Recapping The Week That Was: 2014 AdWeek

by • October 9, 2014 • Comments (0)


As you all know, AW 2014 came to a close last week and it’s almost impossible to see every panel that you would like. There’s just so much great content, that you have to make decisions, knowing that you will inevitably miss something. Since we know how much you wanted to hear those panels, we’ve enlisted the help of Michael Tonge, Mobile Specialist at Dentsu-Aegis, to highlight some of the more interesting, mobile panels. Enjoy

Session: Mobile on a Monday Morning 

What better way to start the week than by chatting about mobile?  To kickoff Advertising Week 2014, Isobar’s Tim Dunn (Director of Strategy) served as the impromptu moderator on a panel of mobile executives from varying points of expertise. Rightfully stated, “No one doubts that mobile is quite important to the media landscape these days.”

The participants of the Mobile C-Suite panel included: James Connelly, CEO and Founder of “Fetch,” the self-proclaimed most loved mobile agency. Carrie Seiffer, Head of Strategy at Millennial Media and the only American accent on the panel. Jon Hook, the Head of Mobile for Mediacom’s international division. Megan Clarken, EVP of Product Leadership at Nielsen. Josh Engoff, Managing Partner at kbs+ ventures, and Chief Digital Media Officer at The Media Kitchen.

Out of the gate, Mediacom’s Jon Hook identified a key obstacle when it comes to winning mobile budgets. “Senior marketers are not convinced that mobile can bring the kind of income and revenue that other channels can.”

The experts discussed some key pain points once Dunn sarcastically posed the following question – “So short of waiting for CMO’s to age and die, what are some of the other major obstacles?”

“Repurposed desktop banners brought into the mobile space are a complete catastrophe.” – Josh Engroff

“The biggest obstacle is also the biggest opportunity… the user is going from the physical to the digital world every five minutes now because of the phone. For us it [ROI metrics] hasn’t changed it has helped them sell s*^#. Either way we have to help them sell stuff ” – Carrie Seiffer

“There is a myth in mobile that it lacks measurability and accountability. I’d go as far as to say that mobile is the most measurable channel in advertising. And in fact it’s (not a channel) but a platform.” – James Connelly

After debating who was poised to lead clients through this converging landscape, (global agencies or expert/specialty shops), the panelists wrapped up their discussion with bold mobile predictions for next year.

Session: One Screen, Two Screens, We All Scream for More Screens

To close out the first day of adweek 2014, we had the pleasure of attending one of the longer sessions of the day. The Cross Screen Summit moderated by Alvin Bowles (CEO of Grab Media) got to demonstrate his pimp walk (cane accessory included), due to a recent foot injury. This panel, which consisted of too much awesomeness to be one panel, was actually split into four sessions.

The first was about content and entertainment. Gary Yentin (CEO of App Promo) interviewed the hilarious comedian/actor turned digital media entrepreneur Damon Wayans. Wayans known for making people laugh is attempting to cash in and give back through digital media. Developing self-funded app projects, as well as mentoring under-served African-American communities through mentorship.

The cross-screen saga continued with an efficient presentation by Paul Bremer of Rhythm. Bremer did a great job following behind Wayans, both in terms of content and chuckles from the crowd. The evolution of cross screen marketing is not 100% there is surely making some progress. There are the ways to think about cross screen, simultaneous (using devices at the same time), autonomous (using each device for a certain thing), and sequential (identifying the typical path in which a user engages with each medium).

After the laughs came the science. Danielle Cherry of Starcom and Manuel Garcia-Garcia (Nielsen, PhD in Neuroscience) presented custom research they had done with Univision. The presentation reviewed the implications of using Spanish, English, or Spanglish creative when targeting bilingual millennials or “bilennials.” The graphs alone were mind-boggling.

Lastly, as Bowles described it – we had the Wutang Clan of advertising executives to speak on the challenges of cross screen. Measurement owned the conversation, and everyone wanted to know how you identify what works.


Carat Global President Doug Ray joined fellow panelists from Mondelez, and ZEFR, as well as DJ Kaskade, for a spirited discussion on “Video Today: Where Culture For Brands Is Born” at the Times Center Hall in New York City.  With Dave Rosner, SVP of Marketing at ZEFR serving as moderator, Doug discussed how YouTube has changed media and is providing a lens into culture. Alongside fellow panelists Bonin Bough, VP, Global Media & Consumer Engagement of Mondelez International and multi Grammy-nominated DJ, artist and producer Kaskade, the group debated what it means to be digital-first, the impact of data and audiences on content and distribution models, and how video channels like YouTube help democratize content and make room for more voices and talents across the board.

Ultimately, the group agreed that digital is increasingly having a seat at the table, and that more and more brands are starting to think about digital-first campaigns as they begin to plan their creative and media. However, measurement limitations continue to be a barrier to brands and their agencies fully embracing digital-first thinking, as blunt metrics like GRPs and impressions are still the dominant forms of success metrics on which most companies rely.

As the panel noted, it’s important to look at this discussion from not just a distribution perspective, but also from an experience perspective. It’s about the direct relationship with audiences. When thinking about a brand connecting with consumers, you want to look at what are the cultures they are a part of – to identify these points of connection with consumers through culture. Doug highlighted that at Carat, we’re looking at YouTube specifically to understand these cultural influencers and how to deploy those to the benefit of our clients’ campaigns.

This understanding also allows us to have a difference conversation with our clients about marketing more generally. The conversation used to be about mass marketing, but now we have the capability through audience targeting to be much more micro – we can create mass-micro approaches and look at how we use those these influencers to connect to audiences. YouTube also allows brands and agencies to move away from the production barrier to entry – there’s a shift away from the idea of the budgets needed for pre-production, production, and other costs.


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