Campaign Recap: Advertising Week 2018

Celebrating 15 years of bringing together the who’s who of the advertising and media ecosystem from all over the globe, this year’s Advertising Week boasted 4 bustling floors of activity over 4 days at the AMC Loews Theatre in New York. Our team of media junkies and advertising industry experts were honored to be part of the industry’s long-standing tradition, and represent 5W at Advertising Week this year, working tirelessly to build buzz and excitement for leading B2B tech clients including The Trade Desk, Xaxis and Captify.

It is at Ad Week that leading brand founders, high profile CEO’s and digital marketers come together to discuss the key strategies that are going to move the needle to make advertising more impactful for consumers (1,216 speakers in just four days!) From the Hulu Lounge, the Captify Speakeasy, Microsoft’s AI counter and even Will Smith made an appearance (!), this year’s Ad Week was a showcase of the industry’s best talent, tech, and ideas that are shaping the future of advertising as we know it.

We spoke with 5W’s B2B Tech team to get their takes on the event, and trends in the evolving digital advertising ecosystem. Read on for the full interview!

How have you seen the advertising industry evolve over the past 5 years?

I’ve seen the industry be a bit cyclical over the past 5 years. Meaning, the same consolidation that is happening the realm of ad-tech and media, happened around the same time 5 years ago as consultancies were beginning to encroach on the traditional advertising agency model.

Currently, media and telecom companies are the new guard of the industry. With the flurry of  mergers and acquisitions that kicked off at Cannes (AT&T/AppNexus + Disney/Fox), telecom and media companies are now becoming content creators as well. This has provided massive opportunities for data and measurement at scale, but has also brought privacy and regulation to the forefront.

I think now, what marketers and advertisers are trying to figure out, is how to take the data that is now available to them, and fuse that with actual creative content that matters to consumers. In this climate, we can expect the pendulum to swing back towards creativity in the coming year.

– Elizabeth, Associate Vice President, B2B Tech Team

What was your favorite panel or piece of content that came out of AWNY?

One of the most compelling panels I attended at Advertising Week New York this year whas when two of our tech clients, Xaxis and The Trade Desk, got on stage to discuss video and omnichannel strategy. One of the most prominent trends in advertising today is how marketers are shifting their business and campaign strategies to become more omnichannel in order to meet the needs of today’s digitally connected consumer. In response to this, both Xaxis and The Trade Desk believe that Connected TV (CTV) is going to be a vital channel within a larger omnichannel strategy. More consumers are cutting the cord, and are viewing content on Netflix and Hulu in addition to traditional broadcast networks like ABC. I truly think that in the next 5 years, we will see advertising strategies for both traditional and digital TV channels intersect more closely than ever before.

 – Katie, Assistant Account Executive,  B2B Tech Team.

What trends did you see come out of AWNY this year? What were the hot topics that brands and agencies were discussing?

Streaming TV vs. Cable TV

Something we know all too well, the option to choose between streaming TV and cable TV is becoming increasingly lopsided. Streaming TV offers so many great perks, prices and opportunities that Cable is simply struggling to keep up with. Now how does the advertising industry capitalize on this new TV format? Streaming TV has personal information on the consumer, such as entertainment preference. With this, advertisers can tailor creative towards the specific user, which can lead to higher engagement and resonation – something that advertisers live for. This was an enormous topic of conversation for the likes of industry leaders such as The Trade Desk (our client), AT&T,  OMD and many others. This is simply a high priority for Millennials and Gen Z, and thus, a major opportunity for the industry.

Transparency Post GDPR

When GDPR regulations (data protection law across 28 EU countries) came into effect in back in May 2018, it sent the advertising world into a frenzy. If everyone chooses to protect their data and block ads (thanks, Google), how can advertisers truly target when serving up ads to consumers? What the industry has realized is consumers are okay with sharing information, so long as it’s on their terms, and the ads are authentic and real for their interests. Which leads into our next takeaway…

The Return of Real Creative

Somewhere along the line in recent years, advertising has sort of gone off the creative track. While direct, and to the point can certainly be effective, creative, even long form, can really increase resonation with the consumer. After all, that’s what Millennials and Gen Z are specifically looking for in advertising; resonation, authenticity and zero BS. This year we saw many panels discussing how ads can be amped up, more tailored and more interesting to the consumer – with a hope that the opportunity to hold the consumers’ interest for even a second or two longer will help make the moment more memorable. The pendulum is certainly swinging back towards creative, be it online, television or OOH. Of course, with this, we’re especially excited to see some great ads as we move towards Super Bowl 53.

 – Justin, Senior Account Executive, B2B Tech Team