Archive for October, 2016

Advertising Week New York: Girls Rule

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Kim Kardashian, The Girls Lounge founder Shelley Zalis, Linda Yaccarino from NBC Universal and Andy Cohen, host of Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” at the Chelsea Piers Gala


Now that Advertising Week in New York City has wrapped, I felt compelled to pen a short piece about my impressions of the monstrous confab that takes over The Big Apple each year.

For the last 13 years, Matt Scheckner and his team at Stillwell Partners who founded Advertising Week in New York as a B2B event, have evolved it to be THE must attend advertising, marketing and media industry summit. It’s also grown beyond NYC to London and Tokyo and they’re hosting a smaller gathering later this year in Cuba. Yes, Cuba.

Once again, they somehow seamlessly pulled off over 280 seminars and workshops, breakfasts, concerts, comedy shows, breakfasts, dinners across 30 venues in NYC. For those who couldn’t be in two places at one time, they also streamed every single session online. In all honesty, I was unable to head uptown on the Wednesday but streamed the sessions, sometimes two at once, and watched on my laptop and monitor from my desk.

No surprise, as it is technically an “advertising” conference, the hot topics once again of the week were digital and the hyper growth of programmatic and of course content marketing. But, another major underlying theme of the week was WOMEN – not only how brands are marketing to (and sometimes objectifying) women, but also deep discussion on the disparity of women in senior leadership roles in our industry.

One of the most popular satellite events and my absolute favorite outgrowth of the ad/marketing conference circuit is The Girls Lounge. Founded by Shelley Zalis, The Girls Lounge is my “go to” destination from Cannes to AdWeek to CES. Shelley founded The Girls Lounge to create a place for women, and men, to connect, collaborate and empower each other. A place to check in, unplug (or charge your device) and take a break from the grind.

Each Girls Lounge is different per the conference, but every day is programmed with casual panels and keynotes featuring powerhouse women not only from advertising and marketing but entertainment, sports, and even finance. In addition to the panels each evening, they host networking events and parties that often go into the wee hours.

While at Cannes Lions they set up shop in huge penthouse suite at the Martinez overlooking the Croisette, at Adweek they tricked out a double decker bus and parked it right in front of the Times Center, the hub of the conference. The downstairs area of the bus was the primping area with experts there doing hair blow-outs and make-up touch ups – because power women have no bones about looking polished – and upstairs they set up couches and directors chairs for the talks. They also transformed a large suite within the New York Times building where they hosted talks and lunches. Another space, a pop up gallery called #SeeHer displayed empowering images from the past and present in partnership with the ANA’s Alliance for Family Entertainment (AFE). The Gallery’s aim was to end gender bias against women in ads by 2020 by bringing attention to the issue – a formal initiative from the ANA AFE.

The crowing jewel of Girl Lounge’s presence at Adweek was a gala event sponsored by NBCUniversal and held in the main ballroom at Chelsea Piers’ Pier 60 overlooking the Hudson River and Statue of Liberty. NBC reached into its arsenal of powerful talent and Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal and Zalis interviewed Broadway and television starlet Kirstin Chenoweth. They were immediately followed by the uber-popular Bravo Network star Andy Cohen, who interviewed the one, and only, Kim Kardashian. The crowd of over 800, mostly women, hung on Kardashian’s every word as she talked about stereotypes and her personal focus to empower women, especially young women, to stand up for themselves and embrace their power and femininity. All in all, it was a hugely powerful night, not only due to the A-list talent on stage but the room of incredible women and the overall message permeating through the crowd.

In closing, Advertising Week in New York was a huge success and the programming was more diverse than ever. But for me, what came through loud and clear was that marketing to women and girls, as well as collectively supporting other women in business, is not a conversation that is going away. Men and women are talking about it openly and with platforms like The Girls Lounge being present at our industry’s main conferences, it’s only going to get louder!

–Contributed by Stephanie Rudnick, SVP Communications, MKTG USA | Global Brand Communications Director MKTG twitter and insta: @stephrudnick

 

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TEAM EPIC’S DAY AT MIT MEDIA LAB

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Dentsu Aegis Network’s partnership with MIT Media Lab provides our network’s talent access and connections to some of the smartest minds in the media and technology world. Our people learn, get inspired and make connections through the Lab. This partnership helps our talent stay on top of what’s next so we can in turn help our clients do the same. Last week Eric Ginsberg and Caity Kauffman, our Digital Strategy colleagues from Team Epic, had the privilege of spending the day touring the Media Lab and applying these learnings to their roles.

So what exactly is the MIT Media Lab?

Actively promoting a unique, antidisciplinary culture, the MIT Media Lab goes beyond known boundaries and disciplines, encouraging the most unconventional mixing and matching of seemingly disparate research areas. It creates disruptive technologies that happen at the edges, pioneering such areas as wearable computing, tangible interfaces, and affective computing. Today, faculty members, research staff, and students at the Lab work in 24 research groups on more than 350 projects that range from digital approaches for treating neurological disorders, to advanced imaging technologies that can “see around a corner,” to the world’s first “smart” powered ankle-foot prosthesis. The Lab is committed to asking the questions not yet asked–questions whose answers could radically improve the way people live, learn, express themselves, work, and play.

Read more about Eric and Caity’s insights below….

Eric Ginsberg, Director, Digital Strategy:

We had an amazing opportunity to tour the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA. Overall, we were blown away by the level of innovation in such a wide variety of fields. One of the most impactful sessions was a meeting with Mike Bove, who heads up the ‘Object-Based Media’ lab. Mike holds an SBEE, an MS in visual studies, and a PhD in media technology, all from MIT.

The overview of this lab is as follows: Can the physical world be as connected, engaging and context-aware as the world of mobile apps? We make systems that explore how sensing, understanding and new interface technologies (particularly holography and other 3D and immersive displays) can change everyday life, the ways in which we communicate with one another, storytelling, play and entertainment.

As we think about the future of lifestyle marketing, the ‘Object-Based Media’ lab is a potential resource to help shape the future of how consumers interact with technology.

Caity Kauffman, Senior Manager, Digital Strategy:

The opportunity to visit MIT was amazing. What struck me most was how each individual lab had its own way of exploring and tinkering. Researchers didn’t always know what the end result was going to be or know how today’s development could impact tomorrow. Regardless of the lab, each person had a similar sentiment: sometimes their research fixes a problem they didn’t know existed.

At one of the labs, a researcher named Penny showed us a project where they were developing fabric that curled and shifted when it hit certain temperatures or precipitation. The entire purpose of this research was to simply experiment with ways to cause fabric to move and flex. Their team spent weeks, hours and months poking and prodding at triangle-shaped swatches of different types of fabric. Somewhere along the way, a major athleticwear company saw this as an opportunity to create a ventilated product that opens up when an athlete gets hot.

As someone who is always strategically thinking with a specific goal in mind, it was a unique opportunity for me to talk to thinkers who approach their work in an open-ended manner, and with the freedom to let their curiosity lead the way.

Thanks Dentsu Aegis Network for the opportunity!

–Contributed by Team Epic & MKTG Global Communications Team

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MKTG Hires Amy Kemp As SVP, Global Hospitality, Sport & Entertainment

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Amy Kemp joins MKTG

Amy Kemp joins MKTG

FROM EVENT MAGAZINE:

Posted on October 5, 2016 by Kim Benjamin

Global lifestyle marketing agency MKTG has recruited Amy Kemp to the role of SVP, global hospitality, sport and entertainment.

In this global role, reporting to Matt Manning, MKTG’s head of international development, Kemp will lead the agency’s rapidly expanding international hospitality business, splitting her time between MKTG’s London and New York offices.

Kemp brings more than 25 years’ experience in sport and entertainment, including more than 10 years running her own UK-based global business hospitality agency, Kempster, and technology provider, VIP Experience. Over the course of her career, she helped pioneer how brands like Castrol, McDonald’s, Capital One, T-Mobile and BP harnessed the world’s biggest sporting events.

Manning said: “Given MKTG’s rapidly-growing global footprint and position within the Dentsu Aegis Network as a leading sports consulting and marketing resource, expanding our existing hospitality offering along with our sister agency Team Epic, was a natural next step in our evolution. There is a tremendous opportunity in the space and combining Amy’s experience with Team Epic’s 25-year track record, as well as our global network, will ensure solid, creative, sustainable growth.”

Kemp added: “I’m thrilled to be part of this incredible global network. Having founded my own businesses, and worked for entrepreneurs for many years prior, I’m excited about creating and innovating within such a strong, multi-faceted organisation. It’s a privilege to join the team, to grow a business sector in which we’re already so active.”

MKTG rebranded from PsLive earlier this year, as a result of its merger with partnership and sponsorship marketing agency Dentsu Aegis Network Sports and Entertainment.

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Written by Andrea D'Alessandro
Andrea D'Alessandro

October 5th, 2016 at 4:01 pm

MKTG CEO Charlie Horsey: Growing Strategically within the Dentsu Aegis Network

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Dentsu Aegis Network’s (DAN) UNBOXED series out of the US spotlights innovation, collaboration and talent. The most recent episode, Growing Strategically, takes a deeper dive into the importance of well-thought-out mergers and acquisitions within DAN from the perspective of leaders from acquired agencies within the group. MKTG was acquired by DAN in August of 2014, and CEO Charlie Horsey discusses the seamless integration of MKTG into the Network and how it has greatly benefitted not only clients, but our employees and culture.

–Contributed by MKTG Global Communications team

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Written by Andrea D'Alessandro
Andrea D'Alessandro

October 5th, 2016 at 10:42 am

MKTG Rewards Winner Joanna Solazzo: Arizona Adventures

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The MKTG Rewards program is designed for MKTG employees to recognize and nominate fellow team members each quarter for their outstanding work at MKTG. At the end of the year, quarterly nominees become eligible to win an all-expenses paid international or domestic experience. 2015’s winners were announced in June, and lucky recipients have spent this summer taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Joanna Solazzo is a Field Director at MKTG New York and was the lucky winner of a domestic trip. Joanna decided to explore Arizona (braving the summer heat), while taking her mother along for this very energetic and rewarding journey. Read on for Joanna’s recap….

My MKTG Rewards experience began when I surprised my mother with an invitation to join me on the domestic trip that I was awarded. As a hard-working mother of four, my mom has had few opportunities to travel. The MKTG Rewards program is an awesome way for MKTG to show appreciation to employees and, in turn, there was no better way to express the appreciation that I have for my mom than to share this experience. We created a solid list of potential locations, our criteria being a combination of adventure and luxury. We were soon on our way to the Grand Canyon and Sedona!

We arrived in Phoenix and road-tripped to the Grand Canyon just in time to watch a sunset that topped all sunsets I’ve seen to date. We had dinner at the historic El Tovar Hotel, where we loaded up on carbs to prep for our Grand Canyon hike the next morning. We were up before the sun, stocked up on supplies and met our hiking guide to begin our Grand Canyon trek. The hike began with amazing vistas from the top of the South Kaibab trail on the South Rim. As the morning went on we journeyed deeper and deeper into the Canyon. We slowed down as we approached a large snake (non-poisonous!), stopped to catch a glimpse from perfectly-named “Ooh Ahh Point” and took a break at the lookout over the stretch to Skeleton Point (the last point of the hike). Unlike most hikes, the Grand Canyon is tricky since the easy part (heading downwards) comes first. Our guide monitored how far we went into the Canyon, reminding us that we had to get back up eventually and that the sun would be at its strongest upon return. We made it about two miles deep into the Canyon before turning around. The way up was challenging both physically and mentally, and we kept each other motivated along the way. After seven hours in and out of the Canyon, we finally reached the top, which was a proud moment and an incredible accomplishment to share with my mom.

The most physically demanding part of the week was behind us and we then embarked on a short road-trip up to Page, Arizona. Page is a small town on the border of Utah with one of the only easy access points to the Colorado River, near the Grand Canyon. We celebrated at a local BBQ spot with delicious pulled pork and beer while a live country music band played on the outdoor stage. The next morning we were up early for a kayak tour of Lake Powell’s hidden canyons, right off of the Colorado River. We kayaked through the canyons and jumped off cliffs into the lake for the rest of the morning. The upper-body portion of our ‘total body workout’ vacation was complete and we were back on the road headed for the second segment of the trip: luxury in Sedona.

Three hours in the car and more amazing, colorful views later, we arrived at the Enchantment Resort among the Red Rocks in Sedona. This resort boasts a world-renowned spa, incredible dining options and a myriad of amenities that did not disappoint! We quickly found ourselves in the spa pool with cocktails being personally delivered to our floats. The second to last day of our trip was filled with spa relaxation and unwinding. Massages, dining, pool time, facials… and more pool time made it the best day. My mom had to pretty much peel me off the lounge chair when it was check-out time. On our drive back to Phoenix we stopped at a few energy vortexes that we heard about (beautiful and peaceful, but a lot of hype if you ask me) and then returned our trusty Jeep back to the airport.

The mix of physical activity, teamwork and well-deserved pampering was exactly how I envisioned spending my MKTG Rewards trip. Being able to share this occasion with my mom was the icing on the cake! We will forever remember our time together and share stories of our adventures. My mom couldn’t thank me enough, and, in turn, I cannot thank MKTG enough for this unforgettable experience!

 

–Contributed by Joanna Solazzo, MKTG New York

 

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