As it turned out, there were quite a few parties Monday night at ad:tech. Most were small affairs or private company company cocktail/dinner parties. iMediaconnection's Masha Gellar and I seemed to be on the same path visiting a party for German ad serving/email marketing company ADTECH who recently opened a U.S. office, a party celebrating the tenth anniversary of Internet marketing and training company Laredo Group and the Adotas ad:tech VIP dinner.
The ADTECH party was held on the 43rd floor of the Hilton hotel and while I don't know much about this company, I can say the representatives from the company were some of the nicest people I've met in the business. The Laredo Group party was held at old school Friar's Club where very old men passed food and reacted appropriately when one person said he didn't want one of those penis in a blanket things. You had to be there.
ad:tech's Now and Next Technology Showcase was filled with a collection of small, upstart companies that are providing niche and new products catering to the drastically changing media landscape. One company, adhoc mobile, works with content publishers, brands and mobile service providers to bring marketer's messaging to multiple mobile applications, text and games. Snapse has launched a video creation platform that provides people tools to draw from multiple online video sources in a streaming fashion to create real-time, custom videos. Marketers can create custom video vignettes which users of the service can integrate into their personally created videos. Believe me, it's way cooler than I'm describing it.
Another very cool offering launching today, called MiNGGL, provides a browser toolbar that allows people to bring together their multiple social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, edit them, share them and basically take the headache out of dealing with more than one social media site. It's ad supported and therefore may not be welcomed with open arms by the MySpaces of the world since the service's ads appear in the same browser window as the social media site's ads do but it's a killer app for anyone who has more than one networking site.
Stepping in where Bluelithium left off and getting our vote as the the company providing the coolest party entertainment, Datran Media hosted a party Monday night at ad ad:tech in News York at 110 University Place. Upon entry, the four corners of a two sided bar were graced with four women dressed in Datran-colored frilly outfits which revealed far more than they covered. In the back area of the club, a woman dressed in a flesh colored body suit was suspended from the ceiling, writhing in a sheet-like sling which did an effective job showing off the contours of her body. Apparently, it was interesting to the audience as every eye in the place was aimed upward. Beyond the gyrating human-style entertainment, the Datran party also offered numerous pool tables and even a bowling alley.
In terms of ambiance, another metric by which we measured the amusement factor of this year's ad:tech parties, both the Industry Brains and Crobar parties where at the top of the list though for very different reasons. Vertical industry keyword targeting company Industry Brains held their party at Divine Bar, a very red, elegant-ish establishment where decent wine and delicious snacks where served. The ambiance was relaxing and just what was needed after a long day at the conference. Good wine. Comfy couches. Good party. And an awards show as well.
It seems the booth babe trend has passed and in its place, a new trend has appeared: The Booth Dude. A visit to the CPA Empire booth will offer you the anti-booth babe, a fine collection of the male specimen clad head-to-toe in white tuxedos. Definitely an eye catcher and, dare we say, as eye catching as booth babe cleavage. Yes, a new trend is upon us at ad:tech. Relish it until its days are played out and it turns in to a Chippendales nightmare.
Kicking off ad:tech New York 2006, incoming ad:tech Chair Drew Ianni gave outgoing ad:tech Chair and current ad:tech Chair emeritus Susan Bratton a nice nod touting her tireless work over the tears growing ad:tech through thick and thin and presented her a giant bushel of roses.
Ianni told the audience this year's ad:tech, in addition to 10,800 pre-registered attendees, has 330 exhibitors. He then discussed ad:tech's global expansion which new and planned shows acoss the globe in London, Sydney, Paris, Hamburg, Mumbai, Bubai, Tokyo and others. Also announced was a fourth domestic show in Miami June 26-28, 2007.
Ianni then reviewed the state of the online advertising citing such nuggets as revenue hitting $20 billion in the next year, consumer packaged goos spending hitting $1 billion and online video revenue hitting $1.3 billion in 2008. China's also expected to get active with $200 million in revenue predicted by 2008.
After the overview, Ianni introduced BBDO Chairman and Chief Creative Officer David Lubars who mostly continue's BBDO's mantra of "insight" as the driving force behind making great creative. Seems we've heard that before from former BBDO legend Phil Dusenberry but there's nothing like carrying on tradition. Related to insight, Lubars told the audience agencies shouldn't have to convince their clients to go online stating the insight, as the driving factor, would make that decision a no brainer.
It took a while but finally many of the ad:tech New York exhibitors setting up for the November 6-8 show dropped their crates, carpets and booth paraphernalia long enough to join the Exhibitor Party put on for them by conference organizer DMG Worldwide. It was well attended and the free drinks seemed to be well appreciated after a long day of exhibit hall set up. The dry, mostly fried, room temperature hors douvres where another story entirely but that's par for the course with Hilton food.
Anyway, DMG VP Don Knox welcomed the exhibitors and premiere sponsors Advertising Age and Casale Media among others and announced DMG would be introducing a new ad:tech Miami show in June 2007. It's our chance to meet all those fine, upstanding Boca Raton interactive marketing companies up close and in person. Kidding aside, the show will focus on Latin American marketing as well as carry on the general theme interactive marketing theme of the current shows.
It keeps getting bigger and it keeps getting better. This year, ad:tech New York boasts 10,800 pre-registered attendees, the largest ad:tech ever, even beating ad:tech San Francisco which was held in the Moscone Center. On Sunday afternoon before the show, as usual, all the exhibitors are busy setting up and it looks like every last square inch of the New York Hilton's conference space has been taken by ad:tech exhibitors.
Casale Media will grab your attention as you enter the exhibit hall with its very red set up and bluelithium has put up an interesting looking "wavy wall" for lack of a better term. It still amazes it's all put together by Monday morning. Yes, we've said that a million times before. Anyway, we're here. We hope to see you.
In a warped twist on identity theft ads, Pat Fallon and Fred Senn lounge languidly on a set of massage beds and spout a gossipy promotion for the upcoming AAAA Summit in female Texan drawls. Gabriel deGrood Bendt helped. Check out the video here.
The Summit's intention is in part a desperate plea to help "Position the Minneapolis ad community as vital, vibrant and cool" but judging from the naked, pleasantly glowing executives we're disinclined to miss the event. No one should be allowed to have that much fun in the nuddies without us. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
- These BBDO-created Suzuki ads have some very intricate and intriguing illustration.
- Beginning November 17, the University of Texas in Austin is hosting Chaos 2006, a two day event focusing on the crazy changes going on in advertising. Yes, Bob Garfield will be in the house.
- Of you're sick of sponsoring that same old boring sports for your marketing programs, you might want to check out this combination of volleyball, soccer and gymnastics called Bossaball.
We all love to go to trade shows to schmooze with others in the industry, attend panel discussions in hopes we pick up the latest cool marketing tactic and, perhaps, strike a business deal or two. While some of that may have merit, in this fast changing media landscape where everyone's skipping your ads, blocking your pop ups and stripping banners from web pages, it's unlikely any panel is going to deliver you as much insight and usable information as this Guy Kawasaki-led panel called Next Generation Insights. The panel consisted of kids aged 16 to 24 and offered up more a treasure trove of first hand information about media usage habits that will soon define the future of media. From cell phone usage to use of MySpace to IM to online shopping to text messaging gaming to computer usage habits to television viewing to magazine readership to iPod usage to email to online video to RSS and more. It's a motherlode of insightful, usable information about a generation that is indicative of what media usage will look like in the future.
After watching this, you will very quickly realize that all current methods of marketing have a very, very...very short lifespan. There are bright spots though. Interestingly, magazines and billboards were mentioned as viable media outlets. Give it a watch.