Nov 4th 2014

ad:tech reaches New York

The annual ad:tech conferences have been in full force the past few months around the world. Hot off the heels from ad:tech London, this week the conference is moving back across the Atlantic for ad:tech New York. So, what did we see recently in the UK and what can we expect to see in the Big Apple?

At any event, it’s usually the speakers that steal the show, and ad:tech London did not disappoint. Marketing and media executives from Unilever, Barclays and Coca Cola to name a few gave speeches, but of course, as always, it was Sir Martin Sorrell from WPP who stole the spotlight.

Sorrell spoke of his recent confusion regarding the debate around transparency in the programmatic ad trading market and his predictions for the future. He let the crowd know that he believes China, Brazil and India are more ahead of the game when it comes to mobile than parts of the western world.  He also warned that marketers need to remain paranoid in order to stay ahead of digital trends.

As PR professionals, that’s something we’re constantly trying to stay ahead of here at Babel, so we do in some way agree with Sorrell regarding the need to remain vigilant. It’s definitely an exciting challenge remaining in tune with digital developments.

Other highlights from the London show included honouring the importance of tech start-ups. From our point of view, that’s something we really like to see. Industry executives from Unilever, Diageo and Shop Direct formed part of a panel to find the best up and coming tech business. The award went to Seenit, a company that helps brands to create videos with their audiences.

A major industry event such as ad:tech London wouldn’t be complete without the ruckus it causes on social media. According to Social Bro, 3,500 tweets were sent throughout the two day event from 2,500 accounts. The most hashtagged words were ‘marketing’ (no big surprise there!) and ‘programmatic’ showing one of the industry’s most debated issues still continues to reign strong and will most likely do so into 2015 also.

In New York this week, we’ll see keynotes from MTV, BuzzFeed, Walmart and Pinterest. In keeping with the London show, we’ll also see the spotlight shine on start ups at the event’s Startup Spotlight Series, which looks to recognize the most innovative young companies in marketing today. #adtechNY, we’ll be watching!