10/03/18: Live From Ad Week – Day 2

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Live from Advertising Week
by Randee Dawn

Advertising Week New York strode confidently into Day 3 with activity both inside and outside the Loews AMC Lincoln Square. Maybe a little too much activity; multiple attendees groused about crowds, long lines for panels and escalators that no longer worked. On the flip side, experts applauded the “smart questions” from audiences and opportunities for networking. And hey, if it’s too busy inside, the mild temperatures and profusion of food and branded trucks outside were very welcoming. Here are highlights from what you might have missed, and a look at what’s coming up for AWNY’s final day:
It’s hard to imagine demystifying video monetization in under an hour, but Minute Media‘s president and CRO Rich Routman gave it an honest shot in his one-man panel Video Monetization Demystified, in which he noted that virtually every permutation of getting eyeballs to stick to video content has been tried, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Much depends, he noted, on just how and why the viewer has arrived at the experience. “Try not to look at it from the 50,000 foot level,” he said. One big topic was the controversy surrounding autoplay videos. “We have to make our money through video,” he noted. But is the viewer arriving at the page hoping to immediately watch video, or because they want to read text first? he asked the crowd. “If you’re overly reliant on autoplay, you never get a good picture of your viewership.” Also worth noting is that not all video is created equal around the world: two video plays in Brazil could sap a user’s data plan. “That’s not a way to win consumers,” he said.
The room was packed for The Changing Face of Data and Advertising, which featured Joanna O’Connell, VP and Principal Analyst for Forrester Research; Dennis Self, President and GM, Acxiom; Atul Dalma, SVP, Global Commercial and Merchant Analytics, American Express; Melinda Welsh, Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Consumer Lending for Chase Auto at JPMorgan Chase & Co.; and Saejin Park, Director, Global Data Monetization, General Motors. During the discussion, O’Connell underscored how important it is to understand that most enigmatic of subjects: the customer. “We’re living in a world where consumers are more entitled and more empowered and have more choices than ever before,” she said. Added Dalma, it’s important to walk the line between personalization and assuming you actually know your customer. “Knowing your customers really well translates into a customization experience,” he said. “But the biggest mistake is to think you know everything about a customer. Let customers tell you what work.” Park said brands can develop lifetime customers if they can be available at the precise right moment in a customer’s life. “That’s how you provide brand loyalty,” she said. “Being there when they need you.”
Live streaming is where it’s at, regardless of the content, but just how to make it pay remains elusive. “Live events don’t make money,” stated Cole Morgan, CEO of Let’s Go Live during the Monetizing the Live Stream panel. But clever advertisers and distributors are always looking for new ways to create additional value in an event that may be sold out, or draw anywhere from 50,000-100,000 people. One way, said Jonathan Anastis, Chief Marketing Officer, LiveXLive, is to involve artists in side video projects during breaks in performances. “If people have budget, we can get artists involved – we do tour bus adventures, we bring chefs in and have them cook things with artists. If you’ve already brought in $300,000 worth of production equipment to capture a show, you already have everything there – the incremental costs are small.” Meanwhile, Twitch is a platform that allows consumers to take monetization into their own hands – channel viewers can level up with their most loved creators by subscribing, or donating money directly; acknowledgement from the creator then creates a kind of social currency among viewers. “It adds this element of altruism,” said Anthony Danzi, SVP of Sales for Twitch. “It’s a community that’s so invested, they’re donating cash and feel ownership over the environment. It creates really cool stories online.”
Got six seconds? One early panel on Tuesday, What Can You Really Say in Six Seconds? looked at the obsession of super-brief video in the digital media ecosystem. Now frequently seen on social networks and video services like YouTube (and less frequently on traditional linear TV), six-second ads were seen as more than enough to get a message across. “Generally, stories have protagonists and heroes and narrative arcs,” said Stacy Minero, Twitter Head of Content Creation. “[In six second ads] You can land a key message, you can showcase a key feature or product benefit if you are laser-focused.”
If you’re not down yet with OTT, it’s time to get invested. Over-the-top programming and how to monetize it was the topic of multiple panels, including The 2018 OTT Experience, which delved into how important players are rethinking what it means to be a platform. “OTT is the new norm of the living room,” noted Bennett Crumbling, TV Strategy and BD Lead for The Trade Desk, who monitored Wednesday’s panel. Sinclair Broadcast Group Head of OTT/CTV Advertising Sales Brian Hunt let us know that ad budgets are now getting line items dedicated to OTT, adding, “You have to be anywhere and everywhere your consumers are.” Connectivity was the watchword – each panelist understands that consumers are watching on multiple screens during the day – but what bedevils most in the industry is how to figure out VCR. Not the old video tape decks, but Video Completion Rate. “‘Views’ or ‘ratings’ feel like old-fashioned words to me,” noted Samantha Cooper, Viacom EVP of Distribution Partnerships. “The VMAs were streamed 280 million times this year … it was being consumed, but not necessarily in a CTV space. I’m not sure how that gets reconciled.” Looking ahead, the panel examined the concept of Automated Content Recognition, specifically in relation to smart TVs that are able to monitor both content and ads in their devices. “That capability coming directly from the device manufacturer helps us realize relevance,” said Roy Firestone, Head of Video, OpenX.
Meanwhile, at a late panel on Tuesday, The Money’s in the Living Room: The Future of Advertising is OTT, was just one insightful look into how to over-the-top video is set to grow in upcoming years, and how marketers can take advantage of it. Nielsen Watch president Megan Clarken said that average Americans watch 6 hours of video per day, with 4 hours and 45 minutes of that being linear TV. OTT comes out to about 45 minutes. But that will change, she added: “That 45 minutes is going to eat into that live TV time, and it will be really interesting to see who rises to the top.”
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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.
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.
NOV. 7, 9AM – 1:45PM | Yale Club, NYC
The Digital Vs. Linear War Is Over: Convergence Is Here
Measurement is now a team sport, no longer siloed into linear TV & digital content. That’s why our first session, lead by execs at Turner & Meredith, will unpack the fundamentals of cross-platform measurement today, focusing on the major trends sweeping the media industry in solving for unduplicated reach.
[ Sponsored by TV Time ]

* 47% of adults 22-45 years old can’t be reached via traditional TV advertising
* As of 2017, 1 in 3 young households (defined as having a head of household under 35) do not subscribe to traditional TV
* Millennials alone represent $1.3T in buying power
* By 2019 millennials will be the largest adult generation in the US
* Next year there will be 73M millennials in the US, compared with 72M baby boomers
Source: Hearts 7 Sciences “The Unreachables” report
“It speaks to a very human need, which is ‘I want to watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it, and I want advertisements that are specific to me.’ Don’t tell me what I need to watch.” – Alex Wallace, VP Entertainment and Oath Studios, Oath, at The 2018 OTT Experience
The week wraps up tomorrow, with panels including Show Me the Money: Proving ROI Has Never Been Easier; The Mobile Imperative: What You Need to Know to Improve Your Mobile Ad Strategy; Brand Love, Brand Loyalty & The Pursuit of Purpose; and Cohesive Cross Platform. Plus, we’ll have much more from Wavemaker’s David Gaines, who talks about being steeped in American brand loyalty as a teen. See you then!
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