Advertising Week 2018 Celebrates its 15th Anniversary in NYC

Advertising Week 2018 Celebrates its 15th Anniversary in NYC

By Alexander van Riesen

October saw AD Week New York and it's 15th anniversary,  the lasted news from the world of marketing, advertising, technology and brand professionals gathering for a week full of seminars, workshops and networking, it's a one-of a-kind experience.

The seminars and workshops covered a great span of topics from A to Z, where we listened to Academy Award-winning actor Emma Stone talking about her challenges with her anxiety, to Steve Madden the founder behind one of the most iconic brands in footwear, talking in a panel session about brand-building and maintaining creativity as an entrepreneur, during day three Will Smith gave us advice to sometimes trust your gut feeling rather than planning in his talk about reinvention and connection.

Companies and agencies was sharing their knowledge to create award-winning campaigns, impact the audience, will actually get buzz, and create messages that resonate. Burger King and their Global CMO Fernando Machado shared how marketers can take a page out of the Burger King marketing book his panel title was: "Be afraid. Be very afraid. But do it". One of the Key takeaways was in alignment as the panel title, Machado told the audience, "you need to push the envelope  to create engaging and buzz-worthy campaigns!" He advises marketers to understand their brand and create really short briefs – of which all marketing ideas should grow. From Vayner Media one of the messages to the audience was to remember – "the purpose of communicating with the world is to create and action! Regardless, whether if you want your audience to donate to your charity, to buy your sneakers or buy a movie ticket…"

New technology is constantly changing the AD market and one such "new" thing is is audio, in a couple of different sessions we learned the Future  of Audio. The podcast industry, audio and music platforms, the rise of voice-activated devices and audio marketing. In summary Smart speakers are bringing us back together. We close our laptops and look away from our screens, and listen to smart speakers rather than watch television." Good news for marketers looking to utilize audio advertising in their marketing mix.

From leading creative agency leaders we learned that marketers and creatives need to do more to impress and engage with consumers, in a session called "The Crowd Sings Back" with C-suite execs. As Facebook's Chief Creative officer Mark D'Arcy put it: "Our audience is making more than we are. They're writing. They're producing. The judgement of ads isn't by an audience anymore. it's by fellow creators."

Moving beyond the human element in advertising we listened to sessions covering the topics of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Machine Learning, these technologies are changing the way brand create ads. In advertising, it all comes  down to person to person contact, and if you relate to an add and are impacted by it, you may be driven to purchase. This connection is exactly what robots are good at. We are entering the computer digital driven ad and marketing age.

A session covering Brand America 2.0 discussed how the Brand of America is currently murky, stating that we are at a pivotal moment where brands can have a purpose for something other than just money. Internationally, trust in governments, NGO's and the media has dropped immensely, and the only institutions left standing are brands.

Four knowledge and insight full days of AD Week 2018 leaves a clear picture – the advertising market is very dynamic and ever changing on all levels and in all areas. This creates great opportunities for brands, agencies and professionals as well for us as consumers, since we are co-creators of stories and we all are communicators today.

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