MIXX 2009 ignited the creative revolution in interactive media on Monday, September 21, as the smartest minds in the industry gathered for a sold-out event and kicked off Advertising Week 2009 with a bang. Randall Rothenberg, President & CEO of the IAB, welcomed the crowd to the “red, hot, beating heart of Advertising Week,” and celebrated an industry that over the years has developed more ways to provide more access, for more people, to more information through the ad-supported Internet.
Sticking with tradition, MIXX opened with a commanding CMO. Ann Lewnes, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, Adobe, shared a sneak peek into Adobe’s vision of the new advertising. Admitting that online advertising is still dwarfed by traditional advertising—and confirming Adobe’s passion to close that gap—she focused her time on three secrets driving Adobe’s new approach. Every consumer interaction has become advertising, she said, making all interactions a two-way dialogue that provides marketers with web analytics to help optimize content. On the news front, she touched on the acquisition of Omniture, a leader in analytics and optimization, and what it means for the future. This online marketing suite completes the loop of analyzing and optimizing the creative produced through Adobe, creating the final union of art and science. Lewnes announced the availability of Adobe Flash Platform Services for Distribution, a new service that enables advertisers and content publishers to promote, measure and monetize applications across social networks, desktops and mobile devices.
Leading creatives—the minds who are already answering the call for the creative revolution—appeared on stage several times throughout the morning, spending a few minutes answering the question “What does interactive advertising’s creative revolution mean to me?” First off was Colleen DeCourcy, Chief Digital Officer, TBWA Worldwide, who credits the cultural revolution for shifting public expectations so much that we must change our industry. To Steve Wax, Managing Partner at Campfire, the creative revolution means marketing is always on stage because consumers play such an active role. The industry’s new role is to get the conversation started, and then assist with the process once the target audience takes over. For Jeff Benjamin, Vice President, Interactive Executive Creative Director, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, there has never been a more exciting time to be in advertising, thanks to the great digital work that’s coming down the pipe.
News Released @ MIXX
Attendees had a rare opportunity to experience the workstation of the future with Yusuf Medhi, Senior Vice President, Online Audience Measurement Group, Microsoft, as their guide. After a thorough Bing overview, including the visual search—launched only a week ago—and a look at Project Natal, Microsoft’s future of gaming on Xbox, Yusuf moved across the stage to demonstrate technology that has the potential to completely change the way we live and work. Powered by Microsoft Surface, the next generation user interface consists of full-screen walls to interact with computing technologies. Features include a surface computer that allows the user to truly be immersed in the work experience—talking to a digital assistant, conferencing with colleagues and clients, pinching and dragging photos from an unattached mobile device to the screen, recalling prior notes to an idea board and more.
An ideal and an idea—those are the starting points for quality creative according to Lucas Watson, Global Team Leader, Digital Business Strategy, Procter & Gamble. As he talked through several groundbreaking P&G campaigns, including Pampers, Hugo Boss and Pringles, he emphasized how impactful simplicity can be, the importance of considering the context that ads will appear in and keeping an open mind about where creativity comes from as it cannot be bought with money alone.
Tim Armstrong, Chairman & CEO of AOL, and the final main stage speaker of the day, used MIXX as a platform to outline AOL’s new strategy. The focus: content, content and more content. He outlined how the 90s was all about access—the foundation AOL was built upon. Then, the last ten years became about the platform. The next 10 years? Content—something that always trails distribution. Now, users are making distribution far more targeted than ever before. With such targeted distribution, the key to AOL’s success will be producing the content consumers want and matching it with the appropriate advertising to achieve the desired results. Armstrong also expressed a desire to focus on local where he currently sees a “white space” on the Internet. The potential for creating local content at scale will be another key to AOL’s success.
The Crowne Plaza Hotel buzzed throughout the afternoon as the sold-out crowd shifted from room to room for workshops and track sessions. Focused on Creativity, Innovation and Impact, the tracks offered a variety of content, allowing users to customize their learning experience by sticking with their track of choice, or selecting to attend individual sessions within each framework. Never-before-seen case studies from Cheetos, Betty Crocker and Bank of America kicked off the creativity track, while the innovation track hit on augmented reality—a topic which Ann Lewnes called the “direct mail of the 21st century” earlier in the day. Cocktails rounded out the evening as attendees descended on the Expo Hall to relax, discuss the day’s event and start planning for another day of breaking news, robust learning and networking with the sharpest minds in interactive