While I'm still trying to get the image of a woman who passed me by in the exhibit hall blatantly picking her nose out of my head, let's turn attention to more important matters: The Girls of ad:tech. Yea, yea, yea. Booth babes. Booth dudes. Who cares? But it's my job so I'm obliged to bring you the spoils of my excursion through the ad:tech San Francisco 2007 conference exhibit hall Wednesday. After all, ad:tech is the largest online marketing conference in the world.What happens at ad:tech gets blogged on the ad:tech blog.
Anyway, after the recent bit on Adrants about Nair's resurgence of it's short shorts theme, it was a delight to see the very beautiful ClickSector girls decked out in full-on late seventies gym shorts obligingly posing for the camera. Thanks ladies.
Then, gracing the main thoroughfare of the exhibit hall, the stunningly curvaceous and very beautiful CPXinteractive girl instantly attracted every passing man's eyeballs to her magnificent shapeliness (the 2D picture does not do justice to her very 3D attributes) which her spaghetti strap dress struggled, failingly, to restrain. Observing the spectacle, man after man after man after man stopped, stared, smiled, pretended not to look, pretended again not to look, looked and then just gave up and looked.
I think I was in high school when, perched on a stall and unable to leave because my teachers were sinkside discussing how hot my dad was, I realized bathrooms are considered a sanctioned space. Their walls are keepers of myriad secrets.
Since then I pay close attention to what's happening around me when I visit a loo to relieve myself. You'd be surprised what you discover. When people walk into a bathroom together, their voices actually get louder, daring the porcelain gods to reveal their covert conversations. And they talk about everything - power players, whose company will sink or swim, and why Monsieur CEO really left the agency.
Well, here's some news. Contrary to popular convention, the stalls have ears. And if you've just nailed an awesome lead worth hundreds of thousands of dollars by sleeping with the CFO you met at Mighty last night, you probably shouldn't be standing at the sinks with your hotpants-sporting amigas parsing out the gritty (but triumphant!) details.
Lesson 1 learned at ad:tech: The stalls have ears.
I (Angela) was really looking forward to attending ad:tech San Francisco 2007 panel entitled "The Online Female Consumer - Come Meet Them" Tuesday afternoon, featuring CEO Kate Everett-Thorp of Real Girls Media as moderator and Senior Analyst Debra Aho Williamson of eMarketer. Additional panelists were women pulled from various walks of life (well, except not), the youngest being thirty and the oldest in their mid-forties, with children of varying ages.
First impression: oh, we'll be hearing from Fembots. Kate and Debra seemed tight and mildly Stepford in appearance. I don't know what it was but the room took on a defensive and unfun Girl Power air that had nothing to do with trouncing around in platforms and going ziga-zig ahhh.
There are two kinds of keynotes at industry trade conferences. There's the kind that keep you on the edge of your seat eager to drink in the wisdom of those on stage. Then, there's the kind that are...well, shall we say...less than awe inspiring. Unfortunately, the ad:tech San Francisco 2007 kick off keynote was one of the latter. Reminiscent of an old video interview between a major network and the founders of Razorfish, during which a frustrated reporter could not get a straight forward description of what the company did, today's keynote with aQuantive (now owner of avenue a/ razorfish) CEO Brian McAndrews as interviewed by Fast Company Senior Editor Lynne Johnson took a bit longer than other keynotes to deliver the meat.
There's absolutely no disparagement of the expertise that sat on stage today as the two discussed The digital Decade - What the Past Five Years Can Teach Us About the Next 5" but it took an interminably long time to get to the keynote's deliverable nuggets. One such nugget was McAndrews suggestion to agencies that social media be approached somewhat like a "big focus group" and that marketers would be best served by paying attention to what gets written on blogs, in forums and on social networks. With the rise of consumer control over media, marketing is clearly a two way street - far from the one way megaphone approach of yesteryear.
The ever-cheery Ivan at Ads of the World points us to a campaign for The Cape Times, a South African daily.
Peaceful prints depict the quiet before a given international storm. The slogan quotes the catastrophic date ("Monday 10 September 2001," for example) and soberly admonishes, "The world can change in a day. Don't miss your daily edition of in-depth news. Cape Times. Know All About It."
Check out 9/11, the Kennedy assassination, Soweto uprising and Hiroshima versions.
While leveraging tragedy always draws some heat, we're on the fence with these. They get the point across nicely but it rings callous to capture moments of quiet intimacy that took place before the world came tumbling down.
Maybe that means the campaign is good. Either way, Lowe Bull is to blame.
Suggested slogan change: "When yo' shit hits the fan, we'll be printing the casualty list!"
Tuesday night's activities at ad:tech San Francisco were subdued, enjoyable and ended oddly. Once the session rooms cleared and everyone began discussing where they'd eat dinner and what they'd be doing before they went to bed, we pulled out our trusty party schedule and headed over to the W Hotel's XYZ Lounge for the Boca Networks Party With A Star Party. Snooze. Though there was one bit of small amusement. apparently, there must have been a CIA agent there because when we lifted the camera to take a random crowd shot said agent turned her head away from the camera faster than an ad:tech booth babe gets accosted by drooling conference attendees. The look we received post flash was piercingly less than happy. Oh well. No visual fame for this CIA agent.
On Wednesday night, the second night of the ad:tech San Francisco 2007 conference, the party schedule was packed. I'll tell you right now, we didn't make it to all the events but we'll give you a taste of the ones we did. After weighing in on the best exhibit hall schwag, Angela and I found ourselves at the ad:tech Awards Show, an event held in one of the very large Moscone North rooms near the exhibit hall. The event was well attended with open bar for three hours, cozy couches on which to site and a healthy supply of food. We particularly liked the mini burgers - perfect chow after hours of exhibit hall shenanigans.
Cirque du Soliel was the centerpiece of the event with two spectacular performances surrounding the presentation of the actual awards by ad:tech Chair Emeritus Susan Bratton, eMarketer Co-Founder and CEO Geoff Ramsey introduced by ad:tech VP Don Knox. Following the first performance of Cirque du Soliel, which the audience loved, Knox took the stage and suffered dead mic syndrome for a minute or two. Making light of the situation, Knox called out to the techies in the background who, for some reason, couldn't find the "on" switch for Knox's mic. No matter, Knox exuberantly mastered the stage as he reviewed ad:tech's recent accomplishments and activities and then turned the stage over to Bratton and Ramsey.
Now here's where we have suggestions for future ad:tech Awards events. The presentation - more a collection of quickly-paced announcements - flew by which, perhaps, had to be the case due to time constraints. Angela and I, having seen many other ad-related awards presentations, would suggest the finalist's creative, rather than just the campaign name and agency, be shown. Some creative was, indeed, shown but not for all categories. Secondly, and we're well aware this would lengthen the show tremendously and perhaps too much so for the purposes of the event, we'd suggest the winners of each category take the stage as they do at many other creative award shows so as to bask in the glory of their accomplishment and receive the adoration of their industry peers. After all, everyone in advertising needs their ego stroked from time to time.
When a press release finds its way into our inbox which proclaims short shorts, the rage in the late 70's and co-opted by Nair in their famed Who Wears Short Shorts campaign, are back in fashion, we have mixed feelings. See. There's this little problem America has - the expanding waist and butt line - that wasn't such a big issue back in the day. When you couple that little problem with the apparent obliviousness of some as to amount of bulging flesh that billows outward between their low rise jeans and short belly shirt, the return of short shorts sounds like nothing short of the worst fashion disaster since the leisure suit.
Oh sure, the models in Nair's new, updated version of its Who Wears Short Shorts campaign are bootyliciousness perfected but we're not looking forward to watching the explosively bulging ass cheeks of those not in the bootyliciousness perfected category but think they are.
Parents. They feed you. They clothe you. They love you. They educate you. They prepare you for life. This Thailand boy received years and years of encouragement and training which prepared him for a life that's, well, likely very different from your own. While there's nothing wrong with parentally infused cleanliness, Sparkle wine coolers thinks the desire to make things sparkle can have uses other than the obsessive desire to clean. This Thailand spot for SPY sparkling wine is most assuredly nothing like the Bartles and James commercials of yesteryear. It's a year old but it's worth watching for its pure oddity
Ana from Spare Room describes this tuna ad from Thailand as "very, very strange and creepy." We're not going to debate the issue. She's completely right. After all, how often do you get to see a stomach with so much gumption? Perfect for Nicole Richie.