Full recap of AD Club's Annual 2015 Media:NOW Conference!

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AD Club Leaders and partners came together for our annual Media:NOW Conference and made it truly remarkable. One of the biggest takeaways from 2015’s Media:NOW event was how to think more like the consumer; the more brands, marketers and advertisers think about the behaviors of the person behind the screen, the more responsive that person will be to the product.

We want to thank our keynote speakers Linda Boff of GE and Chris Hayek of Shell, along with our wonderful and insightful moderators and panelists: Brian Morrissey of Digiday, Martin Cass of Assembly & MDC Media Partners, Anna Fieler of POPSUGAR Inc., Robin Koval of American Legacy Foundation, Rob Master of Unilever, Donna Speciale of Turner Broadcasting, Christine Osekoski of Fast Company Magazine, David Beebe of Marriott International, Kodi Foster of Outbrain and Kern Schireson of Viacom.

We also want to thank our sponsors Lamar AdvertisingThe New York PostTurner Broadcasting and Yahoo! for making Media:NOW 2015 possible – we can’t thank you enough!

Advertising Club Media:NOW Strategy Ascending. The Lighthouse, NYC

Linda Boff spoke about why GE, a company still widely known for their appliances, is in fact a very innovation-driven, contemporary company. GE stays contemporary because they do their business based around how a person behaves. This means that GE strives to be approachable, human, funny, and always to seem like a person rather than a multi-national company.

Thomas Edison, who founded GE, influenced the business since its inception to connect with people and spend time with them instead of treating them like facts or numbers.

“You have to market in today’s world,” Linda said. She touched on the five different key points on how to market today and to people, not screens.

  1. Brands should have the mindset of a programmer
  2. Everything can be media; brands should still think about take the roll of tech and innovation but in a contemporary way.
    • “Everything can be media – light is media, commerce is media, and they are smart, connected and intelligent.”
  3. Along with publishing the right content, you have to publish on the right platforms and be mindful of why it’s meaningful to consumers.
    • The user is king. I think content and context is important, but if we forget that someone is behind this, we fail.”
  4. “Copycats will fall flat on their faces.” What works for one brand, won’t work for others. Be authentic to your brand and make it work that way rather than copying what others have done in the past.
  5. “Shout louder than you spend.” Stretch every dollar you have. Example is GE’s first few Vines cost a few dollars and won a Lion. You don’t need to have a big fund to fund a big idea.

Advertising Club Media:NOW Strategy Ascending. The Lighthouse, NYC

Our first panel that featured Brian Morrissey, Martin Cass, Anna Fieler, Robin Koval, Rob Master and Donna Speciale, discussed that Millennials want content and that digital content is the new me-time. Their world’s view is different from everyone else’s, so when they want content, they want content now.

Advertisers and marketers need to figure out what that content is and which platform to put it on. What worked for TV won’t work for digital, and so on. To understand this, marketers must realize that the consumer is a person, not just a number behind their statistics.

Marketers are now rethinking their content strategies and are now building a consumer-brand trust, which means that they must build capabilities that creates content for the brand and makes conversations more personal rather than technical.

User-experience is the key. The definition of a media brand is changing, and marketers must be true now more than ever to the brand.

In order to publish the right content, this forces creators to be much more dynamic; they can no longer rely on one platform. Brands have to be relevant and aware of their consumers.

Advertising Club Media:NOW Strategy Ascending. The Lighthouse, NYC

Our second panel that featured Christine Osekoski, David Beebe, Kodi Foster and Kern Schireson, touched on creating rich, creative content. David Beebe of Marriott International spoke on their first short-form video, “Two Bellmen” and why short videos are the best approach to reach the consumer today.

Brands must think about what they create that is user-friendly and to always give to the consumer since everything starts with the consumer value. Millennials specifically love creative content, and respond better to that. According to Kodi Foster, “74% of the time, people turn on the Internet and they’re just browsing; they’re not intent driven. We look at what’s really going to be utility for the user.” For the consumer, brands must always start with the principle of reciprocity to always give since everything starts with the consumer value.

Brands must also be relevant, particularly to the younger audiences, or else brands won’t last long. In order to engage with the consumer, brands must remember that behind their marketing strategy and tactics, there is a person behind it.

Advertising Club Media:NOW Strategy Ascending. The Lighthouse, NYC

Lastly, our closing keynote speaker Chris Hayek in a conversation with Stephanie Fierman of Mediacom, touched on the fact that there are two different kinds of consumers: The DIY consumer, and the DITM (do-it-for-me) consumer. Brands must focus on both, not one over the other.

In order to do this, brands should be less focused on the technical aspects when there is a better response to marketing from an emotional place.

Chris’ example was looking towards music and how using this emotional medium can be effective to reach those (Millennials) who wouldn’t necessarily be into a certain product, like motor oil. Though brands should be different from one another, they should also be relevant in today’s world.

“A great marketer can create any product no matter how utilitarian it is.”


We can’t wait to see what brands, marketers and advertisers are up to this year in a world where the user now more than ever is king.