Sep 28, 2017
It’s Advertising Week in New York and we’ve been taking in everything we can from a dizzying array of panels, seminars and events. Here are some of our highlights.
“When in doubt, do epic shit.”
– Kya Sainsbury-Carter
Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient, hosted an insightful talk about female leadership and impact in today’s media and tech landscape featuring Kya Sainsbury-Carter, VP Global Partner Service at Microsoft Advertising.
One key takeaway was their call to establish a culture of learning to empower growth within organizations. Microsoft, for example, cultivates diversity of ideas through a “growth mindset” culture—one that rewards risk taking and encourages curiosity. “If you only have your own perspective, you simply cannot be successful,” she said. Kya advised the room, “Ask for what you need, commit to kicking ass, and see what happens.”
Shelley also reminded the panel that taking risks sometimes means accepting failure, but it’s a big part of the journey. “Perfect to me means you’re not growing, evolving or innovating,” she said.
“Truly having the authentic desire to change the world will lead to success.”
– Dena Wimette
Instead of shying away from progressive social issues, brands large and small are trying to connect with consumers through advocating similar causes. This panel explored the growing relationship between brands and social movements. Panelists included Afdhel Aziz, Founder and Chief Purpose Officer Conspiracy of Love, Carri Twigg, Futurist and Former Obama Official and Dena Wimette, Sr. Global Innovation and Communications Manager at Ben & Jerry’s.
“What we do adds value when harnessed with innovation.”
– Sir Martin Sorrell
WPP Chief Executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, sat down with best-selling author and long-time New Yorker columnist, Ken Auletta, for a no holds barred conversation.
Sorrell shared his belief that in order for the advertising industry to grow, it needs to continue making digital inroads and get into fast growth markets such as Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. Sorrell especially highlighted growth in China, stating that many Chinese companies have already become self-sufficient which could put them ahead of the U.S. “If we think the speed of internet disruption is fast here, go look at China,” he said. Along with the strong digital forces of Google and Facebook he also noted that “two Chinese companies — Tencent and Alibaba — are the ones we need to watch out for.”
In regards to size and scale, Sorrell believes the industry will continue getting more and more condensed over time. “There’s going to be fewer agencies than there are now,” he said. Nevertheless, he doesn’t think the digital capabilities of consultancies are a threat to the industry. Instead, the industry should worry about consultants telling companies they’re spending too much on marketing.
As for the future of advertising, Sorrell suggested we need a change in perspective. Many years ago, we were regarded as an investment. Today, we’re regarded as a cost,” he says. In addition to perspective, advertising can thrive with a focus on brands and innovation. “Fundamentally I do believe that what we do adds value when harnessed with innovation,” he said.
“Podcasts are taking off with a younger demographic in a way traditional radio never did.”
– Erik Diehn
From 15-second credits and endorsements to short-form brand audio and branded shows, NPR hosted a session on how brands can leverage the full power of podcast marketing. The panel featured a host of speakers from NPR VP Hal Trencher to Good Morning America co-anchor, Robin Roberts.