Earlier this week I attended the Festival of Media Global in Rome, Italy, where I chaired all the sessions in a conference room aptly called “Pantheon.”
As you may know (or can find out on Wikipedia), the real Pantheon was originally built in honor of all the Roman Gods, but later turned into a Catholic house of worship. It is also the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome and is as such in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Believe it or not, but there was a new entry into that same Guinness Book of World Records accomplished during #FOMG14 as the event is known on Twitter. Banco Santander in Latin America was announced as the winner of the 'Record-breaking Brand' award. The bank attracted more than 1.1 million players, setting a Guinness record for the 'Largest Sports Trivia Competition'.
More importantly, #FOMG14 brought together industry leaders such as OMD CEO Mainardo de Nardis; Lewis D’Vorkin, Chief Product Officer for Forbes Media; Gian Fulgoni, Executive Chairman and Co-founder of comScore; Vince Gilligan, Creator and Executive Producer of Breaking Bad and its new offspring; Jon Matonis, Executive Director for the Bitcoin Foundation and Dominic Proctor, President of GroupM Global.
AOL’s digital prophet David Shing gave those who were asleep at the marketing wheel a rude awakening in the form of his trademark rapid-fire verbal onslaught (“we’re all doomed man, unless you learn about your consumers”).
Jay Sears, SVP, Market Development for the Rubicon Project and IPG’s Global CEO Matt Seiler interviewed each other, which resulted in an interesting conversation between two men with big ambitions in revolutionizing (read: automating) media buying.
And when I grow up, I want to be able to look back on a life like that of Jonathan Taplin. Today he is Director at the Annenberg Innovation Lab of the University of Southern California. But before that he was at one point manager for Bob Dylan and The Band as well as George Harrison, he was film producer for movies like Martin Scorcese’s Mean Streets, then an investment banker at Merrill Lynch after which he launched America’s first ever video on demand system in 1996, the patents of which are still valid today! He shared the stage with Dominique Delport, Global Managing Director of the French Havas Media Group and they jointly presented further demolishment of the establishment in an honest presentation on the successes and failures of content creation for marketing.
So what did we learn? That the industry continues its climb out of the hole that was the global depression of 2008. Steve King, CEO Worldwide for ZenithOptimedia, shared the latest global ad expenditure forecast: from +3.9% in 2013 to +5.5% in 2014 to +5.8% in 2015 to +6.1% in 2016. When I tweeted that especially mobile ad spend is driving this growth with +50% year on year it became my most retweeted tweet ever (that may also have to do with the fact that I used the word “Bazinga” in my tweet...).
Martin Riley, Pernod-Ricard’s CMO and World Federation of Advertisers President, stated that TV is not to be written off yet, but CEO Bob Pittman from ClearChannel said there are clearly too many dollars allocated by marketers to TV budgets. Obviously he would say that, given the business he leads.
What I found most telling, though, is that we had two days of media high flyers from across the industry spectrum representing buyers, sellers, measurers and disrupters and not one represented a TV network. For conferences, apparently TV is already dead.