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Advertising Week Europe

Data and creativity, who holds the power?

Last week I attended the Advertising Week Europe for the second time. Originated in New York 12 years ago, it’s now in its fourth year in London and attracts advertising and marketing professionals for a week-long event featuring key leaders in the advertising world to deliver keynotes, seminars, panel sessions and parties.

In comparison to last year when I attended three days of the week long event, this year I had unfortunately time to attend only one day, Tuesday, and, intrigued by the title, I chose the session “data and creativity, who holds the power?”.

As a blogger and organiser of #EventPlannersTalk live events, I see how brands I work with or who invite me to their events are different in placing importance on creative content and data, so I hoped I’ll get some tips on how to have this conversation with them.

The panel consisted of John Travis, VP Marketing EMEA at Adobe, Ann Wixley ECD at OMD, Layton Han CEO at ADARA, Rob Bradley Global Director, Digital Ad Revenue & Data at CNN and Krane Jeffery Head of Digital Solutions at RTL Group. The panel was moderated by Laurie Segall Technology Correspondent at CNN Money.

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Great ad campaign: starts with data or creativity?

The panelists suggested that great ad campaign starts with insights about your audience and added that the ability to test content empowers creativity. They added that people visit branded content because they are targeted in the right way, but they also reach people who don’t know what they like yet.

Analytics and insights gained from the campaign can help make better and more informed decisions for the next campaign, combined with a good creative idea.

The panelists added that marketers can back up their creative ideas with data when pitching to clients and that puts them in a more powerful position. By being able to back their creativity with data, it allows marketers to take more risks and makes them more credible.

One of the advantages of collecting data is that marketers can launch the campaign and adjust it based on insights collected.

Customising message with data

Starting with a broad customer segment, it should be narrowed down based on performance and delivery. The segmentation shouldn’t be the same in the end of the campaign as it’s in the start, data allows marketers to optimise and change the segmentation as the campaign progresses. Additionally, even if you have a set of data it’s not always complete, e.g. – you don’t know the impact of the article on the audience and you don’t know who the decision maker is.

When does data go past personalisation and into violation of privacy?

Media owners can control how long to target someone and how their audience is seeing the ads. Advertisers should be responsible for putting a cap on ad frequency and ensuring that the creative is smart and interesting as possible. If they’ll over-serve the consumer with ads they can expect them to turn ad block on, but if consumers are not willing to see the advertising, there will be different formats of this content.

I really enjoyed this session and I got very interesting insights to further develop my business.

The event this year was at a new venue, the Picturehouse Central in Piccadilly. Last year it was at the BAFTA, St James Church and temporary build next to them. The advantage in the old venue was that when changing sessions you could enjoy the daylight, here all sessions were inside.

The queues this year were very long but the organisers handled it very well by offering water to participants. The team on-site insisted for attendees to leave the room before they could enter for the next session which was a bit inconvenient if you wanted to attend the next session in the same room but had to go to the end of the queue, what also made the process a bit slower and the sessions late.

I really find it great that all sessions are available online to watch for free. Honestly that’s not the same experience, much better to be present, ask questions and maybe networking with the person sitting next to you. But for those who are not able to leave the office for the entire week that’s definitely a good alternative!

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Advertising Week Europe 2015 – My highlights

What a crazy week it has been, hence the lack of posts this week! If you follow my updates on social media, you know already that this week I have attended the Advertising Week Europe. Over 200 presentations took place about what is happening in the Adland. It was very interesting, inspiring and informative. Even though I wanted to see as much as possible, it was impossible to fit all in my schedule or I really needed a break between the sessions, even to recharge my phone. In this post I will share with you some of the highlights from Advertising Week Europe (AWE) 2015 before sharing with you later some of the individual sessions.


Beautiful and sunny day in London to kick off the AWE. Most of the venues were in a walking distance from each other between Green Park and Oxford Circus tube stations.

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The first session I have attended was called “how to win brands and influence people: why social influencers are the new celebrities”. I was interested in attending this session because Louise Pentland, a very prominent UK vlogger was on the panel. With other representatives from talent agencies they have discussed vlogging, social influencers vs. A- list celebrities, working with brands and creating authentic content. Later on I will share with you the full session.

The Newsroom was the official event lounge where Monmouth Coffee took care of much needed coffee supply and Hummingbirds Bakery of cupcakes. Chargers and sockets were also provided in sufficient amount.

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The highlight of the day was the LinkedIn B2B Forum. It was the first time it took place during the AWE, which is in its third year now and it was a huge success in my opinion. Speakers, all from B2B environment such as Adobe, Microsoft, LinkedIn, PwC and IBM shared their best practices and how to make B2B “sexy”. Yes, it has longer lead time, it is more relationship driven and account management but there are lots of opportunities. One of the best talks was by Jason Miller from LinkedIn who, with good humour and storytelling skills brought excellent points across. Such as breaking your content into small pieces and spreading it across different platfroms and week.

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One of the cool ideas at this event was artist presenting the content in visuals. Great ideas for corporate events!

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The forum took place at the beautiful Ace Hotel.


Wednesday I missed unfortunately but came fully motivated to make the most out of the last day of the event. I shortly stopped by the Microsoft booth where they presented an innovative technology tweeting with the eyes. Of course I had to try it, and it actually works. Sensors in the camera capture your eye movement and bring it to the screen. Simple version starts from £75K.

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Most of the day I spend at the ADARA stage as their afternoon was filled with presentation for the creative industry. First one “how come clients that pay the most rarely get the best work?” looked at why in the advertising industry the ratio of payment and results is so disproportionate. Isn’t it supposed to be you get what you pay for? The panellists suggested that creative work is a product, not a service, but what is the best creative work? There are several ways looking at it such as being fame led work or creatively awarded. But they also suggested that there is an element of luck to creativity and you can test it online.

Following session was about building a billion dollar brand with case study of Beats by Dre by James Temple from R/GA London, agency specialising on digital camapigns. I was truly fascinated by this creative work combined with the good product and the storytelling around it, using the latest World Cup as an example – “The Game before the Game”.

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Following session was called “behind the pitch” and looked what clients are looking for when hiring an agency, pitching process, how all fits with compliance, selection criteria and more. I am planning to do a full article in the following weeks about this talk as I believe eventprofs can highly benefit from it.

This was my first Advertising Week Europe experience and I extremely enjoyed it. Not only I got very inspired by all these creative minds, but I also got new and fresh ideas, relevant to our industy which I haven’t seen or read about before. I also realised that sometimes it is good to take a step back from events and observe what is happening in other industries and what we can learn from each other. Will see you there next year!