Sadly, the final evening of ad:tech San Francisco came to a close. A stellar yet bittersweet close, the evening began with a fabulous party put on by DoubleClick at the W Hotel during which Cirque du Soliel-style dancers contorted, twirled hula hoops, danced, mimed, posed, postured, walked on stilts and generally provided the audience with first class entertainment. Perhaps some of that Google money is already finding its way to DoubleClick's coffers. We're also quite pleased with DoubleClick's recent re-branding which gives the company a refreshingly current look.
After downing an apple martini handed out to all in attendance and accepting a Macallan 10 from friend and DoubleClick Research Director Rick Bruner, the night quickly got off to a joyous start. As soon as I took the first sip of the McCallan, my pants started vibrating and it was fellow ad:tech blogger Ana Yoerg letting me know she, along with Adrants' Angela Natividad and Marketing Experiment's Mike Palmer would be arriving soon. While I waited for the crew to show up, I spent time speaking with AdFemme's Lindsay Mure, beautiful strangers from the exhibit hall floor, Rick Bruner's DoubleClick Co-workers and, yes, the famous Lindsey Frankenfield of ad:tech's past.
After all the ad:tech wannabe partiers gave it their best shot to get into this invite only party, the crowds thinned enough to make social fluidity far more enjoyable than an ad:tech New York Crobar party. At the outset of the party, the hula hoop girl took the dance floor and performed all manner of contorted hula-isms which made one want to call in a chiropractor stat. Later in the evening, the floor filled with the full-on Cirque du Soliel-style dance troupe which kept the crowd so entranced, the line at the bars diminished to near none.
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.
On April 25th, the second day of the ad:tech Conference in San Francisco at 9:00 AM, demonstrators from the No More Landing Pages revolution will be gathered in front of the Moscone Center to protest the senseless creation of generic, dead-end landing pages. We are so down with that!
Tourism campaigns are all over the map. While W. Virginia is busy hustling humans out, New Mexico's literally ushering aliens in. This is part of New Mexico, Earth, a campaign meant to position the state as the best place in the universe. Guess that's better than trying to get by on a winning personality.
The spot brings Geico's caveman to mind. Both efforts take characters from outside our range of realism and bestow upon them a swingy white-collar vibe, coupled with a good healthy dose of middle class ennui.
One alien even seems to be verging on a caveman-esque nervous breakdown. Hey, great spin-off opportunity.
Scavenging snippets of nostalgia, scribble, arbitrary Flash and profound gibberish, Game, Game, Game and Again Game is a strange visit to what life must be like at the intersection between broadcasting airwaves and media-laced stream-of-thought.
Created by evil genius Jason Nelson of Hermeticon, the sensory digital plaything leverages a player's ability to pick knowledge up quickly and put it together. And while little makes sense, the collective information keeps you moving from level to level and may even spark inexplicable emotional reactions. The format and your feelings are all about as logical as identity construction via media consumption, a strange occupation that may drive whole cities to commercial bulimia.
We showed the game to a few friends who later told us we were psychotic media-tards. But several small children got it right away and laughed out loud in all the appropriate places (there aren't any). We think that means the game is good.
The ending is a sight worth seeing. It might just change your life. Or not. Go play already! (And make sure your sound is up.)
Mochila, a service that provides publishers a place to buy and sell content, has introduced the AdMatch Player, a branded multi-media player that lets publisher customize video offerings. It offers up a sort of content marketplace from which publishers can choose con tent and share in the revenue gleaned by ads served through the player. Content will be available from asap, Associated Press, blipTV.com, EFE, Ford Models, The Health Central Network, ITN Source, Lonely Planet, MeeVee, Mobi Jokes, Red Herring, Rodale, ShermansTravel.com, SmashTube, South China Morning Post, Tiempos Del Mundo, and Vibe Media Group. ans others.
Those of us who always wished we could make callous armpit noises, but just couldn't, can now live vicariously through Mitchum's armpit orchestra.
Wait for all the fancy members to load and then record a tune. It's like having a human piano except with fart noises and the occasional surprise puff of smoke. We don't know why but right now we find this insanely, inexplicably funny.
Carat Fusion is responsible for this one.
Adidas goes graffiti way with End to End, a snazzy collabo that includes graffiti artists from around the world drawn together to bring hype back to the sleepy brand. It's got a playful mishmash of colour that reminds us of the Asics Made of Japan effort.
Fresh Creation has a more elaborate intro and some neat videos too.