Sunday Recap

IAB Annual Leadership Meeting: Ecosystem 2.0


IAB Annual Leadership Meeting:
Day One Recap

A record 850 digital leaders gathered on Sunday, February 26, at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, to open the sold-out 2012 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting (ALM), a three-day discussion of the most significant topics in the interactive advertising and marketing industry. This, the fifth year of the must-attend conference, explores the theme “Beyond Time and Space,” the issues and opportunities facing an industry evolving beyond the conventional foundation of time and space advertising sales.

Randall RothenbergFollowing a lively happy hour, Randall Rothenberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of IAB, called the meeting to order, encouraging attendees to listen, learn, speak, provoke, enjoy—and download the first-ever IAB ALM mobile app. He announced Peter Naylor, Executive Vice President, Digital Media Sales, NBCUniversal, as the incoming Chairman of the Board of Directors. Bob Carrigan, Chief Executive Officer, IDG Communications, the previous chairman, welcomed Naylor to the post.

Peter NaylorNaylor took to the stage sharing his distinct point of view on the theme of the event, as a representative of a historically traditional media company. “Television as we once knew it, it’s over. It’s history,” he said. However, the television business, he said, has never been so robust. “Traditional TV is being enhanced by digital and social media, not threatened or diminished.” But there are challenges facing the digital advertising industry that must be addressed such as “complexity creep.” The industry offers clients nearly infinite choice, he said. However, “The higher the complexity, the lower the confidence marketers have in investing.” The Making Measurement Make Sense initiative, a collaborative effort led by IAB, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), is a transformational solution that will help us simply demonstrate the real value of our media, he said. Naylor concluded his remarks by identifying and honoring the 2012 Service Excellence Award Winners. Click here to view his full speech.

Peter Minnium, Head of Brand Initiatives, IAB, announced a new standard ad unit portfolio featuring the IAB Rising Stars Display ad units—six new interactive ad units developed and tested in partnership with leading publishers and agencies in the digital world. To demonstrate the power of the Rising Stars, six of the most sought-after digital advertising agencies presented creative, engaging, and cutting-edge executions. Paul Nowikowski, Senior Art Director, AKQA, showcased the Portfolio ad unit; Michael Lebowitz, Founder & CEO, Big Spaceship, presented a test-drive of the Sidekick; Ivan Kayser, Director of Strategy, Code and Theory with Cameron Connors, Executive Director, The Studio, showed off the Billboard; Matt Walsh, Executive Experience Director, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, exhibited an execution of Filmstrip; Jennifer Gavin, Head of Digital Development, BBH, showcased the Slider; and Brian Williams, Creative Director, The Martin Agency, demonstrated the Pushdown.

After the celebration of creativity came the recognition of results. Tim McAtee, Research Director, IPG Media Lab, and Brian Monahan, Managing Partner, MAGNA Global Intelligence Practice, revealed research that proved digital advertising content build brands when it more resembles editorial content, when it tells a story, and when it engages and entertains consumers. “On every dimension that we analyzed, we saw that the Rising Stars ad units were superior products to what came before them,” McAtee said. In a study comparing Rising Stars ad units to traditional units, it was found that users were roughly two and a half times more likely to interact with a Rising Stars ad unit than a standard ad unit, spent twice as much time interacting with it, and took half as much time to react to it. Along with increased interaction, eye-tracking showed that users viewed Rising Stars ads longer. In addition, the Rising Stars ad units improved viewer experience and impression of a wseb site. Tracking facial recognition, research found that the Pushdown format was over 30% more likely to make a user smile than a traditional ad.

Randall Rothenberg and Martin NisenholtzThe industry wouldn’t be where it is today without those who laid the foundation. Rothenberg presented Founders Awards to two individuals who significantly helped define and shape the ecosystem: Michael Bierut, Partner, Pentagram, and Martin Nisenholtz, formerly of The New York Times.

The opening session closed with the presentation of the IAB Sales Excellence Awards and the 2012 Advertiser Intelligence Report by Advertising Perceptions. The awards recognize excellence as perceived by the customers of IAB members. Accolades were presented for Sales People of the Year, Excellence of Sales Organizations, Best Newcomer, Most Innovative, and Long-Term Achievement. Randy Cohen, President and Chief Operating Officer, Advertising Perceptions, ended the evening with a detail worthy of clinking cocktail glasses. Digital media sales effectiveness is improving overall, he said. Advertisers identified the two most important qualities of a digital media salesperson as customer service and knowledge of brand and advertising product or market—and the industry is improving on both of them. To end the evening, attendees headed poolside for a Welcome Reception, looking forward to the full day tomorrow.

IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in the News
Download the ALM Mobile App

Videos from the stage courtesy of

Peter Naylor Opens
2012 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting

IAB Releases New
Standard Ad Unit Portfolio


IAB News Releases—Fresh off the Wires

IAB Opens the Hood on Digital Advertising to Present a Transparent, Simplified View of How Data is Used & Shared
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IAB Analysis Shows Digital Media are a Vital Influence on Consumer Electronics Purchases
IAB Reveals Winners of First-Ever ‘Mobile Rising Stars’ Competition
IAB Names Winners of Annual Sales & Service Excellence Awards
IAB Releases New Standard Ad Unit Portfolio
NBCUniversal’s Peter Naylor Helms IAB Board of Directors as New Chairman
Fifth IAB Annual Leadership Meeting Draws Digital Industry Luminaries