In the press room at ad:tech I met a guy called Frank Nein of OrionsWave, who observed the ad and marketing sectors are falling into turmoil -- spinning uncontrollably into hell, sifting through the din in search of equilibrium in a world gone self-publish and multi-platform.
And I can't stop thinking about Chris Franklin of Big Sky Editorial, who laughed at the idea of a viral ad. "All ads are viral!" he'd said. The point he made was that in order for an ad to succeed, it should be watchable again and again.
How many of our frenetic new manifestos are ideas that have always been there, or at least should have been?
With that, and as a kind of tribute to the future, I give you the Tootsie Roll ad. I couldn't count on my fingers and toes how often in childhood I saw this spot.
What's awesome about it is, most everyone I've met who's roughly my age still knows all the words to the song. We enjoyed watching it then; a lot of us still do.
And in our lifetimes, we ate a hell of a lot of Tootsie Rolls.
First ad:tech session of the week: Media & Entertainment: Programming, Distribution and Advertising in a Multi-Platform World.
Moderator Ira Rubenstein kicked things off by cutting to the chase. Observing that the "old media model" revolved around scarcity, he asked how panelists make media buying and planning decisions for a show like Heroes when you can watch it on NBC, Hulu and Joost.
What followed were a bunch of really good-sounding quotes if you're a fan of the collected works of Seth Godin. Understand your audience! Follow the good content! What is your consumer looking for?
But then the wind changed. And the boys ran with it!
There's really no mature way to say this. Tuesday night's party scene at ad:tech New York ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCKED! OK, now that we've got that idiotically juvenile behavior out of the system, let's move on to what you missed if you weren't out last night. Three. Count them. Three pulse pounding parties filled with your fellow industry mates. Three. Count them. Three smaller, elegantly reserved early evening cocktail parties during which actual conversation could take place and did. And one. Count them. One one-on-one drink (water, if you must know) with New York's finest - and very successful- media publisher, Laurel Tobey of mediabistro whose company was just purchased by Alan Meckler's Jupitermedia.
OK, so that was it. There you go. What was that? You want to know more? OK, our arm is easily twisted so here you go. Ready? OK. WTF? That sounded like a cheerleader. Sorry about that. Apparently we need one to help wake up this morning. Why, why are we telling you this? And who the hell is we? It's just me, Steve Hall. Royal "we" dispensed with for now. WTF were we talking about? Oh, right, ad:tech parties.
So Laurel and I met in the Hilton Hotel bar to chat about business and what's going on in the media space, the ins and out of publishing, hosting industry parties, how publishing has dramatically changed over the past few years and how much fun it is to be in the business right now. Countless familiar faces passed by as we sat there including Laredo Group's Leslie Laredo and eMarketer's Crystal Gurin.
After Laurel and I finished our waters and conversation, we headed over to the AdBrite party held in the Hilton Hotel's Estruca restaurant where, amidst free flowing martinis, the dreaded PowerPoint-ish presentation was given to those who, for better or worse, were more concerned with socializing. To say the least, AdBrite's Dan Madden (I think) had a tough time keeping the audiences attention. I'm not complaining though. It was a great party. If you really want to see a bitch session about industry parties, events, their structure and the behavior of those in attendance, there's a nice rant about the recent Boston Ad Club's Hatch Awards here.
After the AdBrite party, Laurel and I split ways. She headed off to some founder's party because, well, she's a founder and all and I tried really really hard to find Flute where Adverb Media was hosting a party. Unfortunately, I'm apparently and idiot and couldn't find the place. So apologies to the fine folks who sent the invite.
Overheard on the press room floor:
"The whole point is to remain agnostic."
Digital advertising and spirituality: two sides of the same coin?
ad:tech NY is packed. Is every New Yorker in advertising?
I'm not going into huge detail about last night's shenanigans since Steve already bared our souls (curse you, AIM!). This is more like a moody play-by-play of stuff worth noting.
For reasons not worth discussing, listening to Like a Prayer always puts me in a state of religious ecstasy and self-loathing. These aren't feelings you want to have over breakfast while hung over. Which leads to the question: who buys the Muzak for hotel dining halls?
Flash back to Monday evening, the reason for said hangover. As Audrey said in Breakfast at Tiffany's, "Quelle night!"
While I can't comment on the MediaWhiz Poker Party because I didn't go, I can say all the parties Monday night at ad:tech New York were quite good. Adrants Co-Editor Angela will have an interesting story for you about her experience at the Pascha party and in lieu of the usual litany of we did this, then this, then this and went here and then here and then here, I just got lazy and all I'm going to do is share with you the morning-after IM conversation I shared with Angela. After all, why rewrite something when you don't have to? We like to be efficient like that around here. OK, so it's lazy but efficient sounds better. Come on. We're hung over!
"They're Greeeeeeat!" Oh wait, that's "a Tiger in Your Tank!" Oh wait, that's a guy in a tiger suit next to a cheerleader standing in front of the Traffic Marketplace booth on Monday during ad:tech New York. What tigers and cheerleaders have to do with whatever it is Traffic Marketplace does, we know not. But it seems to have attracted the attention of conference goers who at least stopped and looked. That's gotta count for something.
Booth babes, with their sexy little outfits and bursting cleavage, are now passe. In their place comes the staged exhibit hall skit. Courtesy of No More Landing Pages, we get the babelicious heroine saved from certain death by superheroes from ineffective landing pages. A little theater to spice of exhibit hall blues. Who can complain with that?
OK, OK, so I'm a sucker for booth babes. I admit it. I joined the twelve step program but it did no good as you can plainly see here. Besides, I've been bad and I need punishment. Or at least that the excuse I'm giving for this gratuitous booth babe shot. Just cut out the cheesy dude in the middle and you'll be good. And, what better people to dole out the proper repercussions for bad behavior than two ladies dressed like hooker cops?
These fine ad:tech trade show floor ticketers come courtesy of interactive ad company Vizi.
No More Landing Pages, which conducted a mock strike at ad:tech SF, is hitting ad:tech NY in capes and tights.
Among other heroes evangelizing the battle for increased conversions and better ROI, meet Landing Page Man, who is pompous and lame; Conversion Girl, who sexes up conversion quality; and LiveBall -- who (not unintentionally) frequently suffers from that other kind of balls resulting from Conversion Girl, who uses him to get what she wants. (Um, conversions and increased ROI. Like any smart sexbomb?)
If the spectacle isn't enough to get you running (yellow tights and blueballs always do it for us), there are grab bags too. Hit the Cyber Cafe on the 4th floor of the Exhibit hall for a chance to get an iPod Touch, maybe a Shuffle or some sort of office "weapon."
We're guessing branded staplers but hoping for lawn darts.