For Wednesday's Keynote Roundtable, held the second day of ad:tech Miami, Advertising Age's Laurel Wentz gathered together a collection of the finest minds in the Hispanic and Latin American market places to discuss the changing relationship between consumers, content and control. On the panel were MTV Networks VP of Digital Media Luis Goicouria, VOY Group Chairman and CEO Fernando Espuelas, Batanga Chairman and CEO Rafael Urbina-Quintero and NBC Universal, Telemundo Network Group Senior VP Digital Media Peter Blacker.
Among all members of the panels, the overriding acknowledgment that consumers have the keys to content kingdom was agreed to though not to the exclusion of well-produced content. Content is still king as has been said. It's simply being created and consumed very differently than it was just three or five years ago. The panelists agreed the explosion of consumer generated media has forever changed the media landscape and will continue to do so in ways even the best minds can't yet imagine.
This entry can alternatively be called, "Why American Airlines Sucks."
Before leaving ad:tech I had a conversation with a blogger who lamented learning little of value at the conference. He wasn't the only one who complained; surface-skimming conversation with a few girls at last night's Batanga party betrayed a pattern.
I hate to file yet another complaint into the ether. But after some serious thought, it occurred to me that you can't really learn about how people are communicating - manipulating brands, and media, in the process - unless you're sharing their space, communicating right along with them. That's not the kind of thing you can really be taught at a seminar.
Which leads me to why American Airlines sucks.
CNN's Alberto Padilla interviews Shawn Gold of MySpace! I braced myself for the inevitable ripped-off feeling as, having started 15 minutes late, they wasted another 15 minutes playing getting-to-know-you on session time. What a jam-packed half-hour it was that awaited me.
(If you're wondering what the image is at left, it's Gold's current MySpace profile picture.)
If I can put forth what might be construed as a stereotype in the nicest possible manner, Hispanic and Latin America women most certainly know how to accentuate what they've got and have no problem dressing in a way that flaunts it beautifully. Maybe it's the heat. Maybe it's the culture. Maybe it's something else but it's nothing like New York. Now there's nothing wrong with the way New York women dress, mind you, but the thread count to flesh ratio in Miami is far, far lower than it is in New York.
Somebody tell me why everyone at ad:tech Miami has a Blackberry, and nobody seems capable of switching off their festive little ringtones during the sessions.
While the speakers for Publishing in the Digital Age: Feast or Famine? make product pitches in polite succession (how different from the debate and discourse at previous ad:techs!), I finally locate the take-away: Internet publishers are sitting amidst a feast.
(Note pirate - get it? Like online piracy? - feasting at left.)
There's not much to say about an ad:tech session that focuses on creative since its so subjective. However, during the Creative Showcase: The Best of Latin America moderated by AHAA Immediate Past Chairman and Parliamentarian Carl Kravetz, Media 8 Digital Marketing Executive Creative Director Gustavo Garcia presented work his agency did which maximized the notion Hispanic women love to talk about beauty and all the product that go along with beautifying oneself.
It's my opinion that multi-platform marketing, despite its maddening number of nuances, has made a lot of advertisers lazy. Consider how many brands settled for a CGM contest during the last Super Bowl instead of sitting down to think of something genuinely unique and thrilling.
But lest we tread too far down the path of least resistance, it merits noting that while a two-way discourse between ourselves and The Consumer is nice, it's hardly made our job easier. And it isn't supposed to.
Multi-platform marketing suggests a much broader responsibility than just throwing your brand onto every medium you can imagine. You're not engaging in viral marketing, for example, if all you're doing is loading your :30 spots onto YouTube.
Do you really think The Consumer is that stupid?
During the evenings of most ad:tech conferences, we have to troll around the host city to make sure we cover the extensive party scene each night yields. Not so during the first night of ad:tech Miami. While there may have been smaller parties around town, none likely compared to the scale and quality of the Batanga-hosted opening night party held at the Royal Palm Hotel on Miami Beach.
Quite possibly, this was the best party we've attended in the four years we've covered ad:tech conferences. Firstly, the party planners made use of all the hotel had to offer: two pool bars, one long outdoor courtyard area on which food was served, one upper bar overlooking a pool with white linen covered tables and lounge beds, one conference/club room in which the band Tartara performed and several hallways with food stations. This was no Crobar.
While there haven't been any of the usual booth babes here at ad:tech Miami, which, some would say is a good thing, we were pleased to run into a fully-dressed team from No More Landing Pages, the group that protested outside the last ad:tech in San Francisco to advance their cause of "increasing online conversions and ROI." Oh, and its also a front for the agency that actually does the work that increases the efficiency of pages: Ion Interactive. Oh, and it's also an Adrants advertiser for all you full disclosure lovers.
With 380 million mobile user in Latin America and just 3 major carriers, monopoly-related problems are the norm to say the least. During the ad:tech Miami panel Mobile Advertising in Latin America: When Will it Be a Reality, the lack of a common platform, as is the case in other markets, is always a hurdle that must be jumped during mobile campaign creation.
On the panel were Moderator, Fernando Pafumi, director of business development for Pyramid Research, Victor Kong, VP of Strategy and New Media for MTVNetworks Latin America, Jorge Oartides, CEO of LatCel and Juan Saldivar.