Day 1 Conference Highlights

MIXX Conference & Expo 2012

Videos from the stage courtesy of


MIXX Opens with a (Big) Bang...

IAB President and Chief Executive Officer Randall Rothenberg welcomed a standing room only audience of brand marketers, ad agency executives, technologists, publishers, and more, to the 2012 IAB MIXX Conference & Expo.

So what is the digital big bang? Rothenberg explained how advertising has undergone its own century of inquiry and debate—similar to the scientific study and revelation behind the true “big bang”. Creatives dominated advertising for years. Then came the advent of the technologist, who thought the secret sauce was all in the data. But, they are all wrong, he said. Interactive technology and creativity are making digital campaigns more alluring and effective than ever—working together to get it right, they changed the zeitgeist.

“There has never been a more fascinating time to be in marketing,” reiterated Marc Speichert, Chief Marketing Officer at L’Oréal USA, as he took the stage to reveal the methodology and results of the 2012 Tremor Video global ethnographic study, which L’Oréal participated in. To determine the role of technology in consumers’ lives, the study went into their homes—researching the soul of the family by observing behavior to uncover rich insights. The results: Consumers seek out advertising that guides them, helps them find what they want, when they want it. Consumers are drawn to advertising they can turn off, or turn on—themselves—taking advantage of new ways to evaluate information. The consumer now demands, “You must respect me and my choices. I invite you, a brand, to surprise me, but on my terms.” To a brand, that translates to understanding the meaning and relevance of a product or service for the consumer—then creating the value. This shift is forcing brands to enable and accelerate new business models. View the presentation here.

“Mobile, first.” What does that mean to the way foursquare operates?” asked Randall Rothenberg of Dennis Crowley, Co-Founder, foursquare. It means, how do we take things that have been successful on the web in some way and migrate it to the small screen. But, foursquare starts on the small screen, giving them an advantage over others. As the foursquare service starts to mature, the users participate to consume and save money, rather than just catching up with friends. The platform has grown into a successful yield management tool for local merchants—and often the consumer doesn’t even think about the interaction as “paid advertising.” And, to anyone considering forming a start-up in New York City, “New York has everything you can get in San Francisco.  New York is a serious tech town,” confirmed Crowley. View the presentation here.

Technology and innovation are changing what we can imagine and what we see as possible—empowering economics and freedom around the world, said Pat Mitchell, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Paley Center for Media. The Center is working to bring together disrupters and thought leaders from legacy media to dissect what consumers want and what they demand today, to determine how these needs can be sustained to help us realize even greater possibilities of media.  She also warned of the power of the dark side these new opportunities introduce, noting that companies must respond, negotiating new challenges between open, free information and what must be protected in the public interest.

Qi Lu, President, Online Services Division, Microsoft, took the stage after the morning networking break to discuss the vertically integrated eco-system and the company’s desire—across all divisions—to “get the experience right” for consumers.  The next generation of the digital world will be shaped by vertically integrated devices, he said. The force behind the governing structures of the digital world—topical social, geospatial dimension, appification—is technology. Joining him onstage was Bob Visse, General Manager, Microsoft Online Services Division, who demoed, the new MSN for Windows 8, the default homepage on IE 10 with all the images touch enabled, a perfect example of beauty and utility coming together in digital media. The new look debuts publicly on October 26. View the presentation here.

Facebook’s Head of Measurement and Insights, Brad Smallwood, talked metrics, calling out the need for a scalable solution to help brands evaluate campaigns. What is the measurement for the brand marketer? Direct Response is all about clicks, but what about brand campaigns? He revealed a new tool to help close the loop from ad exposure to purchase—stressing the power and potential of reach and frequency of digit media and comparing it toincumbent media. One of his brand partners, Tom Buday, Global Head, Marketing and Consumer Communication, Nestle, shared the brand’s philosophy on success. It’s the message quality that matters most, he said. Platforms don’t “work” or “don’t work.” It’s the message within the platform that gets the job done. View the presentation here.

After lunch and workshops, Nick Law, Global Chief Creative Officer, R/GA, took us back to the time when advertising was just about being informative, then graduated to informative and entertaining. Now, he said, we are transitioning to a new age of advertising, one that requires a unique and different set of creative skills. Coders are really creators. Conceptual thinking is now part of the job description, not just mathematical thinking. These masterminds are truly the architects of space. The partnership between story—entertainment and demonstration—and system—information, enablement—comes together at play, in a place like social media. Consumers respond when they see the cause and effect, driving the need for functional integration. A brand’s job isn’t to be become the consumer’s friend; it’s to give them something to share with their “friends.”

The audience enthusiastically headed off to participate in IAB Marketplace Conversations on programmatic buying, monetizing mobile advertising, data-powered decisions, and native Advertising before wrapping up the full day with networking and cocktails.



IAB News Released at MIXX

Ad-Supported Internet Responsible for 5.1 Million U.S. Jobs, Contributes $530 Billion to U.S. Economy in 2011 Alone, According to IAB Study
Research on IAB Rising Stars Display Ad Units Shows Big Lift Across Core Interactive Metrics
Mobile Screens Have Strong Influence on Male Moviegoers, According to Groundbreaking Research from IAB & InMobi
IAB Expands QAG – ‘Quality Assurance Guidelines’ – to Include All Buyers & Sellers of Digital Media, Delivering Brand Safety Across Digital Transactions
IAB Research Shows Digital Media on the Upswing for Election 2012, Political Strategists Predict Bigger Spends in Future National Elections

IAB MIXX Press Coverage

IAB #IABMIXX 2012 on Twitter