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Top Trends at Advertising Week

Advertising Week has wrapped and many ideas and trends have emerged from the exciting week. a4 notes some of the hot topics on industry leaders’ minds today as we look to the no-so-distant future of 2019.


Brand Message Still Matters


Branding is at the forefront of advertising today. Many panels at #AWNewYork focused on brand-building and how to tell compelling stories. Both building the brand and maintaining image is essential with clients demand increasing and the number of brands vying for share of mind and wallet growing.


The “Times Have Changed. Great Storytelling Hasn’t” session illuminated how storytelling has only changed in the way that the story is told. Being an effective modern storyteller is crucial for branding today. “The Brand Balancing Act: The Debate Between Driving Awareness vs. Performance” also talked about the importance of building the brand while simultaneously driving business performance. With today’s competitive and high-tech marketplace, focusing on both branding and ROI at the same time is essential to companies to thrive.


The Power of #MeToo


The #MeToo movement was prevalent at Advertising Week. Many panels focused on the importance of bringing social issues into the spotlight and creating more diversity and inclusion within their own organizations.


“The Girl Gaze” panel talked about how to move forward from bad legacy structures built on sexism, racism and unequal opportunity in the creative field. “Unstereotype Alliance: Fighting Stereotypes to Create a Gender Equal World” was a session that discussed how UN Women created the Unstereotype Alliance in 2017 to rally the global advertising industry to eradicate harmful stereotypes and use advertising as a powerful force to impact social norms.


The “Crossing Screens and Breaking Boundaries” panel poses for a photo at Advertising Week. Left to right is Paul Haddad, a4; Julian Zilberbrand, Viacom; Jonathan Adams, Wavemaker; and Donnie Williams, Horizon Media.

Cross-screen Capabilities


Advertising Week showed how that thanks to new tech and new targeting capabilities, TV and digital campaigns don’t have to operate in silos. Walls have been broken down and cross-screen campaigns are the future of advertising. Performing advertising this way allows marketers to optimize and target the exact people they want to reach with no waste.

During a4’s panel, “Crossing Screens and Breaking Boundaries,” President Paul Haddad explained these new ways marketers can utilize data in a multi-screen world to create simpler campaigns. Data, automation and simplicity can now come together to provide the most effective advertising solution possible in today’s complex media climate.


More Precise Data


Data is king. We all know that. But having the right data is more essential than ever. Many panels at Advertising Week talked about how better data means better ads – with greater returns and happier customers.


The session “4 Crucial Steps to Better Mobile Advertising Data” discussed the No. 1 threat against the effectiveness of mobile advertising – the poor quality of mobile data. The strategies behind improving data quality are growing more important as advertising needs to reach more people out of the home.


“Great, we’ve got data…now what?” revealed how the International Data Corporation estimates that by 2020, the digital universe will encompass 44 trillion gigabytes. With this in mind, many companies are trying to create stories from the abundance of data available. This can be a difficult task, however, as the amount of information grows daily with lightning speed. Having a set plan will allow brands to tell their story with data backing up their claims. “The New Rules of Data” reflected on GDPR and how privacy and transparency are hot topics. The panel discussed how to adhere to these new rules and regulations without sacrificing ROI.


The “Show Me the Money” panel discusses ROI at Advertising Week on Oct. 4, 2018.

Optimizing ROI


Obviously having a great ROI is extremely important for every organization. But brands need to do more than just try for the best return – they have to plan strategically and use their ad dollars precisely. Over or under spending can mean disastrous results.


a4’s “Show me the Money: Proving ROI Has Never Been Easier” panel discussed how the latest ad spending approaches have shown promising and valuable results. Marketers are now able to determine the effectiveness and outcome of their ad spend, while having the ability to analyze the results and optimize their methods.


Different Types of Measurement


Clients don’t just want their ads delivered into the abyss. They want targeted reach and proven results. Measurement is essential when providing clients with their campaign details. Today’s advertisers can be more precise when reviewing results – even those providing TV advertising.


“Television Gets the Measurement It Deserves” talked about how TV typically lacks the addressability that digital provides. New capabilities in the market provide more methods of integrating addressability into TV ad measurement, so marketers can have it all – transparency, reach and frequency, and results.


The panel “Trust Your Customers: Channel KPIs Are Meaningless. Customer KPIs Are the Future” shared how bad data means wasted ad spend, and better measurement is imperative. Customer KPIs are the new way to measure, which provide insight into the customer experience and what they are looking for – allowing the advertiser to optimize their campaigns and deliver based on the audience. “Perception vs Reality: All clicks are created equally” also touched on the same idea. The panel discussed how brands aren’t considering the right metrics for their media campaigns due to the prevalence of the traditional. Shifting mindsets are needed, and will lead to more meaningful engagement and a better picture of a campaign’s impact.