The Next Frontier: Advertising in Applications.
This panel struck me as one of the most relevant to marketers at ad:tech NY this year. Topics included widgets, in-game advertising and in-cloud applications (server-hosted productivity supplements to Word and Excel). A representative from Facebook also discussed what ad models work well for the social network.
Liza Hausman of Gigya introduced the talk on widgets. (See her discuss it, in part, in the video above. Try not to wince when Escourrou, bless his heart, says "marketeers.") She observed people used to spend time on destination sites; now they bring content wherever they go: a social network, a blog, a desktop, their start page.
As a result, widgets present a real opportunity for marketers. "Anything that can be done on a website can be done on a widget," she pointed out. "Most importantly, widgets have to be installed by a user to a page." That's the world's best validation of your value add - and obviously also a huge hurdle.
Half-ass a widget, and it'll never move past your subsite.
Search and Social Synergy.
At this jewel of an ad:tech session, each panelist lavished the audience with a drop of wisdom from their collective fountains. What follows are my scoopings.
Tips for managing a brand in the new media landscape, courtesy of MTVN's Julie Sun:
- You've heard the expression "knowledge is power." Well, sound social knowledge can protect a brand. Monitor user-created pages like Wikipedia; see what people say about you, and communicate your point of view. (Avoid the temptation to link-whore, though.)
- Do research to find out where your users are. (Don't play with Facebook, for example, if your users aren't there.) Given your objectives, ID which space works best for you.
- Support your online social initiatives year-round. (For chrissake, don't take down a subsite just because you stopped running TV ads for it. What makes the web cool is its ability to keep ads going long after the money stops. KEEP THE SITE UP. DON'T DELETE THOSE VIDEOS, EITHER.)
Obama, Apple and Ice Cream - Building Brand Passion Among Millennials.
This ad:tech panel consisted of six Millennials, which -- according to the official (coughs) definition -- represent those born between 1979 and 1994. Wanna know if they actually respond to your email blasts and big Flash banners? Watch the video above. And if you happen to be shilling for Urban Outfitters, pat yourself on the back.
Alloy's Samantha Skey served as moderator and cow prod. This company's entire raison d'etre is to know kids better than they know themselves, then package them in silver spoonfuls to ravenous marketers. Once in awhile, Skey made an irrefutable statement about their transparent whims, backed by video footage of some poor dope proving her right.
While it's said attendance was down slightly from past conferences, the New York ad:tech conference was, by all counts, alive and well despite 24/7 news reports reports of doom and gloom. It's true the economy is not doing too well right now nor is it expected to improve over the course of the next year. But, thankfully, the online and interactive market space is one of the few bright spots amongst the graying economic skyline.
In his keynote address Tuesday morning eMarketer Co-Founder and CEO Geoff Ramsey said he expects to see a 14.5 percent growth rate in U.S. online ad spending in 2009, not bad for an economy that's supposed to be tanking. Many other sources have proclaimed such health as well for the space which bodes well for those of us making our living in online marketing.
With help from the disarming Alice Anda (and the kind indulgence of Massive's Cassandra Nuttal), ad:tech's blog crew crashed last night's Battle of the Agency Bands, a Guitar Hero party sponsored by Massive.
Suited up like charming schizophrenics, agency bands played a random Guitar Hero song for a crowd composed of their own cohorts. I wish I could attach the agency name to each of these videos, but we were in and out in two shakes -- too quickly to info-gather. One of them is MediaVest; and creatives from Ogilvy performed, but I didn't catch footage.
Publishing in the Digital Age -- Context is King.
It's odd that an ad:tech panel about publishing need reiterate the importance of context. Even before digital blew our minds or whatever, wasn't that still the case? Great newspapers were forged in the fires of noteworthy current events. Great books exploit widely-felt (but little-articulated) sentiments.
Context has always been king. Tactical marketers have always fed on that: This is my message. How best to package it for Demo X? Where is their mind? Can I speak to a shared passion or crisis?
This sesh gives a fresh coat of paint to a trusty old model, with the crucial addition of being whiplash-worthy. (That is, encourage some hardcore rubbernecking.) Highlights below.
While not as busy as Monday or Tuesday night, Wednesday at ad:tech New York offered up quite a few things for ad:tech attendees to do after the day's panels ended. Wine Library's Gary Vaynerchuk gave a "motivational speech" to several hundred people at The Volstead but it didn't turn out quite as planned. Even with a few hundred people there to hear Gary speak, the club refused to turn down the music in favor of serving the eight people in the club not associate with the Mashable event.
Gary, ever the resourceful one, was not to be deterred so he asked the crowd to follow him out to the sidewalk where, on a milk crate, he gave his talk to those who chose to stay. Gary never lets a road block stand in his path.
Before the Mashable debacle, ChaCha held an event right after the day's panels ended in the Hilton's Bridges bar. Several hundred attended and were treated to free drinks. After a long day at a conference, who can complain about that? Right and no one did.
As if there weren't a Republican in the house, ad:tech keynote speaker Shelly Lazarus gushed with excitement about the uplifting optimism brought on by Obama's presidential win the night before. No doubt, she had planned to speak about Obama's campaign, universally agreed to have been stellar and one of the best ever, but the fact he won couldn't contain the glee clearly resident in the room.
In her keynote, Lazarus commented the Obama campaign dubbing it a masterstroke of CRM and the digital realization of Obama's "yes we can" mantra. While the Obama love in the room was, without doubt, palpable, Lazarus did not spent the entire keynote talking about Obama.
I was fresh into university when California governor Gray Davis was ousted. In what I shortsightedly conceived to be the most politically significant moment I'd be destined to see in my lifetime, Arnold Schwarzenegger replaced him in Sacramento. I felt seized by the fever of the time, and vowed to always remember what it was like to be passionate about the pulse of government.
That was just a handful of years ago. Today my mind is filled with watershed events that vastly eclipse that first taste: a mortgage crisis, the dramatic collapse of hulking financial institutions, and a black Presidential incumbent pitted against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic ticket, then against another woman -- Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin -- for the right to walk with proprietary pride across the vast square footage of the White House.
Last night, a handful of ad:techies learned the results of the November 4 election over a dinner hosted by Susan Bratton, the DishyMix queen bee. I sat between social medialyte Dave Evans and a well-traveled guy called Roy. We ordered duck gizzards and spun casual, but slightly taut, conversation.
In terms of booth schwag at New York's ad:tech, there wasn't much that stood out. There were pens and pens and pens and more pens. There were matchbooks. There were hats, cups and mints. There were stress balls, pins and badges. A few, however, rose above the toss-in-the-nearest-trash-can category. Ifbyphone had yo-yos. Anchor had shot glasses.And Batanga had miniature stereo speakers which could plug into an iPod or other musical device.
The best, though, and the winner of this year's Booth Schwag Award goes to elitecommission for hiring a custom cigar maker who sat at the booth and rolled fatties (well, not that kind) for attendees. Clearly, not your normal booth schwag.
See them all here.