Ad Week Round-Up

27/03/2015

Year three of Ad Week brought us four days of inspiring talks, seminars and workshops with over 23,000 attendees. It’s once again been an insightful look into the present and future of our industry. Here are our highlights…

The Last One Standing event asked presenters to explore ‘advertising will never be truly diverse until…’. Speaker Owen Black, of Leo Burnett, argued that advertising will never be truly diverse until our recruitment process changes to involve people from a variety of backgrounds. The audience-voted winner of the debate was Trevor Carroll from News UK who used Finding Nemo to argue that disability should be normalised.

Trevor reminded us that 18% of people in the UK are living with a disability but are nearly always portrayed either as someone to pity or as a hero.

The session on how programmatic will change the TV landscape focussed on the impact of interest based targeting on digital on-demand activity. General consensus was that it will only affect the way the activity is traded, as shown by Channel 4’s recent Video SSP integrations.
Traditional TV is too well set, profitable and strongly traded for programmatic to have any real impact in the next few years and would require significant increase in investment.

The Ads Are Good. Inventions Are Better panel discussion focussed on a hugely relevant area for our industry – should agencies be developing new products and services which allow them to produce more than just ideas? The overarching viewpoint was that agencies should be adapting, and Nils Leonard (Chairman of Grey London) commented that whatever agencies do they need to be asking themselves if it makes a difference? Nils’ position on ad vs inventions can be summed up in his wish to do away with the line “that’s a great idea, who should we get to do it for us?” Agencies need to be in a position to be able to create and control the great ideas they have.

Steve Henry (Founder of Decoded) agreed that the ad industry should be making more things. As an industry we have given so much away that all we are really left with is creativity, the problem being that everybody thinks they are creative and can therefore do that job. We need to develop more products and services that give us greater ownership.

This is an area which will grow hugely over the next few years. With people being exposed to an ever increasing number of messages the answer to our client’s challenges may not always be a clever strapline or TV spot, we may need to create something entirely new for them, something which people can use, to really address the challenge.

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