Advertising Week New York ’16

Last week I had the privilege of getting a student ambassador pass to Advertising Week 2016 in New York City. For those for you who aren’t familiar with Advertising week imagine a TED talk conference showcasing the world’s most creative marketing minds breaking down the latest revelations and innovations within the industry. This convenient convergence minds meant only one thing for me- I was going to learn a lot, and learn I did.

Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, summed up what I saw to be at the core of most of the week’s discussions, “The human dynamic with media has changed forever.” He asserted this sternly as he broke down the complexities the industry is facing stemming from increased competition for people’s attention. Not only are they competing with other marketers, but also with a billion people creating their own content.

Here are three big themes I heard in the sessions that I attended:

  1. Mobile, mobile, mobile.
    • Carolyn Everson, VP of Global Marketing Solutions at a little Internet company called Facebook deemed the smart phone as the single invention that has spawned the fourth and most disruptive industrial revolution. Her point was echoed by many others such as JP Morgan Chase’s CMO, Kristen Johnson, who said, “Mobile will eventually be the main hub of the brand and consumer relationship.”
    • There has never been a better time for story telling. Mobile allows advertisers to stretch the boundaries of what is thought to be possible. Innovations like Facebook’s canvas ads which people have already spent 150 years’ worth of time, are allowing advertisers to explore new avenues of creativity. The content created must aim to stop thumbs and then move the heart.


  1. Video is the king of content.
  • 3 of 4 posts shared on Facebook are videos.
  • 25% of all data traffic will be video this year.
  • Engage people with video by rewarding them (i.e., laughter, entertainment)
  • It is now a persimmon based ad world not an interruption.
  • Must use data to ensure your message is audience-specific, culturally- and brand-relevant
  • Make video content specifically for mobile. Do not use other platform’s content and repurpose it for mobile.


  1. Be Authentic
    • Let the consumers know not only what the company makes but what makes the company.
    • Make the brand a lighthouse for people to come to that are attracted to that kind of light.
    • Advertising’s new role in the digital world is not to sell things but to make them more sellable.
    • Don’t think of it as buying ads, but simply as purchasing a means for communication.
    • When it comes to data we must remember that the customer is giving us something very valuable, so we must always remember to give them something of value in return. Their data allows us the privilege of delivering the right message to the right crowd at the right time via the right platform.


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