An Outsider's Guide To Ad Week

At last count, next week's navel-gazing Advertising Fest in New York consists of 126,543 ways to kill an hour of your time listening to people who really are no smarter than you talk about problems they can't solve and opportunities that might evaporate with the morning dew.

I know how hard it is to be in two places at one time, and choosing how to allocate your precious time next week will be difficult. I thought it might help if I gave you some idea of the seminars I have selected to attend.

Programmatic Pabulum: Panelists with a vested interest in the future of programmatic will ignore critical issues — from lower CPMs to waterfall bidding, from bot visits to ad blockers — to enthuse about the growth of programmatic, and predict how it is only a matter of time before it will infect the television business.

Art vs. Science, Part 36: It would not be an official Adverting Week without two senior execs arguing whether the future of creative will be determined by A.I. or Al: a guy who drinks too much at lunch and says things like "process," "ideate," "disrupt" and "surprise & delight."



Distribution Diatribe: Publishers try to put a happy face on the fact that they must play by social media's rules to keep their traffic numbers up, although doing so has significant downsides, from less revenue to no control and failure to build audience loyalty. "Partnership" will get thrown around a lot, but it will fail to hide the seething beneath.

How to Turn The Internet of Anything into an Annoyance of Everything: In this sure-to-be-sold-out event, publishers and those who pretend not to be publishers try to out-guess what the future of media will be, where consumers are heading next and how to invade every use of a connected device with marketing claptrap. Special side discussion on how to "monetize" virtual reality before most people even get there.

Privacy: The Week's Shortest Event: An official from the FCC will join hands with senior executives of the IAB, 4As, ANA, AAF, AMA and some other acronyms, and sway to the tune of "I'd Like to Buy The World a Coke" with a song that refrains "There is no privacy. It's 2016. Time to just get over it."

ROI Rag: Financial quants will argue that every aspect of marketing should have a quantifiable ROI, predicting that artificial intelligence will be able to put a value on the essentially unmeasureables, like exactly how many days after reading a PR-generated story someone clicks to the company Web site and becomes a lead.

The Year of Mobile: Top CMOs predict that 2016 will finally be the year that spending on mobile passes the gross national product of China, the U.S. and Romania combined. That no one acts on mobile ads outside of apps will be tabled for discussion next year. Samsung will be on hand to process exchanges. Apple will sell its wireless earbuds at full price. Smiles all around.

Next story loading loading..