Recapping Advertising Week New York 2018
October 18, 2018
This year marked the 15th year of Advertising Week New York and it was certainly a momentous year as it was the first time everything was under one roof! The AMC Loews Cinema on the Upper West Side turned into a mecca for advertisers, agencies, creatives, tech gurus, publishers and more with 380+ seminars and over 98,000 attendees. We thought this was a brilliant location as the attendees were able to easily get from session to session, and what a fantastic use of the cinema! Here we’ll provide you with a brief overview of our experience, including favorite moments.
Whenever we participate in Ad Week, we are reminded about its humble beginnings. As CEO Matt Scheckner reminded us Advertising Week started as “an idea to try to move the needle on lot of big industry issues.” Today Advertising Week continues to run with that main goal in mind blending the timely (AR, VR, Blockchain) with the timeless (storytelling) and reminding us that “great minds think unalike.”
Some of our favorite sessions this year were focused around storytelling, data, technology, the ad tech ecosystem, and attention advertising. Here are a few quotes that really resonated with us from these sessions:
“Sometimes as creatives we get excited about a campaign idea and think we have to tell its story in the same way on every platform, but that’s not the case. It’s actually an opportunity to be able to see how people consume things on different platforms, and then play up to what they want to hear. As a creative this is a great challenge because you have to evolve with the campaign.”
Robin Fitzgerald, Chief Creative Officer, BBDO
“It’s really about continuous learning, it’s a different way of working together and applying that creativity to a technology solution.”
Gail Horwood, SVP Integrated Marketing, Kellogg Company
“As I think about storytelling one of the key themes for me is the power of the consumer so end users like you, like me and the power we have over a brand, the value of the brand… I think it’s my job and my teams role to make sure that we are respecting the consumer, understanding the consumer and then developing that relationship with the consumer.”
Sivonne Davis, Vice President of Marketing, L’Oréal USA
“It feels like, the consumer is asking for control, they need empowerment. You don’t do that, they’ll block your ad, or they’ll go to ad free content. Let them decide if this is relevant, and then self-selection will take them to your message. Then if you have something useful to talk about and you’re there to guide them, as a brand in a crowded space, they will stick with you.”
Seraj Bharwani, Chief Strategy Officer, AcuityAds Inc.
While the sessions seemed to span a variety of topics we couldn’t help notice some key phrases/themes that arose throughout:
- Use data to tell better stories and better engage audiences.
- Make sure you have something interesting and useful to say to your consumers.
- Good advertising is about continuous adaptation, of creative, to various platforms, in an ongoing fashion.
- Empower the consumer.
LOOKING AHEAD TO ADVERTISING WEEK 2019
Bringing so many folks together is beneficial whilst also slightly overwhelming (98,000 attendees, nearly 400 sessions). With so many overlapping sessions it is impossible to attend everything. As a challenge to ourselves for next year we look forward to expanding our horizons. Getting into a one/two track mind narrows down your session options but next year we’d like to go a bit off track and attend sessions that don’t directly resonate with our business. Taking oneself out of your comfort zone or area of expertise forces you to think outside the box and perhaps see your own business challenges in a new light.
In attending so many sessions in just 4 days it is easy to see how your brain might be on a bit of overload. Don’t forget you can always go back to sessions and even watch sessions you may have missed, all hail the playback feature! Especially make sure that you take the opportunity to watch our session: If Attention is the Currency for Advertising, What does it take to get More?