The YoungGuns International Advertising Awards group is up to their insightful foolery again to promote the organization's upcoming award show. The site offers creatives who worked themselves to the bone with a multitude of tests and therapies such as a downloadable phlegm test, a Haemorrhoids chart and information on ulcers. There's a nurse to help creatives thourgh the process and there even...who knew...a call for entries form in their too. Witty.
If you just can't get enough out of Adobe's Creative Suite or you just need a reason to skip out of the office for half a day, Aquent can hook you up. The company, which teamed with Adobe, is launching a series of creative conferences called InDesign Inside Out which will offer product usage tips from Adobe and tips on finding great creatives from Aquent.
The road show will be held in the following cities: Charlotte, N.C., on July 25; New York City, N.Y., on July 26; Boston, Mass., on August 1; Washington, D.C. on August 2; San Francisco, Calif., on August 31; and San Jose, Calif. on September 14.
Facts and figures were prevalent in this ad"tech Chicago 2006 TV 2.0 panel with Denuo SVP Tim Hanlon and Points North Partners Founder Peter Storck. Both spoke of the dramatic changes TV is undergoing right now and where they thought it was heading. Storck began with a numbers-heavy presentation that revealed many insights from various studies about the use of TV and the DVR:
1. 33 percent want TV-like features of their PCs
2. 15 percent want them on their cell phone
3. 46 percent use their DVRs to skip commercials
4. 58 percent use their DVR to record programming
5. 35 percent use their DVR to pause live TV
6. 49 percent use their DVR every day
7. 63 percent use it once a week
8. 55 percent fast forward through commercials
9. Interestingly, 15 percent use thir DVRs to rewind and watch commecials
10. 42 percent use free video on demand
11. 59 percent use the DVR to access free local information
Monday night at ad:tech Chicago 2006, there were many parties after the first day of the show and I made it to a few. First, CIMA, the Chicago Interactive Marketing Association, had a opening Night Party beginning at 5:30P which was lame and sparsely attended - perhaps because DoubleClick was having a party at Avenue M at the same time, so I wandered toward the exit of the exhibit hall but was distracted, again, by the beautiful Amy Dillard, dressed like a blue butterfly, sitting alone at the extravagantmedia booth. I spent a few minutes with her and found out she models occasionally for PMG Management and is from Kentucky. And yes, she does have that alluringly transfixing southern accent.
After 15 minutes or so, the equally beautiful Ariel Waldman who I'd met early in the day, passed by and said a bunch of her agency co-workers were heading over to the second CIMA party at Fultons on the River. Who am I to say know to an invite like that so we cabbed it over to Fulton's and met up with five of her co-workers from VML and checked out the very early CIMA party happenings.
It was long and hard but our search for the ubiquitous ad:tech Booth Babe finally paid off when we came across this beautiful, blue butterfly handing out "Win An IPod Video" entries for extravagantmedia and explaining what the company does. Stunned by her beauty and the attention she commanded, we have no memory of what the company does but we enjoyed how she released us from our hard day grinding along the exhibit hall floor.
Cheesy word play aside, the butterfly, model Amy Dillard, was sweet, intelligent and very personable. What wasn't so sweet was the extravagantmedia guys leaving her alone in the corner for an hour while they roamed about the exhibit hall floor. See more of the beautiful Amy here.
This morning, the Monday night party scene at ad:tech Chicago looked dim with only an "official" Bluelithium/CIMA-sponsored cocktail hour on the exhibit hall floor from 5:30P to 7P and a continuation of that party at Fulton's on the River, 315 North LaSalle Street from 7P to 10P. This afternoon, the party announcements began to roll in. So, here they are:
DoubleClick is having a party at Avenue M at 695 North Milwaukee from 5:30 - 7P. MySpace is having an invite only cruise party off of Navy Pier which kicks off at 6P and offers hourly cruises. Some company whose name I can't remember is having a party at the W from about 5P to 7P. And, the late night, combo-company party is happening at the Rock Bottom Brewery from 9P to 2A. And I thought it was going to be an easy night.
Apparently, as indicated by this very sparsely attended ad:tech Chicago 2006 session, not many people are intrested in listening to creative types hyping their most recent creative endeavors. Moderating the collection of creatives, Click Here ACD Brian Linder, DesignKitchen CD Sam landers, Arc Worldwide Group CD Tim Irvine and AvenueA Razorish Disciplne lead (whatever that is) Brooke Nanberg, was Program Partners SVP David Hutchinson.
Landers, the most "creative looking" of the bunch, took the audience though the very Flashtastic work he had done for Motorola to promote the brand and, well, I'm not sure what else. The most telling bit of education here was the utterance by Landers, "oh, it's still loading." Linder shared the work his agency did for high end tequila Patron. Unfortunately, the campaign consisted mostly of low brow humor - not exactly the approach to position a high end brand. His agency also created a site, simplyperfect.com, that carried the campiagn's theme of debate but enabling people to take two side of an issue and post it for others to comment upon.
Irvine shared work for Cadillac that attempted to take the "old" out and inject the car with some "badass" as one critic said while describing the new Cadillacs. Irvine created a fairly cool online car racing game that appeared to be engaging. Within the first month of the campaign the site got 170,000 page views, 57,000 visitors and 150,000 downloads. Nanberg, in explaining her work for AT&T's Digital Lifestyle center - a site that illustrates how AT&T integrates with life, suffered the unfortunate side effect of Flashturbation. Pages took forever to load. Pages hung. Pages froze. And the kicker is the site actually has a Troubleshooting link right up top as if it was in the plan that many people would have trouble viewing this site. The one shining nugget she left us with as if it were an earth shattering insight was "creative is non-linear." Um. OK.
Susan Bratton kicked of the 2006 Chicago ad:tech conference by introducing the new ad:tech chair, Drew Ianni, who will take over for Susan who will remain with ad:tech as Chair Emeritus. Keynote speaker Kay Ferguson, Co-CEO of Burrell Communications Group, a multicultural agency recently honored by Ad Age as the Multicultural Agency of the Year.
Ferguson's major point during her keynote was to inform the audience multicultural audiences are on of the Internet's fastest growing segment. Ferguson cited 77 percent of African Americans have Internet access at home, 64 percent have broadband and the segment spends 5 hours online each day, all figures higher than the general population.
As ad:tech kicks off its Chicago conference, changes afoot in the organization's corner office. Susan Bratton, who has been the Programming Chair for many years is shifting her responsibilities and will become Chair Emeritus. Drew Ianni will take the Programming Chair position and be responsible for continuing the expansion of ad:tech.
In a press release, Ianni said, "As ad:tech continues to thrive and grow, we must maintain our reputation as a place people come to learn. The content and programming have to remain on point and of the highest quality. Time is increasingly scarce and valuable, so we must make it worthwhile for industry influencers and leaders to take the time off and attend. ad:tech has achieved its role as the gravitational center of this industry by doing just that, and I intend to keep us here."
Here I am again in Chicago, a town I've traveled to may times before in my Starcom/Leo Burnett Technology Group days, for the 2006 ad:tech trade show. As usual, the show kicked off with a party for the exhibitors held outside the Sheraton Hotel right next to the river. Of all the U.S.-based ad:tech shows, the Sheraton Chicago is the most beautiful. Next year, that will change but will likely remain just as nice a venue when the show moves to Chicago's Navy Pier next to Lake Michigan which, by the way, I'm looking at right now as I write this. About 3,200 people are expected to attend the show this year. Check out more Exhibitor Party and set up pictures here.