Advertising Week New York 2014 – #AWXI
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De notre envoyée spéciale Sarah Chapman à New York

Advertising Week, the biggest gathering of the world’s marketing and communications leaders featured almost 300 events (and unofficial events) that included the best and the brightest in the industry. For four days New York is a forum of insightful content from brands, marketers and media influencers shaping the direction of the industry. It’s also the biggest clusterfuck in the universe of industry conferences. So if you go, be prepared for four full-on days of schizophrenia.

Content is (Still) King

The marriage of data and creative was a theme not to be ignored. Artists like Dominique Ansel and A-Track, not to mention the hundreds of YouTube stars and creators woven into panels, reminded everyone that innovation through technology wasn't the only thing driving business.  After years of technological obsession with consumers shifting their media consumption to tech platforms over TV, the role of the artist, the creator and the craft in the message has never been more powerful of a cultural force, proving again that it's less about the platform and more about the content that fills it. And that leveraging technology and data to provide people with more of what they like and less of what they don’t is absolutely crucial, today more than ever.

Irreverence, Youth, and Celebrity Reign

In the same way that Madison Avenue is increasingly injecting product pitches with entertainment value (the best way to connect with customers and encourage sharing content on social media), Ad Week XI included more and more panels and presentations with celebrities, comedy and other entertainment to keep the audience engaged.  A perfect example was a panel on online video, “Living in a Short-Form World”, which featured Keek ( and 3 of the 5 Janoskians, an incredibly popular teenage troupe from Australia that specializes in music, comedy, pranks and other material aimed at girls 12 to 17.

Talk Data To Me

Data: “the new oil”, “the next battleground”, “the future”. In one panel, The Economist Creative Summit, that featured heads of several of the top agencies worldwide, the word ‘Data’ was banned from the conversation. McCann CEO Chris Macdonald owed 3 rounds of drinks (or 4, depending on if you count the phrase ‘Big Data’) by the end of the session. In short, it was a conversation that could not be avoided.  The consensus was that data is old news. What’s new is there is a lot more data (someone termed this “infobesity”). At its heart, data are insights best used as an inspiration to reach and identify an audience.

Programmatic, Programmatic, Programmatic. And Did I Mention Programmatic?

When the Wall Street Journal posts a blog titled ‘Welcome to (Programmatic) Advertising Week, you know the terrain has shifted. This year the conversation was focused on how to optimize and how to bring automation to premium campaigns and cross channel. Everyone talked about it. Nobody has it figured out. Bottom line, there are still lots of people involved. Which makes it, um, not programmatic.

“An Algorithm Will Never Replace a Creative Director”

Yannick Bolloré, CEO of Havas, said it to a packed house during his one-on-one interview with Fast Company and it quickly became one of the most Tweeted catch-phrases of the week. According to Bolloré, the more difficult it becomes to capture the attention of the consumer, “the more we have a need for highly creative content”. (See Theme #1: Content Is King)  Despite this, Bolloré also said that they have hired so many mathematicians that they had to change the company dress code…

Cat Power

Add a cat, increase your revenues? In one of the best presented and attended events, BuzzFeed proved that there is something powerful behind a (funny) cat video. 57% of people who viewed their “Dear Kitty” video were more likely to want to buy wet cat food. I don’t have a cat (or like them for that matter) and I paid attention.

Coupons Are Not Innovative

There was lots of talk about the technological opportunities afforded to both the industry and the consumer by increased development in software and hardware, so it’s hard not to be disappointed by a coupon at the end of the digital journey. Jared Blank, VP of e-commerce at Tommy Hilfiger, commented: “At the end of every pitch I get for e-commerce at Tommy Hilfiger, it’s always just, ‘You can give someone a coupon for 10 percent off through this thing!’”.

It seems like a joke, but in reality there are a myriad of vendors adding ads and coupons to personal media, social shares and location-based experiences without creating any real new value. At the end of the day, you don't need technological development to give coupons to consumers.

The Parties

Advertising Week is as famous for its numerous parties as it is for its conferences. The parties, while not as notorious as Cannes Lions Festival, are still pretty lavish. Fancy dinner, lots of cocktails, themed parties… and more cocktails. But just like at Cannes, you need an invite.

AWXI stats

Online Video viewing grew 640% this year
Smartphone users spend 257 mins / month on instagram
o 4413 minutes a month on facebook
o 167 minutes a month on twitter
By 2015 half of all internet hits will come from a mobile device
Consumer experience (cx) was rated as the single most exciting opportunity in 2014
More than 50% of consumers say their friends’ posts influence their purchase decisions
54% of marketers say they should take more risks
Over 30% of all smartphone web traffic comes from a larger screen device (greater than 4” in size)
By 2018 one out of three smartphones will be a “phablet”
Users under 25 are significantly less likely to check their email
A person under 25 is less likely to subscribe to email newsletters
Retargeting can boost ad response by 400%
One in five marketers has a dedicated budget for retargeting
61% of marketers call their digital marketing approach ‘trial and error’
Digital marketers say “demonstrating ROI” is their second biggest concern after “reaching customers”
The average click-through rate for retargeted ads is 10 times higher than regular banners
Ad-blocking software use has gone up 69% this year
5% of all global internet users now use ad-blocking software
75% of all companies say creativity is central to their business but only 33% say they are performing well in this area
¾ of marketers believe that success lies in being more data focused
Companies that are prioritizing blogging are 13 times more likely to be increasing ROI year over year
Personalized offers are much more likely to be shared
49% of marketers report ‘trusting their gut’ to guide marketing investment decisions

Lire la suite du Ratecard_Magazine #25

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