The Takeaways From Advertising Week XII
Advertising and marketing is changing at a rapid pace, with cross-screen digital and mobile the new formats churning the waves of disruption in an industry built on print and television.
At Advertising Week XII, which took over midtown Manhattan the last week of September, 2015, the higher-ups in the industry used buzz words and terms like “convergence,” “ad blocking,” “mobile first,” “cross-screen,” “programmatic,” and “transparency” to describe the current and growing trends.
The four-day event featured panel discussions and workshops led by some of the finest minds in advertising and marketing, as well as big celebrity names, like Lester Holt and Chuck Todd from NBC, Fox’s Megyn Kelly, funk legend Bootsy Collins, actor Titus Burgess, “Big Bird” portrayer Caroll Spinney, NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick, and singer Gloria Estefan, among others.
Sports marketing is on the rise, as many sports-themed panels, like the one with Harvick and another with NBA star Ray Allen, proved. The immediacy of sports and the high profile of its stars, especially on social media, are what’s moving the needle. But the true stars of the week were those who saw the marrying of technology with data and creativity as the best way to lead trends in advertising.
“One thing that’s been a big evolution is that there’s a lot more math. You have to have another set of capabilities with using data and statistics,” said Gary Briggs, CMO at Facebook.
“We can’t lose the balance of the creativity. When you put data and creativity together you can really create special things,” said CMO Deirdre Bigley of Bloomberg.
Reaching people at a local level was also a big point of discussion, with several panels looking to uncover how to connect with people at the right moment on their devices wherever they are, on a personal level.
“It’s not just saying, ‘Here are listings of places nearby,'” said Steven Rosenblatt, CRO of Foursquare. “It’s saying, ‘Here are listings of places nearby that you’ll be interested in.’” But he pointed out that any efforts to reach into someone’s device with local and location-based services must benefit the user. “It has to be organic, it has to be creative, it has to be relevant.”
One of the most fun events during the week was the induction of two new advertising mascots into the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame. A collection of life-sized mascots, from Smokey Bear to the M&Ms and Mr. Peanut, took over the TV studio at the NASDAQ exchange in Times Square to ring the final bell for the day before the winners were announced, making for a surreal and hilarious photo op. Ultimately, the two mascots took their place on the Walk of Fame – Chester Cheetah from Cheetos, and the Icee Bear. Two slogans also made their way into the Walk of Fame as well – “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute” by the Forest Service, and Gatorade’s “Is It In You?”
A big takeaway from the week was that the conversation is increasingly being led by the consumer and the user experience. Social media is driving immediate conversations between marketers and consumers, and that split-second feedback is driving innovation.
Sarah Personette, VP of Global Business Marketing at Facebook, summed up the new vision for advertising’s future with a positive outlook.
“It’s the golden age of advertising because we can marry so much of the story and deliver it to the right person.”
Nobody knows exactly where advertising and marketing will go in the next few years and what technology will move the needle, but the minds at Advertising Week XII are the ones leading the way. Read more about the happenings during Advertising Week at the LinkedIn Hub blog.