October 5, 2018 / By Summer Beal
I recently attended Advertising Week, one of the biggest events of the year where marketing, brand, advertising, and technology professionals in NYC gather. During this time, attendees and panelists often reflect on the past year and look ahead to what’s next for the industry. Here are three themes I took away from the conference:
#1: Be Culturally Relevant
Now, more than ever, it is critical that we create campaigns that are culturally relevant leading to greater engagement. During the first panel I attended, Joao Chueiri, Vice President of Consumer Connections for Anheuser-Busch, touched on how brands have always used sports to connect and engage with their audience since sports is a passion point for so many.
However, the sports landscape and culture are changing and there are many more passion points in sports that brands can target today vs. 10 years ago. Esports is a great example. The League of Legends final was the most watched esports event of 2018 with 127 million viewers, comparable to Super Bowl numbers!
This type of mass following is just one reason why we must reshape the way we approach sports marketing. Chris Perkins, Global Director for Budweiser, said during a panel, “No brand has fully grasped the concept of how to successfully market in the esports category, and the industry is waiting to see which brand will have the first groundbreaking approach when marketing to this audience.”
#2: Prioritize Experiences
Younger generations (Millennials/Gen Z) will spend money over the next five years on experiences, not possessions. Because of this, marketers can no longer expect a simple advertisement to get their message across. Brands need to prioritize sharable experiences they can deliver to their target consumers.
As many of us know after an early season NFL game last season, Bud Light tweeted that if the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl they would buy the entire city beer. This kicked-off the Dilly Dilly/ Philly Philly campaign. As we all know, the Eagles won the Super Bowl and Bud Light was distributed on the day of the parade. The brand extended the campaign this NFL season with the locked fridges located throughout Cleveland. While the Cleveland campaign only featured 10 locked refrigerators, it drove significant and earned and social media coverage and conversations, but more importantly, the refrigerators offered an Instagramable experience for consumers to share on their social media channels well before the Browns won their first game of the 2018 season. It was those consumer experiences with locked refrigerators during August and September that ultimately drove momentum for the campaign.
#3: Be First & Be Bold:
Being the first can be groundbreaking and disruptive and will influence how a brand is not only remembered but can redefine the model for greater engagement. Russell Silvers, SVP at AEG, was passionate about partnering with brands that are not afraid to be the first to try something. By partnering with brands who are bold, you have a greater chance of creating campaigns that will break through the marketing clutter and drive business impact.
Sandy Greenberg, CEO of Terri & Sandy, said, “Never be afraid to try something new, as you could change everyone’s perspective.” All the women on this panel with Greenberg said if they had any regrets in their marketing careers, it was that they were too afraid to introduce or recommend bold ideas and concepts, so they didn’t suggest them at all. As marketers, we should be bold and willing to introduce new and innovative thinking and approaches to our client partners. If we don’t, we’re limited in the value we’re providing.