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May 7, 2018
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4A’s Accelerate Conference

The 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) held their annual flagship conference, appropriately titled Accelerate, in April.  As a proud member of the 4A’s, MayoSeitz Media was able to send multiple representatives to the conference in order to remain on top of the key topics and trends driving the advertising landscape.

In three jam-packed days of speakers, round tables and networking events, the key themes of the conference were driven home. The rate of change has been accelerating for several years in the advertising and agency landscape, but this year there were three areas of particular focus. They were advertising and agencies ability to drive culture, creativity and commerce. Capture2

Culture: As we see many movements making strides to change the world to be a better place, brands and the communications they share with consumers can have a powerful impact on those conversations. However, it can’t just be brands entering this space with an advertising message. The brands must first live and breathe these values in their own internal culture before trying to enter the conversation. Consumers are smart and savvy, and if a brand’s message comes across as not being authentic, they will call them out.

Creativity: Being a “creative” in the agency world has long been associated with working in a specific department where an advertisement is developed. Creativity in today’s agency world needs to go well beyond that very important part of the process. Creativity needs to be included in all steps of the communications process whether it is developing a unique media strategy, a data measurement process or coming up with a unique piece of social content. There are endless opportunities for creative strategic thinking and a good idea can come from anywhere. Agencies are developing new structures to try and harness the power of their best creative thinking to drive their end goal, which is providing results for their clients.

Commerce: Agencies, and the clients they serve are under accelerated pressure to drive financial results. Technology opportunities from AI to better TV targeting, such as using set top box data and OTT content, provide better ways to reach your audience to build a connection with them and to prove out the financial results of your campaigns. In there lies the age-old conundrum of producing immediate results versus building a brand that will drive results for the long term. One presentation in particular showed the long term growth in ROI that strong consistent campaigns drove, highlighting the importance in patience that can be so difficult to practice in our on demand world.

There were many interesting and thought-provoking sessions. Some of the best that revolved around media opportunities included:

Nothing Can Stop Me, I’m Over-The-Top – an overview of the OTT landscape presented by Freewheel. Connected TVs now have the largest share of ad view composition (31%) for premium digital video according to Freewheel’s own internal distribution study. This is followed by desktop (22%) and STB Video on Demand and smartphones (tied at 19%).

Building A Better Advertising Ecosystem Together – a presentation from Allan Thygesen, President, Americas, Google. This session provided an overview of steps YouTube is taking to provide a more brand-safe environment and better targeting opportunities for advertisers.

TV Data Innovation For Cross-Platform Targeting, Insights and Attribution – presented by Alphonso TV. The technology exists to target audiences via mobile advertising based on what a consumer was exposed to while watching TV. The benefits of this type of targeting, which were highlighted during the session included: extending frequency of the advertisers’ own TV campaign with mobile placements, conquesting audiences exposed to your competitors’ TV campaign or targeting audiences on mobile devices based on the shows they watch.

Put The Jingle In The Drawer – Preparing For A Sound First World. The presentation covered the impact of smart speakers and the need to develop sonic logos to establish your brand when consumers use this new form of search.

It was a productive three day conference and one we look forward to participating in every year. Along with access to unique research, involvement in committees shaping the advertising landscape and the ability to reach into their vast library of content, this conference is a main reason for our participation with the 4A’s.

MayoSeitz Media is always up for a good conversation. If you are interested in any of the topics covered during the 4A’s Accelerate Conference, reach out to us and we can set up a time to discuss in depth.