Hello. My name is Kensie Smith and as a 2013 initiate into the InMobi family this was my first time representing (and attending) the infamous Advertising Week in NYC. Below are some thoughts and observations from a fairly objective (and InMobi-biased) perspective on the week.
Advertising Week means different things to different people. So, feel free to share your own Advertising Week experience in the comments below.
Let’s go! You never got anywhere by staying in one spot.
The first day of a conference is always exciting. Attendees snatch badges eagerly, company reps tout their best and there’s a feeling of synergy that somehow, someway, you will all learn something by the end. The first day of the 10th Annual Advertising Week was no exception.
InMobi hosted “Mobile Monday” with VP & GM, Global Supply, Anne Frisbie, prior to Naveen Tewari hosting a panel How Mobile is Turning Marketing on its Head featuring panelists from Universal McCann, Mars Chocolate US, Digitas and Furious Minds. It was then, perched on slippery packed and paralleled plastic chairs, we realized that we were midst the brightest of the bright.
Mobile Monday progressed with Vice President and Managing Director of North America, Crid Yu, discussing growth of the industry in relation to other technologies with Mobile Advertising: Roadmap or Roaming. Meanwhile, Taimour Azizuddin, global insights and research manager, made sense of global insights at the ARF on the Mobilizing Insights Around the World panel.
Throughout the day, people stopped to rest their high-heeled feet and guidebook toting hands on our swanky spot at Times Center Hall. Our booth was inviting with its sleek couches and hi-def screen telling the world who and what InMobi is. Conference attendees scooped up reusable totes, iPhone button stickers and some delightfully designed collateral.
Post cocktails and swirling soiree conversations, the party jumped to Loud Live! featuring Funkmaster Flex. The music was pumping and the people were jumping to the hot hip-hop beats rousingly ready to see what the rest of #AWX had in store.
After rubbing our eyes awake and chugging down a couple of cups of complementary java (thank you conference organizers) it was off to the advertising races. This track of the week was centered on big data. Oh, big data…that impalpable phrase, used to describe numbers with infinite potential and ultimate effects.
General Manager & Product Head for Brand and Commerce, Preetham V V, rocked the Advertising Week Data Congress. Unsure of what to expect, Preetham brought the unique InMobi perspective to the couch of executives from MediaMath, MLB Advanced Media, Acxiom, OpenX and Digiday.
It is during the panels, such as Preetham’s, that there is a budding realization that we at InMobi work amongst some exceptional minds that really, when you strip away the buzzwords and the sensationalized puffy clouds of tech perfection, are changing things. And that, my friends, is one cool idea spark.
With a busy rest of the week ahead, InMobi squeezed in a classy family dinner at restaurant Landmarc in the Times Warner Center. As the drinks were poured and the bread was passed there was a happy buzz of something that looked a lot like community.
The windows to the world of NYC opened to a bright and hopeful day anticipatory for a second chance to showcase our smart CEO, Naveen Tewari. He took to the Liberty Theater for The Guardian Global Conversation to chat with other C-level executives about how to push a business forward in a digital age, and therefore an interconnected global age. A key takeaway applicable to cross-vertical businesses was that generalizations fundamentally did not work; localization is necessary and key.
At the same time, across the buzzing, busy well-worn streets of the city, Anne Frisbie, VP and GM global supply, hosted a panel, including Preetham V V, dedicated to Big Data & Mobile Advertising: How to Activate a Mobile First Data Strategy.
As the sessions started to wind down the interpersonal vibe only kept winding up. InMobi took to the tables for a charity Zynga Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Night and rocked the dance floor in stunning branded shades at the beat-blasting Microsoft Live Concert featuring Avicii with Cazzette. (We dug the InMobi blue lights flashing the crowd.)
The last day of Advertising Week came far to fast and furious. With the promise of a get up to get out to get down VIP dance party to the DJ stylings of Questlove’s iconic afro, the day was jam-packed with panels and sessions to jive to.
Different from the rest of the data-rich and analytical nature of previous InMobian panels, the Creative Innovation Roundtable took a different topical approach. Shawn Poe, creative director, InMobi Creative Services, discussed with other creators about the chaos of a creative life. A trickling theme throughout the panel was that making the visual creative used on emerging technologies is both an exceptional opportunity and unmarked territory.
In the same line of promised party music, the Havas Media USA panel featured Anne Frisbie, VP & GM, global supply, talking about how mobile and data plays its melodious part in the “band” of successful advertising. The Hard Rock Café in Times Square was the ideal setting for a room full of interested eyes in the metaphorical merger of “music” made by creative, media and data.
After the interviews were filmed and the panels peaked, it was time to party. We organizers arrived at the venue, Webster Hall, and were greeted by bright white couches and glowing cocktail tables beckoning the night forward. Pre-set rhythms started rolling to greet the ears of giddy guests arriving and VIPs sporting InMobi blue bracelets. Ascend to the third floor of the venue and you would have found blinking blue ice cubes, themed cocktails, people getting groovy with dance-daring hips and an iPad mini raffle.
Questlove took to the stage with expert vinyl dexterity. He roped in oldies in with new age backtracks, begging the downbeats to hit just a little harder while urging the sensation to spin a little stronger.
As all good parties come to a close, letting the drink spills settle and the ear ringing pulses slow, there is a sensation that you were a part of something. In the scope of things, perhaps something small, but big enough to make in impact on your mind flying forth to the next BIG thing or the next brilliant idea.
Fasten your seat belts friends, InMobi is en route on this wild ride and as the 10th Annual Advertising Week proved, it’s going to be a mighty fine adventure.
If you were not able to make it to the Big Apple for the rousing week, watch all of the InMobi (and other) Ad Week sessions online!