If one could identify a trend in parties at this year's ad:tech in San Francisco, it would be this; more, smaller and no open bar. It all makes perfect sense in a "down economy." Excepting a couple of parties, most were small events held at small venues with limited or no open bar. That didn't seem to stop people from having fun though this year.
As early as Monday night, the eve of ad:tech, Glam Interactive held a small event atop the Clift Hotel in the Spanish Suite. From 7P-9P, members and guests mixed and mingled before the general ad:tech crowed began to glow in. While it was open to all, it never really got all that busy.
- George Parker on German Brothels in hard times like these.
- Microbooking is the new...?
- Social media IS like sex. (For the record, I don't pay for social media.)
- Microsoft blowing up on campus like Google used to.
It's impossible to get work done in the ad:tech SF press room, and this is one of the reasons why. Witness while Krista Neher (The Marketess) tries telling an Extremely Boring Traveling-to-ad:tech Story. And Larry Chiang of Duck9 tries detracting her with tantric massage.
Then they reflect on their recent Jedi marketing battle and how they couldn't have been SO DAMN AWESOME! without each other.
Be advised: there are bad words, and this video is of no practical value whatsoever. Although Krista does lend valuable insight on how to get out of speeding tickets in Toronto.
This casual ad:tech SF press room convo takes place between Brent Terrazas of Everything's Better with Brentter, Krista Neher of The Marketess and Larry Chiang.
Larry runs a company called Duck9, which helps college kids improve their FICO scores. He also explains the premise behind (read: plugs the living dickens out of) his BusinessWeek column, What They Don't Teach You At Stanford Business School.
Krista, never one to resist an opp to antagonize, loudly observes Larry never actually went to business school.
Witness with awe how a (too) smooth operator eases out of that snagglety-snaggle.
Shortly after his keynote at ad:tech San Francisco -- and David Spark's timely pre-talk grab -- founder Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia sat down with me to talk shop.
Expect to hear his dish on where consumer generated media is now and why brands should dive in (as well as where). We also talked about what-in-hell happened with Wikia, why branding's underrated, and what keeps Wikipedia afloat. (It ain't advertising.)
After all that awkward backtracking over how much agencies dish out for its pencil-shaped paperweights (where does all that money go?), The One Show is under pressure to lighten the strain on its PR team.
Add to that the usual speculation about whether an old boy's club decides who wins what each year. How best to respond? Nudge-nudge the conspiracy theorists back, which is what One Show tries doing in this series of wordy tongue-in-cheek prints.
With headings like "Secret handshakes. Secret passwords. Secret secrets," creatives hither and yon can guffaw while the One Club rib-jabs and wink-winks the following message into our collective subconscious: Think we're not transparent enough? That's because WE'RE NOT!
"Shadowy" is at left. Also see "Whisper" and "Shroud." Work by Charlotte-based BooneOakley.
If you haven't been asleep for the last month you know there's been a project around here called Killed Ideas. It's purpose is to pick the top 50 ads that never saw the light of day. In other words, all those great ads your creative director, account manager or client killed.
The final 50 have been chosen and will appear in Killed Ideas Volume I which will publish in May. For now, we're keeping the selected fifty under wraps. After all, revealing them now would kind of defeat the point of the book, right?
But we can share some of the ideas that almost, but not quite, made it into the top 50. Here's one:
When someone commits suicide, it's not always clear why they did so. In a memoir written by Joan Wickersham, the author attempts to make sense of her father's suicide by putting together the pieces which led up to his death.
Last week at ad:tech Paris I got to hang out with VP-Strategy Robin Sloan of Current TV. We built rapport over Extremely Important Stuff: why the universe needs Battlestar Galactica, how you (or, well, I) can't get a good burrito in Paris, and whether the talking space ship in Flight of the Navigator would look as cool today as it did when we were weebies.
Anyway, at some point I randomly said, "Can I take video of you talking?" or something to that effect, and he was all, "Cool," and by some strange juju I managed to catch him saying some pretty agreeable stuff about the media industry: what it needs (in the context of the perfect conference) and where it's headed.
ad:tech Paris wrapped up with a keynote called Facebook Today and Tomorrow, conducted by Commercial Director Blake Chandlee of Facebook's EMEA segment (Europe, the Middle East and Asia).
I already LiveTweeted the sesh so the last thing I want to do is type it all out again. The biggest takeaways: Mark Zuckerberg is God, and God's particular mantra is "Efficiency, Effectiveness, Scale."
One of the bigger bits of news eclipsing this talk was a recent announcement that Facebook is now 200 million (active) users strong. According to Chandlee, 50% of those users log in every day and spend an average of 25 minutes on the site.
And while the US once composed 70% of Facebook's total user figures, it's now just 30% -- not because growth has slowed on our turf, but because it's blossomed elsewhere. (France, for example, exploded from 2 million users last year to 9 million this year.)
Here are a few key video moments, punctuated by random Tweetdom.
No ad:tech's an ad:tech unless there's a session that speculates, however pointlessly, on the future of advertising. This particular variant featured New Media Director Robin Sloan of Current TV and General Director Travis Katz of MySpace. The moderator was Editor in Chief Nicolas Arpagian of Prospective Strategique.
Interesting sidenote about this panel: Arpegian posed all questions in French; Sloan and Katz wore magic insta-translating devices that enabled them to respond in English without missing a beat. It was so "Star Trek."
Sloan was up first, and he kicked off with something unexpected. Positioning his presentation as if we were already living in the year 2019, he walked us through the "past" 10 years.
Video snapshots below.