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.
The gist of the Hispanic: The State of the Industry panel led by ADN Communications CEO Jose Lopez-Varela with Publicitas VP of Digital Media Paul Meyer, mun2 Director od Digital Media Jose Nestor Marquez and Machado , Garica, Serra Associate Media Director Stephen Paez was that the Hispanic market is both very much the same and very much different than the general market.
With many families splitting with some members coming to American and others staying in their home country, the strong family bonds built from that separation make social networking a big growth area. Facebook recent opening of its API to developers could be a boon to Hispanic-specific social network development. Also, services such as Ning, which provide drag and drop social network creation, lend hem serves perfectly to topic specific networks.
So I've hit ad:tech Miami - a day late, mind you - and the vibe is totally different from San Francisco.
To start with, it's way hotter. And I think somebody with a salsa ghetto blaster is following me.
We found it. We finally found it. Not that you care but we finally found the ad:tech Miami Speaker Party. It wasn't at 5PM Monday night as some said but at 7PM at the second floor, indoor/outdoor bar where, unlike most continental U.S. ad:tech shows, English was, by far, the least spoken language in the room as speakers from Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Venezuela and countless other Hispanic and Latin American countries congregated to meet, greet and motivate for the following day's conference kick off.
On the eve of ad:tech Miami, it is hot. Seriously hot. Soak through your shirt in ten minutes hot. Of course, that didn't keep us off Miami beach. On a Monday, it was uncrowded but there were the occasional sites to see here and there. Even in 90 plus and humid weather, a guy was having an afternoon jog...in full sweats... down the beach like it was fall in New York. Guess you get used to it. Even the water is unrefreshingly bath water warm. Oh but we're not complaining. It's one of the nicest beaches around and there are never enough opportunities to appreciate the barely-dressed human form so we're just going to appreciate it for what it is.
Since we, rightfully so, in our opinion, chose to heap praise on Arnold's Cannes't video coverage of the festival and somehow recklessly neglected to mention the just as equally interesting Cannes Fringe coverage, we finally had to go to Cannes to find out what all this Cannes Fringe stuff is all about. Though we made in name only - and were rightfully dissed - with a mention in the latest Cannes Fringe coverage of the Shots party, we still feel like we were right there with the rest of the world's drunken ad industry.
OK, so Asa and Alphabet Soup, yes, I did get that:-)
For it's fourth outing, Arnold's Cannes't team found Ogilvey's Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin who spoke about their work on Grand Prix contender Dove Evolution and how it has affected their work for other clients. In a nutshell, many clients eye's were opened by the work and have become more willing to explore similar, non-traditional approaches to their advertising.
Also explored in the video is Cannes night life. mostly a montage of joyful advertising bodies happy to be away from the office for a week, the segment does a nice job encapsulating the non-awards portion of Cannes. We still don't know about the tattoo or where Meredeth went.
Alas, it was R/GA's Nike + iPod which won the coveted Cyber Lion.
Arnold's Cannes't team has published its video take on the third day of Cannes in which they ask attendees why they travel to Cannes, what they expect to see, what they have seen and what value the festival offers. Lost purses, bicycle short, Arnold tattoos and a lengthy interview with Barbarian Group Founder Benjamin Palmer completes the video.
If the Cannes't team keeps producing quality work like this, we may never have to go to Cannes ourselves to see what it's all about.