BCM at AdWeek

Ad Week: Unlocking the Potential of Content Creation

The Beeby Clark+Meyler team was running all over Times Square during Advertising Week NY, attending dozens of sessions to hear from industry thought leaders. Now that the dust has settled, we’ve toplined the first of several roundups of our favorite, most informative sessions. Not surprisingly, content creation was a major theme at Advertising Week but more specifically, how brands need to change how they approach content and who they are creating it for.

In the Town Hall Series: Creativity + Collaboration: New Ways of Working In a Mobile World,” panelists Andrew Keller, Global Creative Director of Facebook Creative Shop; Chloe Gottlieb, EVP, Executive Creative Director US at R/GA; Tara DeVeaux, Chief Marketing Officer at BBDO New York and Ari Weiss, Chief Creative Officer, North America, at DDB, shared that the average person scrolls through 300 feet of content every day. To put that in perspective, that is the entire Statue of Liberty worth of content. Mobile is a consumption platform and you have to ask yourself whether you are you building creative that can actually break through the scroll? Brands and agencies alike need to look at new ad formats as opportunities, rather than constraints.

In another session, “Can Brands Actually Tell a Story in 6 Seconds?,” panelists Libby Brockhoff, Partner, Odysseus Arms; David Simon, CMO SteelHouse; Minda Smiley, Reporter, The Drum and Richard Alan Reid, Executive Creative Director, BuzzFeed, debated the six second advertising format. Can six seconds of advertising actually make an impact? According to these experts, ads are always going to interrupt the content experience, so why not make it as effective and short as possible? Six seconds of content creation can hold unlimited potential – it can tell its own story or be one piece of a larger whole. Perhaps it is a hook to lead a consumer into a longer content experience. Bottom line – you must generate the feeling of “I want more” in six seconds.

Our team heard from panelists Brandon Rice, Head of Publisher Development at Quantcast; Kate Ward, Editor-in-Chief at Bustle Digital Group; Edwin Wong, VP of Research and Insights at Buzzfeed; Charlie Kammerer, CRO at The Slate Group; and Andrew Smith, SVP of Advertising Product and Solutions at “Vice in The Bad Guys & Girls of Publishing: What Leaders of Digital Content Have to Say”. They said that in order to be successful with content creation, all businesses should try to achieve the element of the “human story” when sending a message to consumers – and publishers are cracking the code to active engagement. For example, Buzzfeed is a very important disruptor for media, as they provide an opportunity to showcase content in a different way. Their unique way of storytelling continues to challenge businesses and content creators to deliver content in any easily digestible way in order to send the correct message and engage consumers. Wong quoted Craig Davis, former Chief Creative Officer at J. Walter Thompson, saying “We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.”

Some of our team members were able to snag seats at the much-anticipated panel discussion “Instagram Effect: Where Business and Passions Meet.” The line was out of the building, not surprisingly, to hear from Sarah Jessica Parker, Actor and Businesswoman, Emily Weiss, Founder and CEO at Glossier, Marne Levine, COO at Instagram and Rebecca Jarvis, Correspondent at ABC News. The panel focused on the incredible opportunity available to brands on Instagram. Mobile usage is increasing daily and due to the launch of Instagram stories last August, the Instagram community has been more engaged on the platform than ever before. Instagram has 800 million monthly active users and 2 million advertisers on the platform; with 80% of people on the platform connecting to businesses voluntarily; 59% are influenced by Instagram when purchasing a car; 55% get inspiration on styling; and 62% build excitement for upcoming trips. Instagram Stories allow users to share “timely” and “timeless” moments, offering a great opportunity for businesses to find new customers and connect with the community on a deeper level. Instagram Stories has also recently introduced advertising opportunities allowing brands to engage in content creation in an immersive format, taking advantage of the full mobile experience, which means being “shorter, faster and authentic”. At this time, 1/3 of the top watched stories stem from businesses. Instagram also offers a unique opportunity to build a global following. If you have an Instagram account, you are already global.

Through all of these sessions, we heard one resounding message: consistent, innovative and accessible content is paramount to a brand’s success. Stay tuned for our next Advertising Week recap coming soon!

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