Live From Advertising Week Day – 3


Cynopsis Presents:

Live From Advertising Week – Day 3

“Wednesday morning at Advertising Week! Largely known to be when the best panels are,” quipped Tubi‘s Chief Revenue Officer Mark Rotblat ahead of one of the earlier panels that marked the midpoint of AWNY 2019. Attendees knew by now where to find their coffee (second floor), donuts (the cart outside) and largely where to stand in line – which made the whole day run a bit more smoothly all around. But really, who turned the A/C up to “Arctic” in the theaters? Never mind – here’s a slew of highlights from Best Panel Day:
If you wondered what panel had people lining up around the winding staircase on Tuesday, let’s just say they were going for the big match – between legendary Olympic athlete and entrepreneur Serena Williams and a worthy panel of non-pro athletes, including Guru Gowrappan, CEO OF Verizon Media, and Julia Boorstin, Entertainment & Media Correspondent at CNBC. The chat covered a wide range of topics, from Williams’ retirement from tennis, taking a role as Chairwoman of Verizon’s Board of Advisors, her clothing line and venture firm – and strollers. But wait – retirement? Not really. Williams joked that she’d “transfer out, you know, in 20 years. Not any time soon.” Phew. As for things she’s looking to invest in, Williams said she’s “really interested in technology and even more so, founders … we really focus on female founders.” Examples? Daily Harvest, Lola and Colugo. In all her pursuits, the tennis legend said that “my main goal is to get rid of the word ‘exclusive’ and bring in the word ‘inclusive.'”
In addition, a late Tuesday panel posited that TV + Attribution was A Modern Day Love Story. But the real love story addressed by an enthusiastic Kathy Newberger, Journalist, Media Village; Matt Krepsik, Global Head Of MROI Product Leadership, Nielsen Global Media; Michael Scott, Head of Sales for the East Coast, Samsung Ads; Bob Ivins, Chief Data Officer, NCC MEDIA; Craig Berkley, Head of Revenue, LiveRamp TV; and Tom McLoughlin VP, Regional Sales, New York Interconnect was with TV in general. As with any relationship, the devil could be in the details – and everyone noted that they were still working on untangling those attribution knots. McLoughlin noted that they’d been working on TV attribution for eight years, and advertisers want to know how to use addressable data. “We found that attribution gave our clients confidence that their ads worked,” he said. “We saw the thirst from advertiser to tie ad exposure to actual outcomes.” The notion that data collection and sharing has to be more collaborative was got an airing. “What we’re trying to do now is a team sport,” said Ivins. “We need to work together – not only distributors, but data companies and content providers need to come together to deliver on the promise.”
On Wednesday morning, Tubi took over the Storycrafters Stage with a video track introduction hosted by CEO Farhad Massoudi, who announced that The Future of TV is Video. That makes sense; Tubi is a free video-on-demand service that’s meant to complement subscription services. As he noted, the slew of subscription services out there needs something like Tubi to help alleviate “subscription fatigue.” “TV is becoming less and less relevant every day,” he said. “Is there a way to have the best of both worlds – TV and digital? The answer is yes, with OTT.”
Following Massoudi’s brief solo presentation, the stage filled with experts in the OTT measurement community for the panel Fireside Chat: Capitalizing on the OTT Advertising Opportunity. While sometimes having to speak through odd drilling sounds going on behind the stage, Tubi’s Rotblat moderating; Mike Law, President, Amplifi US; Catherine Sullivan, Chief Investment Officer, Omnicom Media Group NA; David Campanelli, EVP, Co-Chief Investment Officer, Video, Horizon Media; and Ari Rosenfeld, Investment Lead, Wavemaker all gathered to cast a gimlet eye at Nielsen‘s failings and assert that it’s time to stop thinking about OTT as different from linear. “Collectively we’ve done a crummy job with the data we have now,” said Sullivan. “I don’t think any of our clients are satisfied with the way media is being measured. … Our clients are not satisfied with the ’rounding error’ Nielsen has now. We have to collectively push ourselves. … It’s almost like a Band-Aid where we need a tourniquet.” Added Campanelli, “We have to own [our data collection], not rely on a third party all the time. Nielsen will always have a vital role, but we’re way past the days of waiting for Nielsen to take the initiative.”
Ben & Jerry’s provides food not just for our stomachs, but food for thought as well. Since inception, the Vermont-based ice cream company has made it a point to be proactively socially conscious. The Advertising Research Foundation‘s president and CEO Scott McDonald sat down with B&J’s CEO Matthew McCarthy to discuss Connecting the Dots: Fans, Ice Cream and Values. “Their approach to developing customer experience goes beyond the product, the ice cream and the marketing of the ice cream to say, ‘What do we stand for?'” said McDonald. “They’re an exemplar of that strand of thinking in business right now that involves mixing up politics and getting involved in national issues.”
It’s definitely not one size fits all any more in measuring and metrics, as we learned in the Trying Video on For Size panel, which featured Andrew Blustein, Reporter, The Drum; Noah Levine, CRO, 605; Ivan Markman, VP, Chief Business Officer, Verizon Media; and Mark Rotblat, Chief Revenue Officer, Tubi. Yet some kind of standardization is needed, so that media buyers aren’t left struggling to figure out every individual company’s standards. “This fragmentation is going to make it even harder for the industry to adopt standards, a single way of buying, everyone is going to be defining their audience targets in different ways,” said Levine. “What we’re probably going to need are measurement companies, technology companies that can partner with walled gardens and also have an open source system to help understand how organizations works so they can be normalized for the buyer. That’s going to take some time.”
Prior to moderating the Beyond the :30: How to Reach the New Wave of Consumers panel, Hulu VP and Head of Research Julie DeTraglia gave a short presentation for the gathered audience, sharing results from the company’s digital fluency study. As she worked through a series of slides, she noted that what they found with the study is “it’s not just about younger generations,” and that “media is core to digital identity.” Media was shown to be a gateway to more technologies; those who like channels like Hulu or Netflix move into a transactional space like Ebay or Venmo with greater ease. They also traced individual’s comfort level with technology, noting that there are minimalists who only use tech grudgingly; there’s a midrange of individuals who find it makes life easier if not joyful, and finally there are those at the opposite end of the spectrum who get great joy and entertainment and want an interactive element. Perhaps most importantly, “Digitally-fluent consumers are influencers,” she said.
After the slide show, DeTraglia introduced Brad Feinberg, VP of Media & Consumer Engagement, MillerCoors; and Geoffrey Sanders, SVP of Growth, Casper, both of whom have advertised with Hulu, about their experiences in the space and with the company. Feinberg noted that 15s and 30s “work less well” than in the past. If you’re an existing well-known brand like MillerCoors, the main objective is to turn that awareness into transactions, he said. “That means we have to understand the entire funnel.” As for experimenting with emerging platforms, finances are an issue: MillerCoors has a “Media 10” in which they ask brand teams to allocate 10 percent of their budgets to emerging spaces, but a newer company like Casper doesn’t have that luxury. “Every single one of our dollars has to work to drive the business,” said Sanders. “There’s no slush fund.”


The Future is Female winners were announced at Tuesday’s concert (in partnership with Ampersand), which was headlined by TLC. The winners: Arnetta Whiteside, associate director, Research & Planning, Cultural Quotient, Publicis Media; Jessica McGlory, Director of Paid Social Media Marketing, Bombas; Amy Manganiello, Global Advertising Director, Reebok; Christena Pyle, Executive Director, Advertising, Time’s Up; Maya Azzi, Director of Corporate Luxury Marketing and Strategy, L’Oreal; Jen Wong, COO, Reddit; Belen Marquez, Art Director, Droga5; Leena Danan, SVP & Managing Director, Horizon Media; Laura Fruitman, Co-founder, The Right To Shower, Unilever; Larene Mantel, VP, Advanced TV and Audio Strategy, Cadreon.
Jon Schulz, CMO of Viant appeared on the AMA: Techlash is Here: What it Means for Marketers & Consumers in China & US panel on Tuesday, then sat down with Cynopsis to talk about how the conference was going – and what key trends he’s been spotting. “The out-of-home advertising industry is making a big push this year with their OOH is Real campaign,” he noted. “Practically anywhere you go you see digital billboards and signage. It’s a fantastic medium that is maturing with its ability to hyper-target and be measurable, and Advertising Week is the perfect place to display its potential.”
Jay Sethi, CMO of Diageo Beer Company and head of Smirnoff North America joined Orange is the New Black actress Laverne Cox on the Can a Brand Truly Be Inclusive panel Wednesday, and later told Cynopsis reporter Cathy Olsen, “Diversity and inclusion are really well rooted in our brand’s history. We serve over 50 million people in the US. That means, by definition, we are diverse – every income bracket, race, gender. This is our consumer and we want to reflect that in our work.”  

The pursuit of better, cleaner, more organized data solutions remains the holy grail for any number of companies attending AWNY, but two of them: Eikimetrics and Kenshoo, each have their own philosophy on how to make that work. Cynopsis got the lowdown on both approaches from Ekimetrics’ general manager for North America Adam Rogers (making his first trip to AW this year), who appeared on Wednesday’s panel Operationalizing the Customer Experience: Role of CDP; and Tom Affinito, VP for corporate development at Kenshoo, an AWNY veteran who says, “Advertising Week is like a 25th anniversary college reunion that happens every year!”  Affinito will also appear on a panel tomorrow, Putting the Customer at the Heart of Investment Decisions.
What are the messages you want your audiences to take away from your panels?
Affinito: The message is simple: to unlock investments for innovation, and to uncover key insights for market advantage, marketers must move beyond a myopic focus on current marketing pixels and tracking data. Instead, we show that scaling a brand’s ability to learn about marketing’s impact directly from their customers, through scientific marketing experiments, provides a better foundation for identifying and optimizing effective tactics.
Rogers: There are three key messages I want to make sure we communicate:
Business First: Do not expect a CDP or any data project which is not perfectly aligned with the company strategic goals to have any ROI. Being technology-led can often limit adoption, overall value, executive support of long-term investment, and competitiveness.
Customer Centricity: Whatever a brand chooses to set up should be a value driver for the customer. The more you know about how a customer behaves (and will behave) the better you can serve them, and that should be a primary focus.
Change Management: The human aspect is as important as the analytics. The promise of technology, especially in the marketing field, will always be unmet without a good adoption plan to implement change and increase returns.
Both of your companies are in the AI universe, but what about the human element?
Affinito: Whether AI is replacing or augmenting people is a constant conversation. For some areas that have tight mathematical optimization models like marketplace bids, AI approaches have matured to the point where most marketers are happy to stop doing their hourly Excel pivot tables and leave it to algorithms to make economic adjustments in real time.
In other areas, like optimizing media and creative strategy across channels for specific products and audiences, too many dynamics exist in consumer behavior and media usage for AI to currently act as more than an advisor or signal processor to highlight key areas for the human team. Our eyes remain wide open, always considering which decisions we should hand over to the machines, taking great care to consider unintended network effects or the scalability of bad software.
Rogers: AI and advanced analytics are enablers of improving performance, but ultimately, they are just tools. A data platform is a powerful tool, but it is exponentially more powerful when it is working in synergy with the direct application of sophisticated thinking to produce novel insights and strategic planning. In our work, the human part is in who we are, how we work, and in what we deliver.
What’s the first concert you ever attended?
Affinito: Seeing Suzanne Vega play live at a coffeehouse here in New York City in the late ’80s. I was in college in New Jersey at the time, and after I accidentally stumbled upon her playing live one evening, I took the train into NYC for the rest of the week to watch her acoustic technique. I still get shivers remembering her delivery after all these decades!
Rogers: I will win this question. My first concert was Young MC opening for Milli Vanilli. I was only around 11, so I couldn’t stay for the whole time, but I did see Milli Vanilli do some sort of sword ritual with an audience member they brought on stage. I promise I was there for Young MC. Beat that!

Note: Interviews were conducted separately.


* Live TV median age: 56
* 77 percent increase in brand safety incident rate from 2015 to 2019
* Only 29 percent of viewing time is done by 18-49 audiences on TV
* More than half of total viewing time is now done by 55+ viewers
* 70 percent of brands experienced at least one unsafe brand exposure
* 85 percent of households have fewer than 3 subscription services
* $2.5 billion is projected for addressable TV spend in 2019 – but it’s still just 3 percent of the total TV spend
Source: Tubi panels at Story Crafters Stage
“We have a swear jar at the office; if anyone uses the old term, they have to contribute.” – Bob Ivins, Chief Data Officer for the recently re-named Ampersand, formerly known as NCC Media. No word on just how full it is yet.
On the final day of the conference, panels include Capitalize on The Convergence of Linear & Digital; Disrupters & Provocateurs: Redefining ‘The Medium is the Message’ for the 21st Century; and The Combination of Influence & Authenticity Makes a Winning Team. Also look out for a Cynopsis chat with IV.AI CEO Vince Lynch, who explains that despite the grown of AI, “there’s always a human element.” Catch you then!
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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