Monday night at ad:tech Chicago 2006, there were many parties after the first day of the show and I made it to a few. First, CIMA, the Chicago Interactive Marketing Association, had a opening Night Party beginning at 5:30P which was lame and sparsely attended - perhaps because DoubleClick was having a party at Avenue M at the same time, so I wandered toward the exit of the exhibit hall but was distracted, again, by the beautiful Amy Dillard, dressed like a blue butterfly, sitting alone at the extravagantmedia booth. I spent a few minutes with her and found out she models occasionally for PMG Management and is from Kentucky. And yes, she does have that alluringly transfixing southern accent.
After 15 minutes or so, the equally beautiful Ariel Waldman who I'd met early in the day, passed by and said a bunch of her agency co-workers were heading over to the second CIMA party at Fultons on the River. Who am I to say know to an invite like that so we cabbed it over to Fulton's and met up with five of her co-workers from VML and checked out the very early CIMA party happenings.
It was long and hard but our search for the ubiquitous ad:tech Booth Babe finally paid off when we came across this beautiful, blue butterfly handing out "Win An IPod Video" entries for extravagantmedia and explaining what the company does. Stunned by her beauty and the attention she commanded, we have no memory of what the company does but we enjoyed how she released us from our hard day grinding along the exhibit hall floor.
Cheesy word play aside, the butterfly, model Amy Dillard, was sweet, intelligent and very personable. What wasn't so sweet was the extravagantmedia guys leaving her alone in the corner for an hour while they roamed about the exhibit hall floor. See more of the beautiful Amy here.
This morning, the Monday night party scene at ad:tech Chicago looked dim with only an "official" Bluelithium/CIMA-sponsored cocktail hour on the exhibit hall floor from 5:30P to 7P and a continuation of that party at Fulton's on the River, 315 North LaSalle Street from 7P to 10P. This afternoon, the party announcements began to roll in. So, here they are:
DoubleClick is having a party at Avenue M at 695 North Milwaukee from 5:30 - 7P. MySpace is having an invite only cruise party off of Navy Pier which kicks off at 6P and offers hourly cruises. Some company whose name I can't remember is having a party at the W from about 5P to 7P. And, the late night, combo-company party is happening at the Rock Bottom Brewery from 9P to 2A. And I thought it was going to be an easy night.
Apparently, as indicated by this very sparsely attended ad:tech Chicago 2006 session, not many people are intrested in listening to creative types hyping their most recent creative endeavors. Moderating the collection of creatives, Click Here ACD Brian Linder, DesignKitchen CD Sam landers, Arc Worldwide Group CD Tim Irvine and AvenueA Razorish Disciplne lead (whatever that is) Brooke Nanberg, was Program Partners SVP David Hutchinson.
Landers, the most "creative looking" of the bunch, took the audience though the very Flashtastic work he had done for Motorola to promote the brand and, well, I'm not sure what else. The most telling bit of education here was the utterance by Landers, "oh, it's still loading." Linder shared the work his agency did for high end tequila Patron. Unfortunately, the campaign consisted mostly of low brow humor - not exactly the approach to position a high end brand. His agency also created a site, simplyperfect.com, that carried the campiagn's theme of debate but enabling people to take two side of an issue and post it for others to comment upon.
Irvine shared work for Cadillac that attempted to take the "old" out and inject the car with some "badass" as one critic said while describing the new Cadillacs. Irvine created a fairly cool online car racing game that appeared to be engaging. Within the first month of the campaign the site got 170,000 page views, 57,000 visitors and 150,000 downloads. Nanberg, in explaining her work for AT&T's Digital Lifestyle center - a site that illustrates how AT&T integrates with life, suffered the unfortunate side effect of Flashturbation. Pages took forever to load. Pages hung. Pages froze. And the kicker is the site actually has a Troubleshooting link right up top as if it was in the plan that many people would have trouble viewing this site. The one shining nugget she left us with as if it were an earth shattering insight was "creative is non-linear." Um. OK.
Susan Bratton kicked of the 2006 Chicago ad:tech conference by introducing the new ad:tech chair, Drew Ianni, who will take over for Susan who will remain with ad:tech as Chair Emeritus. Keynote speaker Kay Ferguson, Co-CEO of Burrell Communications Group, a multicultural agency recently honored by Ad Age as the Multicultural Agency of the Year.
Ferguson's major point during her keynote was to inform the audience multicultural audiences are on of the Internet's fastest growing segment. Ferguson cited 77 percent of African Americans have Internet access at home, 64 percent have broadband and the segment spends 5 hours online each day, all figures higher than the general population.
As ad:tech kicks off its Chicago conference, changes afoot in the organization's corner office. Susan Bratton, who has been the Programming Chair for many years is shifting her responsibilities and will become Chair Emeritus. Drew Ianni will take the Programming Chair position and be responsible for continuing the expansion of ad:tech.
In a press release, Ianni said, "As ad:tech continues to thrive and grow, we must maintain our reputation as a place people come to learn. The content and programming have to remain on point and of the highest quality. Time is increasingly scarce and valuable, so we must make it worthwhile for industry influencers and leaders to take the time off and attend. ad:tech has achieved its role as the gravitational center of this industry by doing just that, and I intend to keep us here."
Here I am again in Chicago, a town I've traveled to may times before in my Starcom/Leo Burnett Technology Group days, for the 2006 ad:tech trade show. As usual, the show kicked off with a party for the exhibitors held outside the Sheraton Hotel right next to the river. Of all the U.S.-based ad:tech shows, the Sheraton Chicago is the most beautiful. Next year, that will change but will likely remain just as nice a venue when the show moves to Chicago's Navy Pier next to Lake Michigan which, by the way, I'm looking at right now as I write this. About 3,200 people are expected to attend the show this year. Check out more Exhibitor Party and set up pictures here.
While it's always fun to lay battles to rest and hook up with former enemies, if ad agency merger mania doesn't stop, there will be no more rivaling agency softball teams to play each other and everyone will simply show up for the post-game cookout. As Draft and FCB combine to form Draft FCB Group, this year marks the last the two teams will face each other in the New York Co-ed Softball League. Last night, FCB and Draft played their last game against each other at Randall's Island. Draft won 7-4 and is now tied with McCann for in the NYACSL top division. All good things come to an end.
Apparently, Nike's celebration of female body parts such as big butts, thunder thighs and tomboy knees has pleased the Women's Image Network so much they've named the brand 2006 Advertiser of the year. WIN Founder Phyllis Stuart praised Nike, saying, "Nike advertising makes women feel good about being female. Since The WIN Awards celebrate film, television and advertising that dispels female media stereotypes, Nike is an ideal honoree. Their advertising has always encouraged women to participate in sports, which significantly improves women's self-esteem and enhances their chances of success in all areas. When women see a NIKE ad we feel more capable".
One or more Nike athletes will be on hand to present The 2006 Advertiser of The Year award to Nike's Associate Director of U.S. Advertising, Saga Shossne. The WIN Awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 from 7 P.M. to 11 P.M. in Los Angeles.
Not that you haven't noticed but ad:tech is advertising all over Adrants. ad:tech is a show I go to three times a year and no, they are not paying me to say this. They pay for ad banners, not my personal opinion of the show which is this: in all seriousness, if you are even remotely involved in any aspect on online/interactive marketing, you really should go to this show. It's not only that there are tons of exhibitor companies that you can work with to better your online marketing but it's also all the personal and business networking that goes on during the show.
Excluding the proliferation of creative award shows, there aren't many times each year the country's ad industry gets together to simply learn what's new and to watch booth babes hand out...oh sorry, they don't have those any more except for the few who slip in undetected. Anyway, enough about that. Seriously, it a great conference, I always have a great time there, learn a lot and meet new people. Then again, I don't get out much but, again, that's besides the point. This is about you, not me. So go. Learn, Have fun. and be sure to find me and say hello. Get info here. Register here. If you use discount code ATCHAB, I think you can save 20 percent. And don't worry about that talking head at the bottom right on the screen. You can shut her up with a click of the mouse.