MIXX 2.8: The Intersection of Invention & Reinvention in Interactive Advertising
MIXX 2.8 surpassed all expectations as the official interactive event of Advertising Week in New York on September 22 and 23. The sold-out conference hosted more than 2,000 advertising ecosystem members for two days of education, networking and excitement. Marketers, agency executives and publishers came together to invent the future and reinvent the present of advertising.
Deborah Meyer, the first-ever CMO of Chrysler LLC, opened the event, captivating the packed-house as she detailed her company’s shift away from brand awareness marketing into an “opt-in” model. The campaign surrounding the new Dodge Ram launch exemplifies this approach by balancing subtle brand exposure with an opportunity for consumers to take specific actions they deem valuable. This “viewer democracy” approach ensures the 80% of consumers who car shop online get what they want, when they want it—nothing more, nothing less.
Google’s Tim Armstrong and VivaKi’s David Kenny then dissected the historic Google and Publicis partnership. The global scale of this venture is expected to help untangle industry-wide process issues between agencies and publishers. They called out cross-training through job sharing as one way to foster broader understanding. In addtion, the explosion of mobile and social media tops both their radars.
Next up was Ebay’s Michael Linton who conveyed the work of a CMO as a balancing act. Every brand is responsible for finding the right amount of choices that work for their consumers—and not surprisingly, the digital revolution makes this more difficult than ever. “The tyranny of MORE”—more choices, more technology, more competition, more alliances, more complexity and risk—complicate things for brands and consumers. It is up to the CMO to find the path the best suits the specific space they work in. At the same time, Linton encouraged companies not to be afraid to try new things—even if they can’t determine upfront if it will be totally effective. Experience is often better than planning, he suggested.
Young-Bean Song from Microsoft Advertising then demonstrated Engagement Mapping, stressing the need to “go beyond the last click” for accurate metrics. In his perspective, the success of search ads has devalued the success of other digital campaign components that play a role in the end results. Credit must be shared across the multiple digital touchpoints in each consumer’s history.
The afternoon of the first day of MIXX gave attendees plenty of choices with multiple workshop sessions followed by three distinct learning tracks. Track sessions featured rapid-fire technology demonstrations, sophisticated case studies on gaming, mobile and digital video and in-practice examples of how theory and knowledge come together in a real business setting to drive results.
Day 2 kicked off with opening remarks from the IAB Board of Directors Chair, Wenda Harris Millard who declared Advertising Week as her favorite week of the year. The morning quickly moved into several exciting keynote presentations.
Charlie Rose sat down with author Clay Shirky for an in-depth conversation on the rise of social network sites specific to marketing. The consumer’s ability to inexpensively organize leads to the marketer’s dilemma of building organic support for brands around communities where the consumer already exists—not trying to create new communities. Shirky stressed social networks themselves as ‘processes’ rather than ‘products’—meaning only through the participants can the force remain vibrant. If no one pays attention, the community will not survive.
CBS’s Leslie Moonves then talked about the integration of media, specifically television and digital, in a fireside chat with IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg. Moonves noted that even the most staunch television viewers go online to watch missed episodes, but the digital strategy is not about regurgitating content that already exists. It’s about producing new, premium content found only online in order to deepen the connection between viewer and show.
Time Inc. and Getty Images unveiled the surprise of MIXX as they announced a partnership to publish LIFE.com. To be launched in Q1 2009, the site will feature more than 15M professional photographs. Users will be able to sort photos based on dates and subjects as well as supplement their personal photo collections in order to produce branded photo books and other items. The new LIFE.com will include thousands of photos never before seen by the public—allowing the users to become lost in the online experience.
Andrew Robertson and Randall Rothenberg then took an inside look at the reinvention of BBDO Worldwide in the digital era. Robertson pointed out that the industry is changing much faster than talent is able to shift. To get the best results you must be prepared to pull from a variety of resource, rather than find one person with the total package.
The word “transmedia” got the ball rolling for Tim Kring, Executive Producer/Creator of “Heroes” and Mitch Kanner of Two Degrees Ventures. Tim’s approach to cross-platform story-telling exposed the show to such a broad audience base that it took on a following like no other show. The show itself serves as the hub of activity from which there a many other stories that develop online.
Finally, the 2008 MIXX Conference closed with an inside look at the personal reinvention of former traditional agency leaders. Moderated by Scott Donaton from Entertainment Weekly, Matt Freeman from GoFish, Alec Gerster from Navic Networks and David Verklin from Canoe Ventures detailed their decisions to move to the digital space and the results that followed.