Advertising Week New York is here, and preoccupying people’s minds leading up to it is where the hell they might be able to get a decent drink around in the mid-60s and Broadway.
The event used to be held in various venues in Times Square. That came with its challenges and its fair share of complaints, but at least, thanks to Hell’s Kitchen being nearby, there were enough bars, pubs, cocktail lounges and other watering holes to suit all types of people. That’s not the case near the AMC Lincoln Square, where Advertising Week moved last year. The options there are pretty limited: You’ve got PJ Clarke’s a few blocks south, or Bar Bouloud and The Smith. “It’s a disaster every year,” said one attendee.
Which makes it difficult to figure out where to go if you want to, say, meet a client (yours or someone else’s) somewhere quiet and discreet. Or if you don’t want to run up an enormous bar tab. Or you maybe want to grab a coffee for a job interview. (In that case, you’re better just hopping in a cab and going up to the 90s, where an agency exec says Filicori Zecchini is the place to go to find a place where nobody can spot you.
“In some ways, it’s actually the most important story of Advertising Week,” joked TBWA global head of communications Anaka Kobzev.
Here are a few other storylines we’re watching.
Direct-to-consumer brands have taken over Advertising Week, with everyone from unicorn darlings like Glossier to newer ones like Rhone all making an appearance. DTC brands have captured the imagination of brands and agencies. Expect conversations to center around how they’re able to build brands while balancing performance, and plenty of stories about the (quasi-celebrity) founders behind these companies.
Post-#MeToo corporate feminism
Gender is a big topic this year. Panels range from accountability for gender goals and representation, and spotlighting female leaders in media and marketing. One theme to watch out for is the growing number of brands that have made feminism part of their corporate faces and brands and how that’s received by audiences, especially considering the public meltdowns at “feminist” companies like ThirdLove.
Last year, it was Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad; this year, it might be Milton Friedman. Since a group of execs at the Business Roundtable put out a missive about responsibility to stakeholders, not just shareholders, the idea of brand purpose — how to do it, how to make it part of business, and how to make it not tone-deaf — is everywhere, and we expect brands will not be shy of taking harder stances, even if political this year.
In & Out
As thousands of media and marketing professionals descend on New York for four days of panels, networking and parties, Digiday has drawn upon decades of collective experience covering the event to create this list of what’s in and what’s out at this year’s event.
What to watch for
Gary Vee is doing a “deep dive” at 10.15 a.m. today. Over the past week, plenty of people have pointed out that Vaynerchuk’s “rise and grind” mantra may not exactly be inclusive. One particular example of the agency entrepreneur holding up a sign advising people to work for free in order to achieve their dreams has been passed around on Twitter. It’ll be interesting to see if this comes up during the Q&A portion.
9 a.m. Transforming the narrative around disability, NewGen Stage
11.30 a.m. The Future of Work, with IBM, Linkedin and TBWA
12.45 p.m. Reinventing Retail, with DTC brands Rhone, Koio and Bombas. Culture Builders Stage.
1 p.m. Peloton and LinkedIn discuss brand strategy on the Ad Shapers Stage
2.30 p.m. Why connected TV may be the next battleground for ad fraud with IAS, Verizon and NBCU on the Entertainers Stage
5.30 p.m.: Investing like a woman, with Sallie Krawcheck
As destination travel takes off, the ‘Big Easy’ is experimenting with AR/VR to draw visitors
As travel, and travel tourism, return to pre-pandemic levels, New Orleans is leveraging AR/VR technology marketing to stand out and capture more traveler attention.
Why companies like iHeartMedia, NBCU rely on homegrown IP to build metaverse engagements
The success of recent brand activations is evidence that media and entertainment brands are the companies best equipped to build metaverse spaces that can dodge online skepticism, thanks to their wealth of owned IP.
How sunglasses brand Quay retooled its advertising to be less reliant on performance marketing following iOS changes
Prior to the iOS changes, Quay was spending the majority of its ad dollars on performance marketing tactics and influencer marketing.
SponsoredHow FAST channels are redefining primetime opportunities for advertisers
Sponsored by Vevo With the competition from content providers continuing to build, the traditional primetime TV slots are no longer guaranteeing the mass audiences they once did. Television viewership is evolving, and the primetime window of 8–11 p.m. is less broadly reflective of younger audiences’ content consumption habits. In 2022, attracting TV viewers is a […]
What beauty brand Fenty can gain from Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show
Following a roughly six-year hiatus from music, Rihanna is returning to headline the NFL Super Bowl halftime show. The residual effects for her Fenty brand will be paramount.
Skills shortages and legal uncertainty curtail marketers’ in-house ambitions for programmatic
IAB Europe survey reveals a significant in-housing slowdown with only 16% of marketers employing it as a model for programmatic trading.