Live From Advertising Week – Day 1


Cynopsis Presents:

Live From Advertising Week – Day 1


Mascots were thick on the ground outside the AMC Loews Lincoln Square Theater Monday, and on some level we’re a little sorry that the Jolly Green Giant and the Crash Test Dummies (the PSA stars, not the band) weren’t going to appear on panels in costume. But watching Charlie Tuna stand in front of a Simpsons-themed food cart dispensing coffee and donuts was a perfect way to kick off Advertising Week New York 2019. Here’s what we saw and who we talked to during Monday’s events – and a look at what you can expect tomorrow:
Roku and Innovid announced a new product that will pair the two companies to help brands understand better how their ads are being responded to by viewers across platforms. Innovid is set to measure demographic needs and frequency on Roku’s platform and linear TV. “This tool allows you to understand reach and frequency regardless of how it’s delivered on the screen,” said Alison Levin, VP Ad Sales & Strategy, Roku during the morning panel The Future of TV is Now: The Transformation of TV Measurement. “What’s really first to market about this opportunity is it’s completely frictionless,” she added. Levin was joined by Jessica Hogue, GM Measurement & Analytics, Innovid; Garett Sloane, Technology Reporter, AdAge; Mike Law, President, Amplifi US; and Jonathan Steuer, Chief Research Officer, Omnicom Media Group on the panel, where they further discussed how reach and frequency is affecting TV advertisers trying to compare linear and connected TV performance. Later, Law noted that there’s got to be a real shift in advertisers’ takes on what information they can get from what we still call television: “The top of the [TV] funnel still works,” he said. “Television as we’ve always defined it can do great things. Now the glass on the wall can work throughout the funnel. You don’t have to think about it as just performance – but reach extension. You’re starting to see that shift in paradigm about brands that have a more holistic view of this.”
In case you’ve ever wondered just how much information is being collected by your friendly streaming service, Jaya Kolhatkar, Chief Data Officer at Hulu, is happy to share: “We collect everything when the app is running,” she says. That comes to “15 billion” interactions every day. In order to figure out how to make all that data work for them, Hulu employs dozens of data scientists – and lots of AI. That was one of the key focuses of the Applied Artificial Intelligence for Enterprise … Really panel, which also featured Julia Huang, Managing Director, Amex Ventures;  Martin Swant, Forbes reporter, CMO Network; Ravi Mehta, Chief Product Officer, Tinder; and Vince Lynch, CEO, IV.AI. “Everyone’s an AI company,” laughed Huang. “Everyone has data. It’s about what you do with the data.” Added Kolhatkar, it’s still about mixing the scientists’ knowledge with the possibilities of artificial intelligence. “Once you know what your business is trying to achieve, then it is easy to go in and look at areas where you can understand the value of leveraging AI,” she said. “We don’t come up with a problem we want to solve with AI – rather we’ll think of what ways we could solve it, and use the simplest way possible.”
Collaboration requires trust, first and foremost, noted Dan Aversano, SVP of Ad Innovation and Programmatic Solutions, Ignite WarnerMedia Ad Sales, while on the Collaborate to Create panel, which also included Otto Bell, Chief Creative Officer, Courageous; Amy Leifer, VP, Sales Planning & Operations, Xandr Media; Jon Holding, Head of Acquisition Marketing US, Invesco; and Ryan Joe, Managing Editor, AdExchanger. “Trust is what you need to make collaboration work,” Aversano explained, noting that Holding was new to his role with Invesco when he had to team up with several of the others to create a fresh ad spot. “You have to trust Otto to tell the story, you have to trust Amy with distribution and that’s the leap we took, and it worked.” The spot, “Stories of Innovation,” debuted on CNN and has now been seen by 12 million people and growing. It wasn’t just meant to be a one-off, either, said Holding. “We’ve started to develop stories that are not only chapter one, but 2, 3, 4, 5. We’re basically talking about how do we sustain this relationship.” Of course, Aversano and Leifer are “collaborating all the time,” she noted; they’d shared dinner the night before. “I supplied the ingredients and Dan whipped it all together.”


Recharging remains a constant issue around the venue, which should be no surprise for those who attended AWNY in 2018. Fortunately, Hulu‘s large display on the ground level provided not just plugs but wireless charging options (for those who had the capacity to use them), while Verizon‘s second-floor hangout featured USB chargers on multiple tables.
Another spot of interest was FourthWall Media‘s demonstration area, where their new TV analytics and optimization platform Reveal 5 was on hand for testing out. Reveal 5 “puts all of the data, audience matching, analytics, optimization, and attribution in one platform,” Ellen Dudar, chief product officer, FourthWall Media said. “We want to convey that it’s an integrated platform that is real and ready to be put to work. As Version 5, we have proven out the data infrastructure and processes that support the analytics that are important to marketers, agencies, programmers, and operators.”


If you’re in advertising, you’re probably familiar with The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF). Around since 1936, the organization aims to bring the benefits of science to the study of marketing and advertising – words that are undoubtedly music to the ears of many AW attendees, particularly ones involved with AI. “For us, evidence matters,” says president and CEO Scott McDonald. “Everybody’s very sales-y in the business, loves the greatest hot new thing – and our job is to see if there’s any proof for it.” McDonald sat down with Cynopsis ahead of Advertising Week to discuss what it means to do things a little “orthogonal” to the rest of the industry.
What is the importance of Advertising Week to the industry?
McDonald: For the industry it’s to me it’s like the CES of the ad industry. Someone you want to meet is going to be there; people do a lot of side meetings. Outside of being in NY it’s important because of its scale to the industry. To the ARF it’s part of an experiment we’ve been building in the last year or so. It’s a way of breaking out of the insularity of doing your own conferences. Part of what we’re trying to do was come up with something that was a little orthogonal to the other programming.
You’re interviewing on two keynotes Wednesday: The Customer Journey – Being Fit for Purpose; and Connecting the Dots: Fans, Ice Cream and Values. What’s the most important thing to remember about being a moderator of a discussion?
McDonald: I view these kinds gatherings as opportunities to learn. The moderator has to make that happen by asking questions for things you don’t understand, or things that might be doubling up in the mind of someone who might have some skepticism. Beyond that, it’s keep an eye on the clock.
Streaming services are one of the hottest areas of the business right now. What excites you about that aspect of content?
McDonald: You have an extraordinary expansion of choice, a lot of competition for programs, and old shows rights being traded to broadcast, and new values being set for these libraries. From a consumer standpoint there are a lot of interesting questions that are exciting to me as a researcher and observer of these things. For one thing, how do people cope with so many choices? Will this look like Spotify or Pandora five years from now, with algorithms recommending things to you, as opposed to sending you to a guide or more analog forms of program discovery? With the perpetration of skinny bundles, you have people hit a ceiling of how much households can stand, and it’s so easy to cancel a subscription. There’s a lot of hopping around behavior and the question is, how does that get managed by these companies who want to monetize after they’ve made these investments. It’s a scrum right now.
You have a PhD in sociology – how does that help in understanding the advertising space?
McDonald: Sociology concerns itself with measurement as well as creating conceptual models and incorporates other science fields. Things I learned in graduate school that were directly applicable – statistic, network analysis, stratification and inequality, and demography and all those things, they’re part of how you understand the world and sociology is trying to translate those into a narrative that non-specialists can grok. I think I’ve used them every day of my career. I did a panel yesterday about influencer marketing and those are sociological questions.
* 70% of marketers prioritize content quality over quantity
* Titles with 6 to 13 words attract the highest and most consistent amount of traffic
* Content marketing generates more than three times as many leads as outbound marketing (and costs 62% less)
* 51% of content consumption derives from organic search
* By 2022, mobile traffic (via smartphones) is expected to increase tenfold
Sources: Point Visible, HubSpot, Content Marketing Institute, Kuno Creative, Ericsson
“This is an opportunity all in one place to hear from many competitors, potential partners in just over a week,” said Hanna Gryncwajg, VP Enterprise of Accounts for measurement attribution company TVSquared. “It’s like information by firehose.”
On Day 2, panels will include The Future of TV Is Now: How Brands are Scaling Success in Connected TV; The Streaming Wars Paved the Way for an Ad-Supported OTT World; and TV+Attribution: A Modern Day Love Story. Also look out for a Cynopsis chat with Brad Feinberg, VP of media and consumer engagement for MillerCoors, who calls AWNY, “(A) North Star moment in the year where the community points us on the path forward in the evolution of modern marketing.”
Got something you want to share? Insights after a panel? Advice on where to find the best place for lunch? Then track down Cynopsis at one of the panels listed above, or ping newsletter reporter Randee Dawn on Twitter @RandeeDawn !


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