Graham Moysey, head of international at AOL, looks forward to the upcoming Advertising Week Europe in London.
Ad Week Europe. The media owner and marketers’ Fashion Week.
Think London, Paris and Madrid rolled into one. A frenzy of activity from early exclusive breakfasts to late-night one-too-many cocktails where we all crisscross London to be seen at the right shows, spot the odd celeb and find out what we’ll all be buying and selling next season.
Allow me, then, to play Anna Wintour and give you my highlights, predictions and tips for the third week of April.
Video, mobile, open platforms and the use of data
Looking back to a preview article I wrote this time last year, I recommended three talks that covered Programmatic in TV, the Future of Video and a panel I was involved in, The Battle for the Iron Throne of Content.
In 2016 it feels as though Ad Week’s big topics will be much the same, centring around video, mobile, open platforms and the use of data.
We’ll see big questions like how do we balance culture, code and creativity to create incredible audience-led content? How do we mobilise the future as user behaviour shifts even more in favour of our handhelds? Or how do we keep up with consumers in this age of change?
With these questions in mind, my first recommendation for 2016 is Ad Week’s own partnership with the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, launching its new creative Academy.
Creativity will always be the lifeblood of publishing and marketing. After all, all the data in the world can’t save sub-standard creative or content. It’s why we believe in the power of culture and code and continue to invest incredibly heavily in original journalism and content. I look forward to seeing the results from the new Academy.
Monday night sees Ad Week’s opening gala at Southwark Cathedral go head to head with Mail Brands’ opening gig with Grammy Award winner Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at KOKO. Expect surge pricing in the Camden area.
Back at the conference proper, on Tuesday afternoon, while many Brits will turn their attention to the impacts of Brexit on the ITV stage, I’ll be focusing on a run of three talks that will no doubt help answer some of my big questions above.
‘Can a Robot Make You Cry?’ – a look at Programmatic for Branding. ‘Action is the True Measure of Artificial Intelligence’ from Microsoft, and finally in this block, ‘The Economics of Ad Blocking’. Who better to look at this complex problem than the Financial Times?
Three talks over two hours that encapsulate the challenges and choices, threats and opportunities that face all modern media owners and advertisers. Don’t miss them.
Wednesday is the stand out day of this year’s Ad Week for me. We kick the day off with a MAKERS session, AOL’s women’s leadership platform that highlights stories of ground-breaking women today to inspire and create the leaders of tomorrow.
Having a diverse, representative workforce with equal opportunities for all is fundamental for our industry to thrive. It’s an issue that’s incredibly important to me, and all the AOL team.
We applaud the IPA’s diversity Goals and hope platforms like MAKERS can help contribute towards the industry achieving those goals.
After lunch, I will be heading to the Getty Images Stage for ‘Convergence: When Branded Content Becomes Valuable Entertainment’ exploring the intersection of brand and entertainment.
It’s another area we feel passionately about through our AOL Originals programme that has seen IPs like Citizen Mars lift off to critical and commercial success.
The opportunities for brands to play the executive producer role in the creation of great consumer content is greater than ever. With ICM, Liverpool FC, MPC and Dazed on the panel, you can be sure of a wide-ranging and illuminating discussion.
Finally, swipe right for a session with Sean Rad, Founder and CEO of Tinder, in conversation with Farrar Store, editor of Cosmopolitan.
I suspect all of us could learn valuable goals about mobile engagement, user centric design and how to engage millennial audiences from this visionary founder.
So there you have it. An exhausting preview to write, let alone attend.
Bottom line, I love Ad Week Europe. It’s a chance for us all to address old and new questions. It’s a chance to take a step back from the day to day of delivering great content or creating great campaigns and take stock.
And of course it’s the chance meetings, the late night conversations and the new connections made that make weeks like this truly special.
Jump in. Get involved. And let’s give Fashion Week a run for its money.