‘My personal favorite was when Flo Rida played for AOL’: Inside Advertising’s Favorite Live Performers

In the ad world, some of the biggest entertainers bring a sheen of cool to the many tedious conferences that happen year-round.

“My personal favorite was when Flo Rida played for AOL,” Matt Barash, head of strategy and business development at AdColony recalls. “He had a bunch of middle-aged guys in khakis and sweater vests singing along with every word. It doesn’t get any more cliché than that.”

But for anyone making the conference rounds, there are a select few “ad-famous” celebs who are seemingly the favorites of the ad tech, agency and brand cohort. (Ask any ad professional and they’ll say they’ve seen Snoop Dogg perform at every tech event.)

Below we recall some of the biggest acts that landed at advertising’s events.

Lady Gaga
Following the announcement of a partnership between Lady Gaga and Intel, the “Shallow” singer entertained the tech crowd at MediaLink’s after-party at CES in Las Vegas in 2016. It wasn’t the first time she made the rounds: she previously unveiled her “Polaroid ‘Grey Label'” line at the conference in 2011.

Rick Ross
Last year, CES, which seems to be a tad removed from who’s currently trending in hip-hop, recruited Rick Ross for a performance at The LIGHT nightclub. Sure, they could have gone with Drake, Travis Scott or any other rapper that’s been relevant the past few years, but they chose Ross just in time for him to announce a year-long residency in town. Coincidence? We think not.

The Killers
This year, The Killers seem to be making the advertising event rounds. Most recently, the “Wonderful Wonderful” outfit headlined the 2019 Adobe Summit BASH in Las Vegas playing hits including the thrilling “When We Were Young,” but they also stopped by Cannes Lions last year to headline one of the after-parties.

Lil Wayne
At this year’s CES, Pandora brought out Weezy as its surprise guest in January. For his set, the rapper put on a performance that featured songs like “Mr. Carter,” “Uproar” and “Got Money.”

Alongside the announcement of the launch of his music cable platform Revolt TV, Diddy performed alongside Nas at Gotha Night Club during Cannes Lions in 2013.

Snoop Dogg
From his cannabis ventures to partnering with Adidas, Snoop Dogg has constantly been increasing his presence in the tech space; and it’s made him perhaps the most ad-famous celeb out there. After all, the hip-hop legend is now known for being at practically every event (i.e. Pandora’s 2017 CES kick-off party, YouTube’s Brandcast event, the Upfronts, Cannes several times, Bud Light’s Whatever, USA Festival, etc.)

The Chainsmokers
With The Chainsmokers’ rise in the EDM circuit, it wasn’t a surprise that they had memorable performances for iHeartMedia at CES in 2017 and again in January of this year where they appeared with Sony to discuss headsets.

With ad dollars abound, Adult Swim’s upfront party in 2017 was one not to be missed with Drake headlining the annual concert at Terminal 5. Plus, he enlisted surprise guests like Playboy Carti and Migos.


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