You can exhale now. Another Advertising Week has come and gone. Read on for what you might have missed, plus our awards for the best and worst of what we saw and heard this week.
When it comes to integrity and transparency, there is still widespread distrust across the entire ad supply chain. While solutions were few and far between, there was plenty of finger-pointing to fill the void. Martin Cass, CEO of MDC Media Partners and Assembly, speculated that brand clients clamping down on arbitrage might be part of the reason why some agency holding companies have struggled financially. The IAB Tech Lab protocol ads.txt was supposed to be a simple solution to fight fraud, but few publishers have adopted it so far; one view was that publishers haven’t adopted ads.txt because they don’t want to expose their own bad business practices.
“I think that publishers don’t want to necessarily expose who they are working with,” said Jess Barrett, global head of programmatic at the Financial Times. Everyone (even ad tech) seems to agree there’s too much ad tech. Some demand-side platforms are working with as many 75 supply-side platforms, said Jason Fairchild, CRO of OpenX, which recently ran a study that found that many SSPs are obfuscating the mechanics of their auctions to covertly squeeze extra money out of ad buyers. Cass said that each week, several vendors visit his agency’s offices, offering “solutions for a problem we don’t know we have.” — Ross Benes
Snap’s dancing hot dogs
Remember Snap’s giant yellow Ferris wheel outside Le Palais or its secretive party at Cannes Lions this year? Snap’s presence was low-key at Advertising Week, with three panels on the last day, when it announced 3-D augmented reality ads. A dancing hot dog was among the first 3-D AR characters that Snap tested.
Nathan Eide, director of media technology and innovation for agency Frwd and an Advertising Week attendee, said he liked that Snap used its Advertising Week presence to announce a new product for advertisers, unlike the majority of companies that were pitching the same things they’ve been pushing all year. “Advertising Week should be a place where we learn about new product offerings, new use cases for current products and open our eyes to emerging technology,” he said. “Aside from AR and VR, [I] didn’t see anything really game-changing.” — Yuyu Chen
The Advertising Week Awards
Worst panel title: “Scaling Branded Visual Content Creation for Digital & Social Channels”
Most common complaint: The nonworking Wi-Fi
Best platform pivot: “Spotify is actually a massive mental health monitoring project”
Best activation: Adobe’s confessional booth
Worst pickup line: “So, taking a break from the panels?”
Best snack: Pizza truck from PubMatic
Biggest fraud: Chocolates from cannabis confectioner Défoncé Chocolatier that turned out to be just plain chocolate
Worst made-up term: Artful intelligence
Most tweeted-about stat: People scroll through 300 feet of news feed content every day
Biggest surprise “guest”: Donald Trump’s motorcade, whose arrival at a fundraiser at Le Cirque on Sept. 26 created an epic traffic snarl
Best comedian-host: Trevor Noah at the 4A’s centennial gala
In bid to become an always-on advertiser, Shell turns to dynamic creative tech
Shell has been testing a way to automate the creation of online ads. Do this well, went the thinking, and it gets a lot easier (and affordable) for Shell’s ads to run consistently throughout the year.
‘Frozen slices of Americana’: Pabst Blue Ribbon goes experiential with branded motel rooms
With this experiential effort, PBR is looking to tap into what people think of when they think of the brand -- that it's "classic, traditional, Americana."
Why DTC brand Sugarwish is dialing down its social media advertising strategy
As social media advertising becomes increasingly expensive and harder to track, personalized gift company Sugarwish is rethinking its social strategy and reducing efforts there.
SponsoredHow brands are activating Gen Z and millennial TikTok audiences
Roland Hamilton, senior vice president of global licensing, Trusted Media Brands Although TikTok is widely considered a Gen Z platform, the video-sharing app also boasts a high number of millennial users. With more than 100 million active users in the U.S. alone, 32% of TikTok’s global audience is between the ages of 25–34. This large […]
Gaming and esports influencers and executives dish on their most dreaded video game bosses
As shown by the success of Elden Ring this year, challenging, narrative-based titles are still the ideal for many core gamers. Digiday reached out to 15 prominent executives and influencers in the gaming and esports industry to ask about their most dreaded video game boss — and why.
The demand for cookieless targeting is fueling ‘SPO 2.0’
Havas Media Group and PubMatic ink partnership, as buyers eye reduced ad tech taxes.