I don't recall AdWeek or BrandWeek having relaunch parties when they launched their redesigns. I could be wrong but when I received an invitation to the MediaWeek relaunch party, everything clicked. It makes perfect sense MediaWeek would, in fact, have a re-launch party since, well, that's what media people do and what they expect - a boondoggle full of free food and drinks. I just might have to go. Since the life-shifting event to Adrants, it's been a long while since I've been greased by the media.
I was in the hallway late yesterday, typing between sessions and recharging my computer at one of ad:tech's precious outlets, when a shadow fell across my monitor.
It was Paige Dzenis of Brand Infiltration. She towered over me, smiling expectantly.
"Hello," she said. We made small talk. Suddenly she cried: "Wanna go to the beach?!"
Here's a taste of what I heard at ad:tech Miami's The State of Search in Latin America.
How do you think search fits into the marketing mix?
"Research suggests AdWords placement impacts brand recognition," said commercial director Andreas Huettner of Google in Brazil.
Do you think LatAm is behind [in terms of search marketing's maturity]?
"We are definitely behind. Which is why we were on an evangelization mission."
The Google director's "evangelization" comment sparked a condescending panel-wide lament about how "traditional marketers" just don't get search and are reluctant to try it.
These men talked of traditional marketing like it was some backwater village ritual. And, like overzealous missionaries, they failed to see the logical fallacies in their brave new religion.
With an 80's theme - because, well it's supposed to be cool or something - Terra hosted a party at the Dream Nightclub in Miami on the second night of ad:tech Miami. It was crowded and everyone was dancing so it seems 80's music is good, at least, for something.
There was a dude dancing on a couch, a dude dancing on a pole, beautiful people posing for shots and the ubiquitous booty shot. Oh and let's not forget the stupid "arty" shots the photographer simply had to include to somehow illustrate his photographic ineptitude. See ya next year, Miami.
See all the photos here.
Each ad:tech Miami session I've seen follows the same painful format: a moderator introduces himself, then steps aside as each panelist gives a mini-presentation.
It's like watching antsy children read book reports out loud. But unlike their grade school counterparts, each presenter stretches his time allotment as long as possible.
This afternoon I livetweeted ad:tech Miami's Social Media and Consumer Generated Content in Latin America: Exploring the Value Proposition.
Here is a synopsis of what each panelist had to say, taking into account the following three generalities:
- Latin Americans (LatAm) are social people. Possibly more social than the rest of the world. (This struck me as more of a cultural conceit than a verifiable fact, but nobody in the audience contested the stance. Possibly because they were all either of Latin origin, or very eager to cozy up to those of Latin origin.)
- User-centricity is the new fetish. Each panelist cited his company's user focus at outset. (Anton Chalbaud, pictured at left, emphasized Sonico's user-centricity by attesting to his company's "INSANE" focus on real people.) Gone are the days when a quick buck, whatever the means, was a virtue.
- Mastering the elusive art of interactive media, especially digital, is considered crucial to taming the LatAm audience. (Especially now.) As Lucas Morea put it, "The audience is receptive." Marketers should teach users how to create and publish content.
Now. On to the meat of the matter.
Open power outlets are rare, and rarer still in the press room. Never, ever monopolize an outlet to charge your computer and cell phone at the same time -- while you, Considerate Guy, attend sessions.
After you've walked through the exhibit of just about any conference you begin to think you've seen everything. Thankfully, the intellect and sense are never let down. While the Miami ad:tech conference is a smaller conference compared to its Big Brother New York, Big Sister San Francisco and cousin Chicago, if you're not actually from somewhere in Latin America or Mexico, you feel a bit like you are in another world.
OK, so it's not that extreme but it's far different than being at a New York, San Francisco or Chicago conference and in a very good way. Anyway, enough blather. On to the pictures.
OK, so why write about it when you can just look at the pictures? So...go here and you'll get to wallow in the social activities of ad:tech Miami's first night. But if you're more the type of person who just wants to read about it, here's the rundown...
There was food. There was alcohol. There were lots of beautiful people. There was a pool. There were people in the pool. Drinks were dropped. Drunk-speak was the only language spoken. And then there were the...[redacted].
In the ad:tech session entitled "The Internet Economy: Start-ups, Bubbles, and Buyouts," moderated by Milbank Roy Co. LLC Managing Director Pierre-Georges Roy with panelists Global Mind CEO Marcello Montefiore, Internet Media Services Founder and CEO Gaston Taratuta, Fox Networks VP of Global Business Development Damiam Voltes and Publicitas VP of Digital Media Paul Meyer, the key takeaways were specialization and Brazil.
From ad:tech Miami's "Latin American Consumer Habits and Online Behavior" panel. Information was provided by CEO Fabia Juliasz of ibope/NetRatings.
Percentage of internet penetration:
- Brazil, 22 percent (42 million internet users)
- Mexico, 22 percent (22.7 million users)
- Argentina, 26 percent (10.3 million users)
- Chile, 41 percent (6.7 million users)
Use varies by age, location, cost of resources and economic status. According to Juliasz, the trick is to target them locally.
Latin America consists mostly of verdant land and small communities. Cities are heavily concentrated and burdened by technology demand. This means most people in those cities can get online, but how they do it depends on what they can afford.
Where users are too poor to use a computer at home, most will use public access spaces. Free wifi and internet cafes proliferate Brazilian and Peruvian cities.