Pandora‘s Claire Fanning, VP Ad Innovation Strategy wanted to make sure everyone understood that branding and ads weren’t just about great visuals: “Pandora has been talking about sonic identity for a long time now,” she said. “I love that the focus of so much of these conversations this week are around the screenless opportunity. One speaker pointed out that today’s youth may know Michael Jackson’s sound, yet have not yet seen his image – wow! What does this mean for brands and branding?”
Ryan M. Wallace, VP and General Manager at Pan Communications, says what he hears scares marketers and advertisers is “not knowing how their money is being spent and whether the metrics are impacting it. I think people don’t truly understand how dollar spend impacts metrics, but I don’t think they have a sense of whether their spend is making the conversion.” As for not-scary things, he particularly appreciated Hulu‘s never-ending supply of sour candy whips. “The novelty of it really grew on me,” he added. “Hulu’s timing of their whole campaign is smart – I applaud them on it. Silly at first, but then brilliant.”
Tuesday night’s big event were the D&AD Impact Awards, in which 76 D&AD Impact Pencils were awarded to campaigns, projects and products that address pressing issues around the world. The event, held at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square, was hosted by actor, activist, comedian and blogger Franchesca Ramsey. New this year: a $20,000 prize fund awarded to DDB Mudra Group and Prerana Anti-Trafficking for their Project Free Period initiative. Developed with Stayfree India/Johnson & Johnson, the project supports women in the sex trade to build vocational skills to allow them to find new lines of work.
TOP OF THE MORNING
Harry Karman knows a thing or two about keeping things moving. A former competitive skier, Karman is now founder and CEO of Kargo, which manages mobile brand advertising for clients including CBS Interactive, Hearst, Scripps and Vox. As such, he and his firm are all over Ad Week, with no fewer than four panels. Karman spoke with Cynopsis ahead of the big event to talk what it means to build a brand – and his thoughts on how the industry could use more female senior leadership.
Advertising and marketing have had a very interesting 2018.
It has been a really interesting year, considering all the cataclysmic changes in the marketing landscape. There’s this massive shift to programmatic and traders and lots of turnover in the industry in terms of dollars and agency teams. There’s a massive disruption taking place with newer, smaller entrants who seem to flourish – and the question is, how do those people market themselves and what platforms do they use.
What are you hoping to see discussed during the week?
One massive thing is the question of whether targeting of individuals as the only strategy has gone too far without the focus and need to perfect better creative. There seems to be this yo-yoing where the industry stretches itself at the expensive of creative to do better targeting.
You have a fireside chat with Mondelez’ chief marketing officer, Deb Koyama, on Oct. 3. She’s a senior marketing leader in the industry who’s also a woman; do you think the recent #MeToo headlines will affect any portion of your discussion?
Strong women leaders and role models have a much larger role to play today than in many years in the past. It seems to be a tale of two countries. Part of [our chat] is to ask Deb, because she’s such a strong leader, how does she communicate to her people and people that report to her and more junior people in her organization what her expectations are and what she has done to achieve her success. Also, what role she can play in terms of being a guide and role model for people that not only work for her but who work with others in the industry.
One panel Kargo’s president and COO, Ryan McConville, is heading up on Oct. 4 is about optimization for mobile. This has been a discussion point for years, yet the ad experiences on our phones feel more and more intrusive. What’s being done to change that?
It’s our job to prove out what formats actually work well, and one thing we look at is the annoyance factor. Ryan’s job is to use his opportunity to talk to a larger audience to communicate why and how you can produce an effective campaign for the mobile screen that will balance annoyance factor with being effective.
Branding remains so important in the business; what brand captured your loyalty when you were a teen?
I was very much into Sony televisions – which I still have. I was very much into Apple products – which I still have. I am on some level an arbiter of quality, so brands have had a significant impact on me. That said, there’s always the curiosity out there about what’s new, and better – and the expectation that the market will change.