October 7, 2015

Advertising Week – New York, 2015: Roundup & Takeaways

 

                                  aw2015_MAIN-resized-600                                                                                                                                                                                       Photo courtesy of NYSE.

This year, the world’s premier gathering of marketing and communications leaders saw its 12th year in New York, and hosted more than 290 events, 95,000 attendees, 246 seminars and workshops, 10,100 delegates and 902 speakers.

Drawing from brand, agency, technology, startup, media and broader cultural communities, Advertising Week is a weeklong assembly of the industry’s best and brightest thought leaders. With dedicated forums for elite brand marketers and creative visionaries looking for an immersive and accessible experience, Ad Week generates excitement about the advertising industry, and provides a positive platform for the growth and nurturing of successful talent.

Among the most anticipated things executives hoped to gain from Ad Week was networking with fellow industry leaders. However, networking wasn’t the only perk attendees were looking forward to. According to this article from Ad Age, leaders like Gian LaVecchia, MEC’s Managing Partner of Digital Content Marketing for North America, were concerned about the ever-changing role of the CMO as the marketing environment becomes more turbulent due to emerging technologies. Additionally, Chief Marketing Officer of NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises Jackie Hernandez was excited to find out how consumer consumption and technology are converging, and how marketers are looking to reach consumers in this evolution.

Hopes and wishes aside, Ad Week attendees quickly learned that the panels weren’t all flowers and daisies. One executive claims Ad Week isn’t about advertising anymore, but more about general creativity. R/GA’s Global Chief Creative Officer Nick Law expressed deep concern during a panel last week, in which he said, “It’s pretty hard to be an agency right now.” Law says the difficulties are partly due to startups disrupting the industry, affecting clients and going after talent.

Adding to the laundry list of concerns for the future of the advertising industry, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said during a panel, “Advertising is going to get exponentially more expensive.” According to Ad Age, the increase in costs is occurring because every time e-commerce makes another purchase routine, it gets that much harder for marketers to tempt consumers into a switch. Not to mention the ad block crisis taking the Internet by storm, especially among the younger generation.

As if responding to similar worries for how ad agencies are faring in today’s marketing climate, Facebook’s CEO Gary Briggs said during a panel last Thursday that he’s giving his in-house creative team more work. What this means is that Facebook is taking more of its advertising jobs in-house, presumably for reasons having to do with expertise, trust and compatibility, since the role of the CMO is evolving to encompass more technology than creativity.

Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg also said in a panel last Tuesday that advertising on the social network’s Messenger app is in the very early experimentation stage, meaning Facebook is bringing ads to the chat room!

But not all happenings from this year’s Advertising Week were as deeply concerning as some of the comments made by industry executives.

Instagram’s Director of Brand Development Daniel Habashi made breakthroughs regarding the photo-sharing app’s affect on consumer marketing. As the industry adjusts to the shift to mobile, Habashi noted during a panel that it makes sense for marketers to push out content on Instagram because people use the app on average one out of every five minutes on their mobile devices.

On a slightly more inspiring note, GLAAD, the organization dedicated to positive representation of the LGBT community in areas such as entertainment, marketing and advertising, recognized the best LGBT advertisements during a panel last week. The panels included representatives from DirectTV, Tylenol, Target, Wells Fargo and Google Talk.

Takeaways

  • The role of the CMO is evolving
  • Technology is changing the marketing landscape
  • Consumer marketing and technology are converging
  • It’s hard out there for agencies
  • Advertising is going to get more expensive
  • Facebook is taking advertising jobs in-house
  • Facebook might bring ads to Messages
  • Instagram is a strong influencer of consumer marketing
  • Diversity in the industry is being recognized

This post was written by current Renegade intern Sam Oriach. You can follow him on Twitter @samoriach.