What You Missed At the Last ADTHINK — What’s Trending at the Intersection of Technology + Agencies + Brands + Publishers


Last week, The AD Club of NY, in partnership with Redbooks, invited some of our industry’s most interesting startups to pitch their company to some of marketing’s brightest minds as part of our 11th ADTHINK event. Moderated by Gina Waldorn, Co-Founder & COO of Evol8tion, the event featured four groundbreaking startups, Adaptly, Macromeasures, oneQube and Revfluence, each pitching their company. Our ‘shark tank’ of esteemed panelists included Lou Aversano, Chief Executive Officer, Ogilvy & Mather New York; Afdhel Aziz, Brand Director, Absolut Labs (Pernod Ricard); Paul Nicholson, SVP, Production & Technology, Showtime Networks, and Deacon Webster, Chief Creative Officer, Walrus.

The conversation extended beyond the startups’ pitches to touch upon some of the industry’s hottest topics, including where data should live, what happens at the intersection of creativity and technology, and the art of the pitch. This illuminating evening was a great wrap up to the year.

We would like to extend a special thanks to our sponsor David & Gilbert as well as our wonderful startups and panelists for sharing their ideas and informing us about the trends, platforms and solutions that are shaping the advertising, marketing and media industries.

Here are the three key takeaways from this month’s ADTHINK event:

Data needs a human touch. Lou Aversano of Ogilvy & Mather NY believes that data must live in all levels within agencies. Data must inform what is happening within all departments because it is fundamental to the strategic process and not only tells us which marketing approaches are successful, but it lets us know which ones need improvement.

However, you must use data wisely. When data is used in isolation, something called the “hungry ghost problem” develops. Afdhel Aziz of Absolut Labs explained the “hungry ghost problem” as the instance when a consumer has already made their purchase but they continue to receive the same online recommendation for that product. This, he says, happens when the ‘person’ behind what’s collecting data is a computer, and it proves that a bot is unable to interact with the consumer effectively. When it comes to brand building, it is all about learning how to balance data with humanity.

Creativity and technology go hand and hand. Video (technology) never killed radio and data won’t kill creativity. Consumers will always buy things, so instead of bombarding consumers with something they don’t want or necessarily need, use technology and data, as well as creativity, to create a tailored experience for the consumer.

 Creativity will always be needed, so let’s try not to worry that technology is about to do to the ad industry what it did to the music industry. And while ad blocking presents a challenge to brands and marketers, advertisers just have to focus on delighting the consumer with the right creative content, which can be done if creativity and technology are effectively used and well balanced.

Perfect your pitch. Startups need to know that there is a method to pitching potential clients. Being able to give your audience a short summary of your capabilities and how your company can realistically help their agency is key. Don’t get lost behind the jargon. Even if you have a great idea, if you can’t articulate how you have previously helped solve business challenges and what the return on their investment would be, you’ll lose the pitch.


OOH:NOW Q&A: Cory Pearson of Haworth Media


In advance of our 8th Annual OOH:NOW Conference next week, we asked some of our speakers about their perspective on how we should be making the most of OOH and it’s technology, where it’s going and more. See what OOH:NOW speaker Cory Pearson of Haworth Media had to say on the state of Out-Of-Home today!

cory pearson

Cory Pearson, OOH Specialist at Haworth Media

What needs to happen for OOH to align with the overall digital landscape? And with other media?

One of the reasons why the digital industry exploded is because they have established standard protocols to manage audience and performance measurement. The digital industry’s KPI’s create dynamic pricing models and a currency for both buyers and sellers to trade against. By contrast, the OOH industry has only had a line of sight to deliveries which doesn’t illustrate the investment’s effectiveness. The OOH industry will need to establish standard protocols to automate buying and reporting and develop performance measurement tools which buyers and sellers can observe.

How do marketers make the most of OOH media? Is there a perfect storm of events/issues/circumstances when OOH is most effective?

This all depends on the objective. Is the advertiser aiming to build brand awareness, equity or drive sales? Each goal has a different strategy. Overall, I think media investments are most effective when it collaborates with creative to appeal to the target audience’s emotions.

How has technology improved the current OOH landscape in the past 12 months?

Mobile data is modernizing the measurement capabilities of OOH. With it, buyers and sellers will have a clearer view of audience and performance – giving them the foundation required to prove effectiveness and optimize future investments.

Are there any non-traditional places we are seeing OOH that have not been common in the past?

There are thousands of creative people in advertising who are constantly developing original ways/places to connect with consumers. One of my favorite recent examples was when my co-worker Jamie Wacholz worked with Street Factory Media to surround the Westminster dog show with miniature Target billboards for dogs attending the event.

Don’t miss our 8th Annual OOH:NOW Conference on Wednesday, Dec. 2nd  – click here to register today!


20150914_Hudson Yards-269

By: Outfront Media

OUTFRONT ON Smart Media combines the visual impact of outdoor with the dynamism of digital smart billboards. Our new intelligent and connected inventory is transforming the way content is delivered and experience​d in the physical world. The ON Smart Media platform is a cloud-based, app-driven ecosystem that will integrate hardware, software, content and data to deliver relevant and engaging messages at a scale never before seen in Out-Of-Home.​ OUTFRONT Media’s new technology is currently being used in the new 34th Street-Hudson Yards station in New York City, and is the first product initiative under the new OUTFRONT ON Smart Media platform.

Join us at AD Club’s 8th Annual OOH Conference on Wednesday, December 2nd.  Click here to register today!

You’re Invited to The AD Club’s 8th Annual Holiday Party on Dec. 3rd!


The AD Club Board of Directors invites you to kick-off your holidays at our last event of the season, the AD Club’s annual Holiday Party on December 3rd at 6pm.

  • Join us for a not-to-miss evening with live music from DJ Hesta Prynn and our silent auction. Auction items, among others, include:
  • It’s time to Soul Cycle, with two of the industry’s most sought after marketers Brad Jakeman, PepsiCo and Diego Scotti, Verizon
  • An event at the Paley Center for Media and dinner at the Modern with Carl Fremont, Chief Global Digital Officer, MEC
  • Morning cup of Joe with John Costello, President, Global Marketing and Innovation at Dunkin Brands, Inc.
  • A breakfast or lunch with David Lawenda and Carolyn Everson, Facebook
  • Breakfast at the Penn Club with the leadership team from Assembly Audrey Siegel,  Martin Cass, Steve Farella
  • High Powered Consultants Lunch with Joanne Davis and Dick Roth
  • Lunch with Gail Tifford, VP of NA Media and Kathy O’Brien, VP of NA Marketing, Unilever
  • A stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge, followed by lunch at DUMBO institution and landmark, Grimaldi’s with Michael Leibowitz, Big Spaceship
  • NY Yankees game in the Delta 360 Suite behind home plate including dinner at the Audi Club with Stuart Elliott and Jack Myers
  • Lunch+tour of a Birchbox store and mentoring session with Hayley Barna, Co-Founder, Birchbox
  • Breakfast at 30 rock with Linda Boff, CMO and Sam Olstein, Director of Innovation, GE

Click here to register today!

Vector Media Is Changing The Way Advertisers Are Looking at OOH

AdClub Social_Blog Post-Vector Photo

By: Vector Media

Pay-per-click online ads may yield high click rates, but we all know half of those aren’t actually true impressions as much as they are computer-generated bots. A 130ft billboard, like one of Vector Media’s on the Vegas Strip, however, is guaranteed to have hundreds of thousands of eyes land on it.

So there’s no denying that the tried and true out-of-home methods work, but how is Vector bringing their campaigns down from the wall and into the palm of your hand?

Vector is changing the way advertisers look at the out-of-home space. They are leading the charge with innovations in digital connectivity by offering additions to your typical OOH campaign. By combining everyday technologies like WiFi, and newer ones including Bluetooth beacons and user-triggered geofences, the consumer experience is shifted. For the first time in the industry, companies like Vector are able to not only guarantee top-level impressions, but also push a brand’s messaging via notifications to mobile devices. And to top it off, these digital technologies deliver hard data and analytics which can be leveraged by the advertiser, revealing information about their audience they’ve never seen before.

Popular online social platforms like Vine, Snapchat and Instagram are making short and sweet content not just a trend, but something consumers have come to expect. Additionally, consumers are becoming more informed about advertising practices through their increased exposure to it online, so attention-spans are becoming shorter. In this modern environment, instantly delivering brand messages through technologies like those Vector is involved with is both effective and desirable.

If you’re one of those believers that OOH advertising is from the Jurassic era, it’s time to pay close attention to forward-thinking agencies like Vector Media.

The AD Club’s 8th Annual OOH Conference is on Wednesday, December 2nd. Don’t miss out – click here to register today!


Ad Blocking Takes Center Stage


By Richard S. Eisert and Truan Savage

Ad blocking software has long been a concern of agencies, marketers and publishers, but recent developments (particularly the expansion of ad blocking technology to the mobile environment) have pushed the issue to the forefront. Now both marketers and publishers are beginning to fight back.

On the more aggressive end of the spectrum, some publishers are considering legal action against ad blockers. It will take some time, however, for any such lawsuits to play out. While the industry works through potential litigation, publishers are continuing to look at practical ways to engage users and deter the use of ad blockers.

One reasonably simple approach finds publishers revising their terms of use to prohibit the use of ad blocking software. For example, the Chicago Sun-Times’ terms of use states, “you agree that you will not … cover or obscure any banner or other advertisement” on its website. This kind of language, although aimed at users, may also be intended to set up possible future litigation, including litigation against ad blockers themselves, who publishers may claim are tortiously interfering with their user contracts.

Other publishers have resorted to restricting access to content either by erecting paywalls or, as demonstrated recently by The Washington Post, testing technology that prevents users running ad blockers from viewing certain content. It remains to be seen how successful these approaches will be among consumers who are increasingly accustomed to accessing content for free.

Marketers and their agencies have also begun to focus more on content and environments less likely to be blocked. This has contributed to the prevalence of native advertising, as well as increased reliance on branded content and in-feed advertising on social platforms. Similarly, some publishers have been improving the quality and relevance of ads on a page, while also limiting the number of ads. This approach makes sense, since it is said that the use of ad blockers is on the rise largely due to increasingly intrusive and annoying ads.

No matter the approach, advertisers and marketers should take steps to ensure they are not being charged for ads that have been blocked. Technology – like a sophisticated ad server – can help ensure you are not paying for ads that never appeared.

Richard S. Eisert is a partner in the Digital Media, Technology & Privacy Practice Group of Davis & Gilbert. He may be reached at 212.468.4863 or reisert@dglaw.com. Truan Savage is an associate in the Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Practice Group. He may be reached at 212.468.4956 or tsavage@dglaw.com.

Here’s What You Missed At The Breakfast Club: Thought Leader Series


Last week the Ad Club had the pleasure of hosting an exciting panel of political strategists and marketers at our most recent Breakfast Club where the topic was “The Marketing of Politics and Policy”. Moderated by Lois Romano, Editor of The Washington Post Live, the panel was a who’s who of political strategy, technology, crisis communications, campaign and social media. The standing-room only audience heard from political experts about the intersection of political and consumer marketing with regards to the upcoming 2016 election.

Since 1996, when presidential campaigns first hit cyberspace, the numerous platforms and channels that have become available to reach the general public have drastically changed the realm and definition of politics. With the constant emergence of new technology, candidates and marketers have new methods of outreach and, as our panel experts all concluded, the media paradigm in politics is shifting from paid to earned. As evidenced in the barrage of free press Donald Trump has received, the question of whether or not campaign coffers are still as important as they were in the past arises.

Co-founder of the Targeted Victory marketing technology and strategy firm, Michael Beach, concluded that what we see happening in the Republican primary field is evidence that earned media has the potential to drown out paid media. And it is proof that social and digital media platforms are not only beneficial cost-wise, but they have created the opportunity to build a more accessible and personal relationship between public figures and individual citizens through targeted messaging, and creativity. And Greta Wilson, Vice President Brand Strategy and Social Media at Pitney Bowes, talked about the power of identifying a network of influencers and brand or candidate advocates who have large followings and can create engagement.

Daniel Franklin, crisis communication partner at Benenson Strategy Group, noted that political marketing is measured differently than consumer marketing. In politics, balance is key. Whereas every day is Election Day for corporate and brand marketers, which means that their respective tolerance for risk differs from their political counterparts. Corporate marketers err toward less risk, understanding that brand perception takes a long time to build and can be ruined forever with the slightest hiccup. Political marketers, on the other hand, are willing to take on more risk because political campaigns only last for a finite period of time; therefore, they need to react quickly in order to leverage any opportunity that offers up a chance at high returns.

Measurement tactics also differ between the two fields of marketing, with brand marketers measuring engagement and propensity of the public to “like” their products and share their news and information. On the other hand, political marketers look to persuasion metrics to determine how targeted audiences have received their candidate. Data analysis has enabled better research and outreach for both consumer and political marketers.

Millennials, an important demographic for both political and consumer marketers, must be approached through the lens of trust and credibility. Political marketers must understand what the American Dream means to this cohort and then incorporate those dreams into their own messaging. Candidates must tell different stories that will best connect and engage this particular audience. By connecting to personal experiences, the customization and conversation of the marketing mediums in regards to this demographic is going to be different than older generations. Mark Skidmore, Partner and Chief Strategist of Bully Pulpit Interactive – the largest digital marketer for democratic campaign work for Obama in 2008 and 2012, spoke about how the American Dream is changing and morphing, and how digital and social platforms allow for closer connections between politicians and Millennials. Thanks to on-line behavior and conversations, political marketers are able to make their candidate’s interaction with voters more personalized than ever before.

At the end of the day, all of our panelists agreed that there are certain situations you can’t “media” you’re way out of — personal experience has an enormous role in audience perception and if they have just one bad experience with your brand or political candidate, it will be an uphill battle to win them back.