As ad:tech New York, held at the Hilton New York November 7-9, approaches, the party invitations have begun to roll in. We thought we'd summarize the festivities here for you. First, there's the usual "official" cocktail parties Monday following the first day of the online marketing conference. After the first full day of activity in the Exhibit Hall, Tribal Fusion will host its Grand Opening Reception from 6P - 7P in and around the Exhibit Hall. Wine, beer and finger food will be served. Also beginning at 6P but extending until 8P will be the Partner Weekly "Red Carpet Rendezvous," an invite-only cocktail party held in the Hilton's Bridges Bar. No doubt, other companies will be hosting various events in and around the area.
For late night fun Monday, Bluelithium will host its Day One Wrap Up Party at New York's Glo beginning at 9P and extending until the wee hours of Tuesday. Coinciding with Bluelithium's party will be the Real Results Party, held at Crobar, beginning at 9P and hosted by a slew of online ad companies. Both parties will have open bar from 9P to Midnight.
Blender magazine and Cadillac will hosting an event, October 27th at a private Hollywood Hills mansion to celebrate Blender's inaugural "Rock & Roll Hollywood" November issue. Sponsored by Cadillac, Aldo, Absolut Vodka and St. Pauli Girl Beer, Blender's "Rock & Roll Hollywood" bash will combine entertainment's two most decadent lifestyles, music and film, into one memorable event.
Reportedly, 500 actors, musicians, entertainment insiders and tastemakers will attend to frolic in luxury suites, drink specialty cocktails, enjoy deluxe gift scwag bags and listen to a soundtrack provided by DJs Samantha Ronson and Brent Bolthouse. Live music will be supplied by The Shins, who, as the Rock & Roll Hollywood cover star Natalie Portman observed in Garden State will "change your life." We'll see. Also performing will be LA three-piece, The Like, recently covered in Blender's Almost Famous" feature.
Cadillac will have on hand its latest models including the Escalade ESV which will take guests from Sunset Boulevard to the secret party location, as well as be displayed outside whoever's fancy mansion the party is at. Guests will also be swarmed with advertising campaigns displayed by Absolut and Aldo while lowly St. Pauli Girl beer is served. Someone please invite us!
ad:tech is embarking on something new this year which it will kick off at the New York show in November. Called ad:tech Connect LIVE, the event, held Monday, November 7 from 12:45PM to 3PM in the East Ballroom of the Hilton New York is, in a way, a physical manifestation of ad:tech's recently launched online networking community ad:tech Connect. Billed as an experiential event, the East Ballroom will take on the look and feel of a music-filled, engagingly fun three-ring circus environment complete with costumed hosts, Ringmaster and plenty of snacks.
Ad:tech Connect LIVE, open to all attendees, will posses both educational and experiential elements. In the center of the Ballroom will be the main event - The Hotseat. Twenty-five people will sit in a circle surrounding one individual who, in the Hotseat will be asked, by the Ringmaster, ad:tech Chair and Radio Show Host, Susan Bratton, questions designed to cut though the preponderance of industry fluff, exaggerated research findings and over-used industry platitudes. When answering, the person on the Hotseat will be given the chance to lie, tell the truth, or pass. Of course, all the questions won't be industry-related and may delve into areas designed to help attendees better understand themselves and those people with whom they work day in and day out, year after year, The game is intended to help dispel pre-conceived notions, game faces and long-held misconceptions. If this sounds a little "come to Jesus/Allah/Buddha/Abraham/Confucius," perhaps it is. But the hope is to build community, open lines of communication, eliminate fluff, reduce puffery, cut through outlandish claims, get the heart of the industry's focus and inspire growth.
Aquent's final round of Studio Smackdown 2, the second edition of the marketing and communication company's interactive online design talent competition was won by Melissa A. Phillips. The four-week elimination contest ended October 18, 2005. Results of the challenge, which pitted five motion graphic designers against each other, can be viewed at www.studiosmackdown.com.
Besides scoring the grand prize of $5,000 and getting to keep the Adobe Creative Suite 2 and Canon MiniDV camcorder that were provided to each of the five challengers, Phillips says the second greatest thrill was the thought of so many people seeing her work. "It's like an instant international portfolio," said the Milwaukee resident. "The hardest part was meeting all the deadlines while still working a full time job." We wonder what her boss now thinks about that.
The Game Initiative has announced game industry veteran Brenda Brathwaite will deliver an adults-only talk on sexual content and video games at the October 26 - 27, 2005 in Austin, Texas. From flirting in MUDs to hardcore sexual simulators to the emerging field of teledildonics, sex in games is, for sure, a topic of much interest. The talk won't be limited to sex in games but will touch on the infamous E3 booth babes who are as much a part of sex in games as the characters that walk through game worlds. Now that's a conference session worth attending.
Get ready for another ass-throbbing, body-shaking, wall-busting, floor-thumping, booty-gyrating ad:tech party. yup. Bluelithium has officially announced it's ad:tech New York 2005 Day 1 Wrap Up Party to be held at Glo. This is Bluelitium's third ad:tech party which is certainly a track record to be proud of. See you all there.
Not that you didn't notice the plunge in content yesterday on Adrants but, call me stupid, one would assume going to a conference attended by a cadre of bloggers who can't live without WiFi would have guaranteed Adrants the ability to provide you with our usual level of useless commentary but no. While valiant efforts were made to insure the existence of WiFi access at New York's Copacobana nightclub, not exactly the type venue one would expect to find WiFi, the two day conference, profoundly informative content aside, was filled with intermittent 5 second periods of Internet access just long enough to see that hundreds of emails and news stories were calling our attention causing, because of the inability to do anything, our blood pressure to rise and our head to explode in frustration.
OK. Bitching, aside, the Blog On conference focused on social media, which, among other things, consists of people's dramatically increased ability to produce their own content and say whatever they want about a brand. The primary message to marketers during the two day event was, number one, LISTEN to the ongoing conversation, enabled by blogs, chat rooms, forums, IM, Wikis, podcasting, social networks and innumerable other methods with which consumers can achieve a voice as powerful and widespread as marketers, number two, JOIN the conversation by participating in these new media and three, do not attempt to CONTROL the conversation with bullhorn marketing communications methods of old. That's over. That's so over. Deal with it and move one. Oh, and number four, leave the LAWYERS out of this. If a marketer has an issue with a person denigrating the brand, speak with that person like a normal human being and find out why that person is saying what he is saying. Don't slap a ceases and desist on his ass because all he'll do is post that cease and desist on his blog making the brand look even more stupid, idiotic and out of touch with reality.
Hoping to remind us that all advertising isn't created in New York, on Thursday, October 27, 2005 the Adcraft Club of Detroit will celebrate its 100th anniversary at the Max M. Fisher Music Center. During the event, Adcraft members and ticket holders will celebrate the legacy, creativity and collaboration that, as the press release says, "brought Detroit…and the world…the campaigns, spots, slogans and jingles that are forever a part of pop culture."
The Max will be transformed into a three-floor multi-media experience illustrating ten decades of community, culture and advertising. Appetizers and cocktails will include memorable period cuisine and a buffet of all-American to Mediterranean to Asian fare will be topped off with the characteristically Michigan, we're told, cherries jubilee dessert.
As they've done at three previous ad:tech's, ad network Bluelithium is, once again, hosting the show's mega-party which will occur Monday, November 7 at 9PM, following the first show day of ad:tech New York 2005. A preview of the invite we snaggged promises its Wishes promotion in which offers people vacations, iPods and shopping sprees. Appearing again, as they did at the first Bluelithium party at ad:tech San Francisco 2004, will be flying acrobats, fire breathers and Cirque du Soleil entertainers.
While the invite doesn't say where the party will be, last year in New York it was held at Show. However, if Bluelithium intends to put on as big a show as they did at their first party, held at San Francisco's cavernous Ruby Skye, Show won't cut it this time. The place is far too small. One thing's for sure, though. You've got to hand it to a company that can stick around year after year, show after show and not disappear like so many others, unfortunately, do. Kudos.
On Tuesday, October 18 at 9AM, I'll be moderating a panel at BlogOn in New York. The panel is called "Can Advertising Be Social." On this panel, the panelists, who include Organic CEO Mark Kingdon, Unilever Brand Development Director David Rubin, Jaffe LLC Founder Joe Jaffe and I hope to discuss the relationship between social media and advertising - the ways in which people have entered what has now become a two-way conversation rather than the former one-way, marketer to consumer bullhorn approach.
It should be an interesting and, hopefully, informative discussion. There's blogs, chat rooms, forums, IM, Wikis, podcasting, social networks and innumerable other methods with which consumers can achieve a voice as powerful and widespread as marketers.
As examples of this newfound consumer voice, there's Jeff Jarvis who, following a bad experience with a Dell computer, took on Dell publicly forcing Dell to respond. Unfortunately, it wasn't much of a response. There's George Masters, a teacher who created a professional looking iPod commercial which raced around the globe. Smartly, Apple took a hands off approach. There's Converse who asked people to submit films about Chuck Taylors. There's Mercedes who encouraged people to send in photos of themselves with their Mercedes which were ultimately featured in the company's ad campaign. The examples go on. People have become socially active with their brand experiences, good and bad, and the level of activity is forcing marketers to join the conversation and, forever, putting aside old methods of controlling it.
Indeed, marketing is in for the ride of its life.