story just as captivating as the last. Advertising Week is programmed with many sessions that discuss the future of advertising, the problem with ad-blocking, the new creative talent, and so on and so forth. That said, to attend a session that put pure creativity and inventive spirit on the stage was a breath of fresh air to say the least. Leaving the session you couldn’t help but think, “What am I doing wrong with my life?” — Jackie Berte, Senior Account Executive
The political season was alive and well at Advertising Week. During the panel on how technology is shaping political advertising, panelists explained that too often, we frame how we see politics through the lens of the presidential campaigns themselves which includes advertising. It’s all about the messaging during these campaigns and the media serves as the most popular delivery mechanism. Speaking of media, Facebook is making a name for themselves on the media side with 61% of millennials consuming their political news on the platform. “The Donald” was a hot topic. Thoughts from the panelists across the board? When we call Trump a master of social, we’re doing a disservice to those who are doing it right and that we “confuse noise with signal.” And who is doing it right? All panelists agreed that Ben Carson has a strong presence across the board on social platforms. But what is king during ads in this election season? Creative. The quality of creative is key to delivering the message that will ultimately win voters over. — Ali Colangelo, Account Director
My other favorite panel of the week was the ‘Creative & Technology: Lorraine Twohill & David Droga in Conversation’ on Wednesday. From the Google side, it was super interesting to hear from Lorraine, the tech company’s SVP of Global Marketing on the brand’s recent logo change, especially since she was a leading force behind the change. The audience learned a few fun facts about the change, like the ‘e’ is tilted, simply because the guy behind Google’s doodles every day, asked for it to look like it was smiling. The conversation was also centered around Droga5’s relationship with Google as a client, and the work that the agency has done of late, including the adorable ‘Friends Furever’ spot which came out earlier this year and took a different and more loving approach for a tech company ad. David also discussed some of the agency’s other famed work, like the Under Armour spots with Misty Copeland, where he dug deep on the ways that Droga5 thinks about advertising and looking beyond just content itself, but looking to when and where consumers will be consuming the content before creating an ad. As a lady who was inspired by the spots, learning more about the creative strategy was a huge takeaway for me. — Peyton McCarthy, Account Executive
Our team was both inspired and awed at Sheryl Sandberg’s poise, knowledge and overall demeanor during her fireside chat with Bloomberg’s chief content officer, Josh Tyrangiel. Sheryl’s session touched on a variety topics, including the risks people take in business, why Facebook is the place to be for television advertisers, feedback within the work place, leadership and talent. In a moving moment towards the end of the session, Sheryl discussed how expressing herself on Facebook helped her in the days and weeks after her husband’s death, stating “when we know and understand each other, the world becomes smaller and more peaceful.” She cracked jokes, rattled off impressive facts around mobile and advertising, and discussed navigating Facebook’s role in the rest of the world, including India and China. The session was an-hour long, but it was packed with information and inspiration. Our team sat in awe as we watched Sheryl, and left ready to tackle our own jobs with the same fire that Sheryl tackles hers. — Lexi Hewitt, Account Executive
We’ll soon be preparing for next year, but until then…adios!
After Day 1 of Advertising Week, DGC pulled together our top picks from the first sessions of the week. Check back here each morning for some of our favorite content from the day before.
At the “Breaking Down Social and Mobile” Mobile Media Summit session with Bob Hall (SVP of RadiumOne) and Shenen Reed (President, Digital, MEC North America), both offered unique insights. Shenan shared that positive brand association, rather than number of shares, is a strong indicator of campaign success. Bob spoke about how 72% of sharing happens on a desktop, but 54% of viewing is happening on mobile. — Scott Berwitz, VP
During the “Impossible to Ignore” panel with DDB New York’s CCO Icaro Doria, there was an insightful discussion around how advertisers and marketers should always stay on top of what’s current and culturally relevant to create content that’s ‘impossible to ignore’ by the audience. Icaro said, “When it comes to ad blocking, Apple just made bad advertising go away really fast so only good ads with a compelling message can stay.” — Sylvia Zhou, Senior Account Executive
“The Power of Sports: The How and Why of Fan Passion” took a look at the sports stories that often get overlooked in mainstream news coverage. Ryan Eckle, VP of Brand Marketing for Dick’s Sporting Goods talked about some of Dick’s original content and “building brand through cause.” — Ali Colangelo, Account Director
Deep breath in, deep breath out. As odd as it seemed in the midst of the craziness of Advertising Week, that was how this reflective session started. In this session, MEC’s Global Chief Talent Officer, Marie-Claire Barker and panelists explored mindfulness in the workplace and how companies can use it to improve overall employee happiness and workplace culture. Panelists agreed that it’s not about the industries, but about the human beings in these industries, and that the people are what companies need to focus on if they truly want to be “mindful” in the work place. — Lexi Hewitt, Account Coordinator
At the Cross-Screen Summit: Why Does Context Matter? Because Context Matters! session with Hulu, ESPN, @radical.media, Olson and TubeMogul, there was a lot of discussion around how marketers now must produce multiple creative executions of a campaign around a unifying theme to better meet the needs of today’s multiplatform and multi-device audience. With the industry’s focus on using data for its targeting abilities, Hulu’s SVP Advertising Sales Peter Naylor remarked on the necessary components for ad effectiveness, saying, “Marketers have to have a healthy dose of data and context.” There was agreement among panelists that data needs to be used to inform creative, but that telling a relevant story for the target audience still has to be the primary foundation of any campaign. — Lauren Leff, VP
There was no shortage of amazing content on Day 1, but for me the main highlight was definitely Margaret Gould Stewart, Facebook’s Director of Product Design at IAB MIXX. Margaret discussed the importance of maintaining humility in design, and following “desire paths” to design not only for people, but with people as well. A great example she shared was the “Missed Call” product Facebook developed in India to meet the demand of how people throughout the country were calling each other and hanging up, to avoid being charged. Different numbers of missed calls mean different things, almost like a modern day Morse code. Facebook recognized this and incorporated it into their features, allowing people to connect more easily to the people who matter to them. — Megan Sweat, Senior Account Executive
One of the first sessions of the day was the unveiling of new research by Ogilvy & Mather. The session titled, “Do Brands Still Matter”? was posed to the audience before diving into the findings from the study. Colin Mitchell, Ogilvy & Mather’s Worldwide Head of Planning discussed the research findings which revealed that brands do still matter… just not like they used to. It’s an interesting topic they tackled that also engaged in further discussion with guest speakers, Jennifer Healan of Coca-Cola and Hope Cowan of Facebook — both very different, but extremely relevant brands in the lives of consumers today. Both Jennifer and Hope shared various examples of how and why their brands are successfully mattering to their targets today – from happiness to helping people stay connected – it was evident that they were hitting home on the top factors of mattering in the lives of today’s consumer. — Kelsey Merkel, Account Director
Enjoy Day 2 – it’s already off to a great start!
It can be all too easy to lose sight of the big picture in our “have to,” ultra-packed, always-connected day-to-day workflow that has the power to both energize and tire out the average advertising executive. Where is the industry going? What are the key issues that are re-shaping the business?
Enter Advertising Week, the industry’s once-a-year, week-long event that brings together the brightest minds from brands, agencies, tech companies, startups, etc. to take that much-needed step back and have the broader, high-level conversations that are as needed as they are rare. Next week kicks off the 12th Advertising Week, and it will no doubt continue to spark the exciting conversations and ideas that have made it the coveted tent pole industry event it has become.
As always, DGC will be on-site, supporting a vast array of clients at this year’s festivities and tweeting, Instagram-ing, Facebooking and Hit-Boarding (read: blogging) about the most exciting news and insights offered by this year’s incredible roster of speakers – which includes Sir Martin Sorrell, Gloria Estefan, Elizabeth Vargas and Ryan Seacrest, to name just a few.
Here are some of the sessions we will be attending:
- Do Brands Still Matter — Monday, 10:00am at the Liberty Theater
- Capitalizing on Mobile Video — Monday, 10:00am at Times Center Stage
- Breaking Down Social and Mobile — Monday, 2:05pm at the Grand Hyatt New York
- Connecting in a Mobile World: A Conversation with Sheryl Sandberg — Tuesday, 10:00am at Times Center Stage
- Frito Lay: The Intersection of Marketing & Technology — Tuesday, 10:15am at Liberty Theater
- People, Not Pages: What Does “Buying Audiences” Mean for Media and Marketers — Tuesday, 2:00pm at the Metropolitan Pavilion
- Stories of Creative Invention — Tuesday, 3:00pm at B.B. King
- Getting Away: Inside the Vacation Mentality — Wednesday, 3:00pm at B.B. King
- Are We On Target?: Making The Most Of Mobile’s Unique Power — Thursday, 9:15am at the Metropolitan Pavilion
- The Instagram Effect — Thursday, 10:00am at Times Center Stage
- WIRED CMOs — Thursday, 12:00pm at the NASDAQ
- Two Start-Ups, One Mission — Thursday, 4:30pm at Times Center Hall
This post was written by DGC’s International ACE Award winner, Senior Account Executive Megan Sweat. Recognizing her stellar work and contributions to the agency, DGC sent her to London to spend time at Advertising Week Europe and to meet with our strategic partner Eulogy!
Many people in the U.S. ad market are oblivious to Advertising Week in London, and vice versa. This year Advertising Week Europe ran from March 23-27, and compared to past ones in New York (which take place in the fall) the programming had a unique edge.
Many of the players were the same, including Publicis Groupe, Google and the IAB but the gorgeous historic venues such as St. James’s Church and outdoor settings (pictured below) gave Advertising Week Europe an entirely different feel from the New York edition.
Outdoor seating outside of the ADARA Stage
St. James’s Church in Piccadilly
Collaboration, creativity and inspiration were recurring themes throughout the week, and here are some of the highlights that stuck with us:
- When asked to leave the audience with one “astounding nugget that would blow their minds,” Steve Hatch, Director of EMEA from Facebook replied that everything in our industry “starts and ends with people.” To be successful, we as an industry need to follow people’s trends, and the customer is truly always right, he said.
- Maurice Levy, CEO of Publicis Groupe, predicted that marketing will become more and more about the “omnichannel” experience. With a few exceptions, he said this is still a complicated world to clients, and it hasn’t yet been mastered.
- Inter-agency collaboration and how to foster it was also top of mind. One possible solution that came out of MEC UK’s session was having a shared workspace, where a client’s different agencies could meet and work together as opposed to working in silos and trying to come together at the end.
As one panelist put it, “We tell our clients they need to co-own their brand with their customers… Now, we need to co-own our ideas with others.”
A handful of other memorable declarations over heard during the week made us laugh: (Since these are not exact quotes, I’ve removed the attribution—which didn’t include people’s titles and affiliations either)
- “Pitches are the crack cocaine of our industry – we’re all addicted to them.”
- “Is it better to follow your dreams and not make it, or make it and betray yourself along the way?”
- “Stupid people think complicated is clever. If you can’t explain it to an 11-year-old, you have failed.”
- “Be uncool. Coolness is a form of orthodoxy. Being uncool is actually a powerful creative force.”
The weekly DGC Roundtable is monitored by our current intern, Jamie Kurke.
This week was a hectic one. Everyone was shuffling in and out of the office to attend Advertising Week events for our clients– or just for fun! With that in mind, this week’s question was:
What was the best session/ learning/ quote you heard from Advertising Week?
Patrick Wentling, Account Executive:
There was a lot said this week, but my favorite quote actually came from Michael Strahan during his conversation with Facebook’s Carolyn Everson, where he spoke on how his dad said “not if, when.” It was an inspirational story considering how great his career – before and after football – came to be. Although I spent my youth booing him, I now have a new found respect for him.
Megan Sweat, Account Executive:
“Consumers are living in a state of ‘present shock.’ They are living in a world where everything happens now, and they are in a constant state of emergency interruption. There’s no time for advertising and being interrupted. Don’t interrupt me in the flow, provide me with the thing I need when I need it and not a second after.” – Douglas Rushkoff, media theorist and author
Jackie Berte, Account Executive:
Quote of the week: “You’ll regret it if you don’t take a picture with the Aflac Duck” – at the Advertising Week Icon and Slogan Hall of Fame
Chrissy Perez-O’Rourke, Account Director:
When brands are looking to operate at the “speed of culture” they should be asking themselves three things:
- What makes sense for their brand?
- Which aspects of real-time trends and culture are a fit with the brand’s core messaging and essence?
- Does the brand want to enter an existing conversation or create a new one?
To read more about the panel Chrissy attended, check out her latest Hit Board post!
As a part of Advertising Week 2014, the 4A’s hosted its Competitive Edge series on Sept. 29, bringing together top agency and brand executives to debate the value of operating at the intersection of cultural intelligence and business innovation.
The session kicked off with a video clip from the new HBO show, “Last Week Tonight,” in which anchorman John Oliver explored recent examples of brands’ Twitter #fails. From the DiGiorno mixup with the trending #WhyIStayed hashtag to various brands tweeting misguided 9/11 content, the clip raised some very interesting points about when it is the right time for a brand to engage in real-time social practices.
Terry Young, CEO/Founder of ad newsroom sparks&honey, and his colleague Imari Oliver, VP, Director of Creative Strategy, and good friend, David Oksman, U.S. Marketing Director at Reebok, spoke about best practices for brands that want to operate at the “speed of culture” in a session entitled, Leading Culture and Collaboration.
Why do so many brands struggle with creating authentic social conversations? According to Young, brands need to identify places, trends, dialogue and topics that they want to be attached to as a first step. When thinking about everything that is happening in social – it can seem overwhelming and random, so brands need to sort through everything and zero in on the select areas of opportunities, he said. Moving at the “speed of culture” isn’t an easy feat but it’s essential for brands that want to be successful in today’s world.
Oksman’s advice: Brands need to be strategic rather than opportunistic. Just like an athlete, brands can develop muscle memory when it comes to identifying trends/cultural elements to attach to – that is what drives nimbleness, Oksman said.
Culture is the pulse of the social world and there are two types – “slow culture” and “fast culture,” according to Young. 3D printing, autonomous cars, and the sharing economy are examples of “slow culture” – these affect companies and brands over a long term. Memes and viral videos though are examples of “fast culture” that impacts culture and consumers in the short term.
The panelists concluded that when brands are looking to operate at the “speed of culture” they should be asking themselves three things:
- What makes sense for their brand?
- Which aspects of real-time trends and culture are a fit with the brand’s core messaging and essence?
- Does the brand want to enter an existing conversation or create a new one?
Because isn’t creating conversations what it’s all about?
Day one at Advertising Week saw a consistent theme from the advertisers that descended upon New York City. The kickoff keynote panel was moderated by WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell with executives from Live Nation, Amazon CBS, and ESPN to talk about data, storytelling, distribution and more.
“Consumers don’t think about branded content, they ask if it changed the experience for them,” said Russell Wallach, President of Live Nation’s Media & Sponsorship division. “They feel good about brands that enhance experiences for them.”
Mr. Sorrell pushed the panelists to discuss how they work with data and agencies. Most everyone on the panel agreed that first party data was their primary resource for talking to marketers, but agencies had an unusual role in the middle.
“We see that our agencies tell different things, so it can be hard for us to understand exactly what is going on. Some of our longest partnerships, the ones that have gone on for years, have been direct with the brand’s marketing team,” said Wallach.
A panel later in the day hosted by DDB focused on how to build an influential brand, and the panel continued the morning’s session with a focus on data.
“We’ve almost become data poets,” said Nancy Hill, CEO of the 4A’s. “We take the data that we want and use it to tell stories to our audiences.”
“Brands need to understand the influence they can bring and make a long-term commitment,” said Jeremy Levine, SVP of Digital Sales at Live Nation. “To market with music, they need to be in for the long haul, not a one-off event. We have the data to help that partnership”
Much credit was given to Omnicom agency sparks & honey for hosting daily “culture briefs” that look at the pulse of the conversation by consumers, with an eye towards social media trends.
“You have to have a fluid strategy with an ear to the ground, because things change so rapidly and you need to be ready,” said DDB President Mark O’Brien.
Several hiccups from brand’s real time social campaigns were discussed and the agreement was that global brands want to have an influence everywhere, but they must feel authentic.
“Global brand, local touch,” said Hill.
Having enjoyed everything from Big Ben to the Tower Bridge, it’s crazy to believe that my unforgettable trip to London has now come to a close. The week flew by in the blink of an eye and brought me plenty of insights along the way to share with the team at home.
In addition to attending Advertising Week Europe and learning how a leader’s body language can make or break a career, I had the chance to participate in engaging brainstorms and daily “paper” meetings (discussing daily news) with the Eulogy! team. I also learned the inside scoop on the agency’s approach to working with reporters and packaging case studies for its clients in a unique and visually appealing video format.
Check out this video to see what else I took away from this memorable week –
All in all, the week satisfied a life-long dream to briefly work abroad and immerse myself in another country’s culture. I look forward to seeing what next year’s DGCer will take away from the trip and hope that they will love it as much as I did.
Katie Kempner was on set at this year’s Advertising Week event, filming episodes for her show, “Perspectives with Katie Kempner.” The interviews were also streamed live through a partnership with Huffington Post LIVE to help deliver insights from many highly successful women to those that couldn’t attend this year’s Advertising Week in person.
The interviews are designed to inspire and empower women in their quest to live happy, healthy and meaningful lives, both personally and professionally through their career. Katie’s interviewees share their personal (and sometimes hilarious) stories of work-life balance and how to embrace all of the twists and turns that a career in advertising and marketing can present, from how to create your own version of modern-day balance, the challenges that come with trying to be “always on” and why a fabulous pair of shoes can help you more than you think.
Check out these “Perspectives” interviews from Advertising Week to hear more insights from these successful business women:
Microsoft’s Global Creative Director Jeremy Grubaugh explained his approach to embracing chaos as part of the creative process this way: Be aware of all your options.
“Every year there are new ways to communicate with an audience,” Grubaugh said. “And their expectations for how you communicate with them are heightened.”
Grubaugh was part of the Creative Innovation Roundtable on Sept. 26 at the Times Center Hall during Advertising Week, and he praised the inclusive culture of Microsoft which enhances his own approach to managing. For example, Grubaugh believes that a person need not be a designer by training or even have used a piece of design software in order to contribute ideas about how Microsoft products should work.
Consumers have an inherent sense of how hardware and software should function depending on what they’re trying to achieve, he said. Therefore, Microsoft’s internal creative environment is an inclusive one in which people are often pulled into any of the numerous “idea rooms” from other departments to contribute ideas. “If the white boards aren’t full, we’re not doing our jobs,” Grubaugh declared.
When panel moderator Dan Chandler, Associate Creative Director at Sid Lee, asked the panelists when a new product is ready for the public to see and use, Grubaugh answered: “I’m of the as-soon-as possible mentality. The sooner we can test [products], on a small scale and a large scale, is the best way we can evolve more rapidly.”
His fellow panelists concurred, saying consumer expectations have risen so high that organizations must be much more nimble in addressing their dissatisfaction quickly.
Earlier, Grubaugh told The Hit Board, that he considers himself a “miner” of sorts.
“I scour MSN, Bing, Xbox Live, Skype, Windows 8 and all our other platforms to discover all the features and how to leverage them on behalf of a brand or advertising experience.” His team is working closely with Skype right now to understand how brands might have a synchronous dialogue within the intimate connection between two people having a face-to-face phone call.
Click the video below to hear what Grubaugh thinks has not changed about the consumer-brand even in the chaos of this digital age.
Dan Chandler, Associate Creative Director, Sid Lee, moderated the panel which included Christoph Becker, CEO & CCO of Gyro; Tim Cronin SVP Global Sales, Mocean Mobile; Arianna Orland Creative Director, Zynga Global Brand; and Shawn Poe Creative Director, InMobi Creative Services North America.