10/19/22: Cynopsis Reports From Advertising Week

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM NEW YORK INTERCONNECT
 

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday October 19, 2022

Insights and Highlights from Advertising Week New York 2022

By Charlotte Dulany, Event Content Manager, Cynopsis

Marketers are still dancing to the beat of Advertising Week (literally – there are dance breaks every afternoon). The annual event is on its third day, but crowds haven’t thinned and the conversations remain lively. Here, Cynopsis offers a cheat sheet for the trends and strategies that were hot topics today.

CULTURE

Albert Thompson wants to differentiate between buying versus building trust. The managing director of digital innovation at Walton Isaacson sat down with panelists to discuss the value that comes from a culture of trust in an age of disinformation and cultural appropriation. Julie Arbit, global SVP of insights at Vice Media Group, noted that whereas traditional tactics might lead companies to tell influencers what to do, it’s better to collaborate with them and to celebrate communities that care. “Take action, don’t just say something,” Arbit advised, a tactic Stephanie Delgado, director of sales and brand partnerships at TalentX, dubbed “Social listening.”

“We have a responsibility to unite,” said TelevisaUnivison’s head of Brand Studio Caroline Olkowski. And with the vast amount of cultures that comprise the Latinx fabric, it’s important to have representation both on- and off-camera. “There are so many ways to be a Latino in America,” said Olkowski. Delgado noted the lack of trust she feels toward companies without employees who look like her, who are in the positions that make decisions for her community.

GAME CHANGERS

A cookieless world, cost increases and a new approach for younger demographics… These are the reasons that Meredith Hughes, VP and client partner at Labelium, said make intrinsic in-game advertising “one of today’s biggest net new opportunities in the past several years.” According to Ben Devore, director of media strategy at the American Cancer Society, the uniqueness and benefit of this kind of virtual experience comes from the audience and the environment: “This gives you a great opportunity to reach [the audience] with that noninvasive messaging.”

Looking into the crystal ball, Frank Amorese, VP of media, partnerships and creative studio at Heineken USA, predicts that the experience of sports will change. “What we’re trying to do is upscale every experience… That can be anything from onsite activation around a specific game or match, to select view, but upscaling the opportunity just to make those experiences that much better,” Amorese said. “That’s where the bar is going to be raised.” Thinking of social media and influencer culture, Melody Hildebrandt, president of Blockchain Creative Labs, added, “The way that fans connect with the athletes that they admire the most is going to change.”

On live sports: Jeremy Carey, chief investment officer at Optimum Sports, observed that today’s technology is a white space opportunity to better activate across the board. “The consumer’s ability as a spender also goes up, so across the board, the league is going to win,” he said. In the discussion, GVP of agency partnerships at DIRECTV Advertising Jason Brum compared the streaming consumer to the legacy satellite consumer: “They’re younger, they have different viewing habits, and as a streamer, you want to engage that consumer in the way that they’re consuming the media.” Takeaway: Companies can produce games differently, categorize sports content differently, offer niche opportunities in sports, and meet the consumer where they’re going – these are the game plans that hit the back of the net.

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM NEW YORK INTERCONNECT

THE ATTENTION ECONOMY

Marketers are fighting for consumer attention. With an overload of options through content, platform and screens, engaging audiences is more valuable than ever. Sean McCaffrey, president and CEO of GSTV, defined premium video as “being able to connect a conversation with a consumer into something that will drive action.” On retail media, McCaffrey added, “Attention is preferred because attention drives action, it’s different than the ability.”

Industry evolution continues to invite change into the industry. And with big challenges come big opportunities. “Context matters,” said Yahoo chief revenue officer Elizabeth Herbst-Brady, who said that capturing sustained attention is the product of running campaigns at the right time and moment, and in the right format. Stephanie Fried, chief marketing officer at Fandom, pointed out that eyeballs are no longer enough. “It is not just about reach or the number of people who saw it, but the type of person who saw it and the impact on [them].” Takeaway: A deep loyalty to brands enables consumers to digest information that will inspire action.

AUTHENTICITY

“Absolutely authentic.” This is how Arthur Leopold, president of Cameo, the website that allows celebrities to send video messages directly to fans, described Bethenny Frankel. Fans can purchase shout-outs, endorsements and even business advice from the TV personality and entrepreneur for $349. Frankel, an investor in the company, described the ads that don’t work: “a level of inauthentic,” that marketers force on viewers because “they think [they’re] stupid.”

Brands want to work with celebrities “now more than ever,” according to Leopold, because of their familiarity, fame and their ability to capture the culture. Frankel called her partnership with Cameo “very freeing.” Adam Dettman, head of partnerships in North America for Molson Coors Beverage Co., said it’s crucial to move at the speed of culture. “That moment is a moment in time you can capture and build on, but if you don’t then it’s back-page news in a couple days.”

UTA returned to Advertising Week with programming themed “The New Business of Entertainment,” including insights about how brands should prioritize entertainment marketing opportunities. “In an era of entertainment abundance, creators have become more important than ever,” said Shelby Bier, marketing analyst for UTA Entertainment & Culture Marketing. “UTA’s new research found that consumers prioritize ‘quality content’ as the number one indicator for subscribing and staying subscribed to a streaming service. And nearly 75% of consumers define quality content as programming that comes from creators with unique POVs or celebrities they admire. This gives brands the opportunity to partner with talent at the creative level so they can scale their vision across cultural touchpoints and deliver on increased ROI.”

From the sales perspective, Jason Swartz, VP of advanced advertising and new business for national sales at NYI, said, “It’s fun, right? Switching gears to these streaming assets and that availability, you become the educator, the influencer, within your own group.”

For Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah, the duo who co-founded Creative Control and are known as Coodie & Chike, storytelling is a medium that bridges the gap. “We want to utilize story to find themes within our culture that aren’t expressed, that can help people have empathy,” said Ozah. The creative twosome co-directed “Jeen-Yuhs,” the 2022 documentary on Ye (formerly known as Kanye West), which they revealed wasn’t easy to get made. For them, it took someone with the right vision to push for the story to be seen.

So, does culture influence content or vice versa? For Ozah, they’re equally important elements of a 360-degree ecosystem. He called culture the seed that can be amplified through content, which is later regurgitated through the same creation.

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM NEW YORK INTERCONNECT

RETAIL MEDIA

“There’s a lot of unknown but also there’s a lot of abundance. The more you push, the more you grow… The more you can do awesome things.” This is how Felice Archbold, Complex Networks’ director of experiential, described how to design for the future of commerce. “One constant of commerce is that it is ever-evolving.” Take a page out of Complex’s book: keep up with the importance of growing and evolving alongside the audience, stay on the pulse of culture, and know what viewers want and deliver that.

“If retail media is the product, it’s really commerce that is the practice,” said GSTV’s Sean McCaffrey. “It’s about finding the consumer at the right place, moment and time to influence a sale. Retail media is traditionally a performance-driven, lower-funnel space, while CTV is at the top of the funnel and focused on brand awareness.”

“TV commerce bridges the gap between the two and provides the opportunity to marry shopability with streaming,” noted Jenna Chen, strategic partnerships director at Walmart Connect. In establishing a culture of experimentation and a willingness to innovate, it’s possible to shrink the distance between the marketer and the consumer.

Hugh Scallon, VP and head of video activation, VaynerMedia, called today a “fascinating time to be in the business.” As TV’s become more digital, digital capabilities further enhance TV. Scallon called linear a “well-established shoppable TV industry,” while digital has “shoppable activations in social.” Takeaway: It will take a dual movement to make waves in the connected space.

GEN Z

Everybody wants them. But who are they? We spoke to some people who have cracked the code.

Carrie Seifer, chief client officer at GWI: “One-fifth of society is in this generation. These are 16-25 year olds that have $360 billion of disposable income, according to Bloomberg, and that doubled in the last three years. So, there’s a reason that this generation matters… They are the most diverse generation thus far….And they basically have been molded by a global pandemic that most people in society today have never seen.”

Katina Papas Wachter, head of ad strategy at The Roku Channel: “I think the industry at large is nervous about how much that social media has captured this audience’s attention.” Her best advice for reaching them is with original content like adult animation, unscripted reality series and nostalgia content that is targeted to them using first-party data.

Ryan Spicer, chief revenue officer at Atmosphere: “Every new generation brings with it distinct qualities and distinct characteristics, but Gen Z has their own distinct characteristics and qualities; they believe passionately in supporting brands that have purpose, they find themselves to be especially socially engaged in the world around them, they are targeted with more ads and messages with the development of our business, and they’ve gotten quite good at ignoring traditional messaging.”

Jo Kinsella, president of InnovidXP at Innovid: “They are the future and they’re here. And they won’t tolerate inertia.”

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM NEW YORK INTERCONNECT

OVERSEEN AND OVERHEARD

Attendees were checking their smartphones to see how many steps they logged walking from session to session, and guided meditation sessions were packed. Mindfulness is on the minds of attendees, who have been hugging, blowing kisses, exchanging business cards and rejoicing the return of live events.

“I’m not just Hispanic for the month of September,” said Stephanie Delgado, director of sales and brand partnerships at TalentX, on companies that only celebrate her culture during National Hispanic Heritage Month, which ended four days ago.

“You’ve gotta have slay shoes,” said Jo Kinsella, president of InnovidXP at Innovid, on her hot pink heels.

A young, stylish crowd lined up outside The Great Minds Stage to hear Emily Ratajkowski (known online by her Instagram handle @emrata) speak about joining the audio space with her upcoming podcast, “High Low with EmRata.” Ratajkowski on the many podcast offers she received over the years: “I was just like… Every mother f-er has a podcast. And I just don’t want to do that unless I’m gonna do it really well.”

At six-foot-five, Clayton Echard from “The Bachelor” towered over everyone on his way to his session on “the vault of secrets behind all things money and careers.”

Bethenny Frankel on the TikTok viral sensation “Corn kid”: “Maybe he’ll be as famous as Lawrence of Arabia but he may not. He may be the ‘corn kid,’ and this was it. Respect to the corn kid. Mad respect to the corn kid.”

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast… You can achieve so much if you have a team that imbibes the right culture,” said Kenny Mitchell, CMO at Snap Inc.

Cynopsis Team

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director
@Lynn_Leahey

Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Robbie Caploe
VP/Group Publisher
@robertacaploe

Executive Director of Sales
Albert Nassour
917-545-3129
Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
John Cox

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