Advertising Week NYC 2017 Recap

by | Oct 11, 2017 | News | 0 comments

Another year of NYC Ad Week has come and gone. From September 25th –29th in New York City, leaders from the advertising, marketing, media, and related creative industries come together to share their visions, passions, and best practices in the industry today.

This year, members of our team attended many different sessions: from creative, to social, to analytics, to customer value. Below is a compiled list of our key takeaways from this year’s Adweek.

How has Facebook Changed Social Shopping?

  • The panel discussed the potential of Facebook’s display marketing. Canvas ads were a huge hit for all of the speakers because of their immersive storytelling capabilities.
  • Canvas ads also worked well for speakers who had slow-loading landing pages. Because canvas ads are on Facebook, scrolling through the display was faster and a much more favorable experience for potential converters.
  • Some speakers even made their mobile site look exactly like their canvas ads because of its engagement capabilities
  • Slideshow display is also something we can play with as a display strategy

Town Hall Series: Snap’s Imran Khan with HBO’s Richard Plepler in conversation

  • Hollywood movies are 79% of viewing on linear, 72% of all viewing switch to digital
  • $4.5 billion a year in traditional subscription revenue per year —> HBO now-  OTT, $14.99/mm
  • 19.5 MM broadband only home
  • Less than 1% cannibalization of core subs

The Future of Commerce

  • The differentiator in ecommerce is merchandising –> technology is commoditized
  • Merchandising in a new voice world–> need to have one-to-one personalization for precise recommendations
  • Mobile and assistant world are logged-in experiences
  • Long tail products will see more growth in ecommerce due to national demand

Brand Love Panel

  • Brands agree that a brand voice cannot come from an agency, has to come from the brand itself
  • Interesting idea from HBO: When they were between seasons of GoT they did a Twitter and FB roast of Joffrey and got a ton of engagement. Was the first official social media roast (#roastjoffrey)
  • Brands need to be experienced, which is a challenge for online/straight-to-consumer business models. Have to make sure that when a consumer does interact with your brand it’s an experience, not just a touch point.
    • Belvedere sets up high-end tastings at bars with mixologists, custom cocktails, and fresh ingredients as opposed to just dropping a case of vodka off and hoping people will like it
    • Glossier set up a pop-up in SoHo so that their target demo could try out the makeup in a Sephora-like setting rather than just ordering online and hoping they would like it
  • Unless you have done some branding push, a brand lift study (on any channel) isn’t going to be very helpful to a brand. Needs to be performed before and after a branding campaign or event, not just mixed in with other media campaigns.
  • Most brands panelists mentioned that they love to have some kind of social purpose tied in
    • Dove: real beauty campaign
    • Nike, specifically Nike women: empowers women
    • Glossier: Body Hero (same concept as Dove)
    • AirBnB: making the concept of home accessible to people anywhere in the world, feeling at home in other parts of the world

How Does Predictable Data Affect the Way We Market?

  • Certain strategies are not a one size fits all. There are some things that work really well for one set of audience that might only work for them for some weird reason
  • More data is always key, but more people should realize the importance of the data they already have

Wired Brand Storytellers

  • Uber CBO, Bozoma Saint John: Humanizing the brand is the most important aspect of telling a brand’s story. Understanding cultural cues, the language people use and their behaviors (even the things they eat) are essential in humanizing the brand and telling the most relevant story to the individual.
  • Samsung CMO, Marc Mathieu: “Marketing today is about finding the truth & sharing it.” You need to build a relationship of mutual trust to be able to get your consumers to purchase your brand’s product. Consumers are smart, and nowadays, they’re not just consumers, but also marketers. With the rapid advancements of technology, such as VR, it’s our job as marketers to empower people to use technology to push their own boundaries.

From Creative Culture to Makeup, Meet the Brand Behind Milk

  • It’s important to be a “culturally conscious company”. Milk Agency was founded 20 years ago, but has branched out into various divisions, such as Milk Studios, Milk Culture, and now, has launched its own product line called Milk Makeup.
  • Milk Makeup has created its own community of consumers who value “live your look” and can be authentic to themselves. They don’t follow any mainstream looks, it’s all about originality, creativity, boldness but most importantly, being true to your identity.
  • As a creative agency, the most important value is to be the “connector between the established and the emerging.”
  • Advertisers and publishers need to work together to share data/consumer insights in order to optimize campaigns. There is still an ongoing debate on who should be actually owning that data.

Should brands be running programmatic campaigns internally?

  • Lynn Whitney Executive Vice President of media at Warner Bros. Pictures was adamant that they would like to delegate all programmatic campaigns to the agency side.

You will not succeed until you embrace discomfort

  • David Fischer Vice  President of Business and Marketing partnerships said this while talking about companies evolving as the digital space continues to grow. He discusses how digital advertising will be 80 percent mobile within the next few years and how companies will go through growing pains to train and update employees on this ever-evolving industry.

The Future of Marketing: Driving Growth in a Digital World

  • Speaker: CMO of Unilever
    • Discussed how individuals engage with brands that align with their values and how for each of their products they try to tell that story and provide that more personalized experience
    • Focus for consumers is on connecting, community, content, and commerce

Customer Value and Loyalty: Driven Through Data Insights

  • Speakers:
    1. SVP of Digital Marketing at Paramount
    2. SVP of Research & Analytics at Paramount
    3. Director of Media Platform Sales at Google
    • Discussed the importance of platforms, data, data-driven creative, multi-channel view
    • Technology is only an enabler, you need a driver
    • A lot of value in every interaction with a customer – every digital interaction is a learning opportunity
    • Real-time insights allow us to get closer to real-time actions and be relevant across that whole customer journey
    • Continue to use data in determining who your most valuable customer are, how you speak to them differently, and how you KEEP them as loyal customers

The Future of Commerce

  • Speakers:
    1. President & CEO of eCommerce at Walmart
    2. SVP of Ads and Commerce at Google
    • Discussed Walmart & Google Google Express partnership
    • Walmart has teamed up with August Smart Lock and doing some testing around deliveries being brought into your home (i.e., groceries being put right into your fridge/freezer,etc.)
    • discussed voice assistant being the next big thing in shopping
    • overall discussed AI, mobile, increased personalization, accessibility, and increasingly better experiences being the future of Commerce. The next year or so will focus on shopping and then eventually VR will come into play for Commerce.


  • People are really themselves when communicating via text messaging. This differs from online/social personas user may have. Unstructured text data is a widely untapped area for marketers and will be a player in the future. Imagine knowing where and when your customer will be/is (Meet me at xyz @ 12:34).
  • Using FaceID technology to grab users facial expressions and plug them into neuro networks to determine what kind of mood they are in and to market or to NOT market towards them


  • Found that clicking ads is a behavior that is exhibited by certain people, and is not necessarily driven by message, creative, or product
  • Due to a lot of their advertisers focusing on, and optimizing for, last click conversions, they saw the CPMs for those campaigns increasing and are currently much higher than average
  • This is due to the fact that all those advertisers are targeting the same limited group of people (clickers)


  • Creativity is the currency of agencies
  • Agencies sell ideas more than anything else and this is where their value stems from most

Voice assistants and AI

  • Consumers are comfortable with AI to an extent
  • We are ok with AI making decisions for us, primarily for chore related tasks (re-ordering common households goods)
  • We still want control over things that we care about
    • We want to do the research ourselves on the best big-screen TV, or set of golf clubs

Advertising Week offers a unique opportunity for industry professionals to come together and debate, discuss and consider the future of the business and we’re always honored to be a part of it. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our services, contact us at