Velocidi at Advertising Week New York

Advertising Week can be VERY overwhelming when you are in the thick of it each day. With back-to-back sessions all day for four days in a row, and nightly networking and events, add to that the fact that the conference is spread out in multiple venues all around Times Square, AdWeek can be one exhausting conference! Luckily, Advertising Week live-streamed and recorded every single session so if you missed anything, you know you can always go back and watch later.


Now that we’ve had a little time to decompress, we wanted to go back and share our take on a few sessions that hit home for us, with streaming links so you can see them for yourself. Of course quite a few of the sessions related to data are amongst our favorites, but we there are plenty others that we enjoyed as well.

Here’s our list. 

Customer value and loyalty – driven through data insights

Speakers: Chip Hall, Andy Main, Todd Paris, Mo Rhim, Reggie Panaligan

Run time: 41 min.


Paramount Pictures’ Mo Rhim and Reggie Panaligan definitely have their teams on the right track in the effort to fully leverage their customer data across channels. They covered everything from bringing data together into a unified view, to getting the right processes in order and asking the right questions of your data. We were surprised to hear them say it takes a long time to bring data together from different sources, given that this is exactly one of the problems that marketing intelligence solves for, but we were otherwise impressed by how organized they were in general. 

In order to be in the driver’s seat on customer loyalty, you need to own your customer data in house. Big players like Google have plenty of helpful tools that can help you manage your data, but in the end, they have your data not you. Paramount Pictures shared some good insights on the value of owning your customer data.

Building a Brand in a Mobile First World


Speakers: Harry Kargman, Jessica Alba, Neil Blumenthal

Run time: 53 min.

In this session, Harry Kargman of Kargo Mobile interviewed both Jessica Alba, actress and founder of The Honest Company, and Neil Blumenthal, CEO of Warby Parker. Both are great examples of people who saw an opportunity to disrupt the status quo, and found a strategic, authentic, and customer-centric way to do that by doing their own research and coming up with new insights. Both are hugely successful business people, but Jessica Alba dominated the conversation. It was a highly engaging and insightful session overall. You would not waste your time by watching.

Trust, Safety & The Pursuit of Transparency

Jason Kint, David Kohl, Sarah Warner, Jess Barrett

Run time: 40 min.

One main theme of this session was that whether you’re a in a brand or an agency, if your organization has money going toward programmatic ads, you need to educate yourself on how programmatic works, and what you are really getting for your money. Jess Barrett, Head of Programmatic at Financial Times represented the publisher side on this panel. She shared that when she’s tried to engage a brand manager in conversation about the inventory they are buying, and how they might get better results, most often the brand manager will take evasive maneuvers and refer her to someone else. This is a mistake. Even if you’re not directly part of the media buying process, brand managers need to fully understand the impact of their marketing spend on all fronts, including programmatic.

P.S. Talk to us if you are interested in getting a holistic view of the impact of your marketing spend.

In A Post-Truth World, How Should Brands Behave?

Speakers: Spencer Baim, Keith Weed, Laura Correnti, Nick Nyhan

Run time: 44 min.

It’s easy to get used to thinking of data as numbers in an Excel sheet, but the definition of “data” emcompasses so much more. As a result, the term “data-driven marketing” conjures an image of marketing overrun by math and statistics. That’s why  it was especially interesting and impressive to hear from Keith Weed, CMO of Unilever (a company that already has such a wealth of the quantitative type of consumer data) share how his team used unaided conversation research to delve deeper into the mindset and voice of the consumer. When it comes to building trust between the brand and your consumers, a personal touch is sometimes needed.

Minding the Machines: Solving the Tech Transparency Problem

Speakers: Tim Mahlman, Jason White, Danielle Smith, John Montgomery

Run time: 44 min.

The hot topics in this session were unsafe inventory problem, non viewability, and fraudulent inventory. Our tech ecosystem has a very clear transparency problem, but the blame keeps getting shifted around. Brands tend to see themselves as faultless and therefore not responsible for making improvements, but without brands guiding the process and putting their money where their mouths are, it’s difficult to make changes. Agencies and tech companies on the other hand, need to continually propose and implement new ways to ensure media quality and transparency, including third-party measurement and verification.

The bottom line is that media buyers want to know that they are buying quality inventory. In fact, it was suggested during the session that if media quality improved by 50%, brands would have no problem with increased costs. What do you think?

More stream-worthy sessions:

Build Your Brand With An Oath

Speakers: Tim Armstrong, Julia Boorstin

Measuring Up

Speakers: Scott McDonald, Chris Kelly, Mark Rabe, Antonio Tomarchio, David Wong

An Uncomfortable Conversation with CMOs and The Marketing Society

Speakers: Gemma Greaves, Angela Ceccarelli, Rashmy Chatterjee, Jason Chebib, Michelle Froah

Creativity to the Power of Consulting

Speakers: Lindsay Stein, André Alguero, Barbara Goose, Evan Slater

Will Data and Digital Resurrect TV?

Speakers: Dr. Mehmet Oz, Molly Schweickert, Zvi Cole, Lee Boykoff, Duke Perrucci, Stephanie Abrams Cartin

Cannabis Crossover: The World's Largest Untapped Consumer

Speakers: Drake Sutton-Shearer, Chrystal Ortiz, Joel and Benji Madden, Cy Scott, David Bell, Eric Eslao, Circe Wallace, Jessica Seinfeld, Jason Adler, Josh Otten, Kate Denton, Pamela Hadfield, Robert Rosenheck

Why Purpose Wins: How Howard Schultz Built Starbucks

Speakers: Chris Altchek, Howard Schultz

Did you see any particularly stream-worthy sessions that we missed? Feel free to return the favor! Let us know on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter by tagging @Velocidi.

Stay tuned for a recap of our first experience attending MarTech Conference.

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