Advertising Week: Missing It But Maybe You Shouldn’t
I’m leading a creative workshop this Monday to Thursday several time zones away, so I’ll miss Advertising Week in New York. The theme this year is “Get out of your head.” It seems like a call to action to get out of your office and to the event, but you could also read that as a cry to the stuck in marketing who need a catalyst to get modern.
The design of the site uses app-like icons which are increasingly trendy and will inevitably wear us all out with their use. But that’s not what it’s about. Looking over the agenda and talking to people, it’s a pretty A-list event of influential people and timely topics. Nascar. Gays & Lesbians. How ROI has changed.
It’s not cheap to attend (the delegate pass doesn’t really get you into anything so you have to beg for someone to pay $499 for super delegate) and the best bet of course is to be in it, speaking at a panel like some of my colleagues or covering as a journalist. Gratifyingly for those of us worried about future talent, it’s just $25 for a student pass.
I’ve attended many awful conferences and “summits” but what’s good about these is hearing people in the industry speak, and what I’m seeing more of is a candid state of affairs — what is the future of advertising, how do we shepherd brands better in a world of unpaid media — than the usual posturing that can occur. Though, there will definitely be some of that.
What I’m sad to miss is the IAB MIXX Awards where one of our very recent efforts (Search for The World’s Greatest Salesperson!) is a finalist, and the Radio Mercury Awards which showcases the best produced radio commercials this past year. Radio was an early favorite of mine and when I started in advertising, everyone wanted to do TV so I got to do radio and learn the crafts of scripts, casting, talent and editing. My favorite producer and mentor, Barbara, ran the Mercury Awards and when she thought I was good enough, I got to be a judge. Radio is still a great media channel, especially for local stuff and all of you trapped in traffic every day going from your McMansion to your McJob. Radio also helped set me up for podcasting, which really never took off no matter how much I said it would.
Advertising Week is more than lectures and panels. There’s the Walk of Fame, an homage to icons, and Battle of the Ad Bands, which is odd, but at least will add some music to the cacophony of people talking and talking and talking.
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