Advertising Week New York took place 23-26th September, gathering some of the industry’s brightest minds to converse and share on the topics that drive our industry.
We had two of our very own OMDers take the stage to discuss and be part of the conversation. Chrissie Hanson, our Global Chief Strategy Officer was on stage with ESPN’s John Lasker, Marvel Entertainment’s Shane Rahmani & AdExchanger’s Ryan Joe talking about fandoms and fostering loyalty between brands and fans. Israel Mirsky, our Executive Director of Global Technology and Emerging Platforms, featured on the panel Brand Bravery: Advertiser Engagement with News, exploring the role of news and how brands remain tentative in running with the news.
So, what did we learn?
1. Fandom – then and now
The evolution of fandom has reached new heights; can we give social media all the credit? With so many different mechanisms to communicate with your brand, it is imperative to ensure audiences are loyal to the experience and relationship a brand serves them. Content, commerce and community serve as the ultimate trifecta in winning the most passionate fans. But how do you lose them? Lack of authenticity and purpose (a recurring theme across the stages at Advertising Week). Data-driven marketing, now more than ever, must be used in more thoughtful ways so brands can establish hyper-personalized connections with their consumers. Legacy brands like Marvel and gamer-meets-streaming platforms like Twitch echoed a similar truth: there is something very organic about being authentic and telling authentic stories in a manufactured world.
2. For today’s consumer, privacy is personal
Today, the amount of time people spend online means marketers have more opportunities than ever to shape the journey. But those opportunities are not created equal. It’s the moment when a consumer wants options or to research something; those are the times when people are actively making choices. That is an opportunity for brands to get ahead of the consumer to gain insight, empathize or to help them. The moments where you can shape people’s choices, where they are open to and seeking help, are the moments that can have incremental impact on a business. Privacy continues to be a key topic where brands are being asked “Are you respecting what matters?” Just as consumers are in control of their journeys, they expect to be in control of their privacy. They want to make meaningful choices about how their data is being used and by whom.
3. Future of TV
Over the last couple of years, brands such as Cadillac have started to see a lot more engagement from users, especially in the connected TV space. YouTube viewership of their connected content has increased 100% over the last year. Clearly, Connected TV is just getting started. Connected TV serves because it’s still a mass way to have that impression and to start that conversation. The more relevant a brand can be with consumers about the products they are interested in, the more likely the engagement. The next thing is, how does it become part of the experience? What has been interesting with linear TV has been the larger networks acquiring more digital platforms. Data has been providing agencies and marketers alike with much more knowledge. Clients look for more outcomes, for more data that prove that their media buys are driving their sales. Brands across the board agree that clients have shifted money back into television. It proves that TV is still extraordinarily effective. Prediction: dollars are going to become less about linear TV and become more audience based.
4. The age of inspiration
The idea of building an emotional connection and trust was woven throughout Advertising Week. In the search for the transaction, that moment of purchase, have we lost what it means to be inspirational? People need inspiration more today than ever before. In our industry, so much of the focus is on that transaction that many feel the art of storytelling has been lost. How can we as an industry start inspiring? Truly great brands move from utility, where they are helping people to get a job done, to trust, and ultimately, to brand love. The best example of this: Apple.
5. Data + People = Trust
Advertisers and clients’ needs for transparency should be a collaborative mission. All parties are pushing for less intermediaries. There is complexity in the current system. In order to move the industry forward, we should have fewer and better relationships, both from the advertiser and the publisher perspective. “Collecting data is easy but extracting insights to meaningfully change the business is the hardest part … the only real way to do it is by hiring smart people.” Live Nation Entertainment, the world’s largest live entertainment company, is using data to unlock new ways for brands to better connect with their audiences and enhance the experience across the entire journey.