4A’s Annual Transformation Conference: The Idea Effect


4A's Transformation Conference

What shapes — and shakes — an industry like ours? You can count on ideas, storytelling, targeting, optimization and inspiration being center stage. And, they were at this year’s annual 4A’s Transformation conference in Los Angeles. What no one expected was the trembling that occurred as a 4.4-magnitude earthquake awoke many of us on the first full day.

It may have been a signal to what is taking place in our industry. While advertising values its position to create compelling brands, what was impressive to us was the prominence given to media, specifically digital, and the many impressive opportunities that are now on the horizon. Programmable. Realtime. Cross-media optimization and measurement.  The “currency” now moving from CPM to more behavioral. Issues of data, privacy and security signal the emerging importance of 1:1 marketing. Collaboration to convergence. And authenticity.

Platinum age of advertising

The CMO of American Express articulated it succinctly, “We are entering the platinum age of advertising.” Creating demand and desire through insights, creativity, information, and interpretation is our challenge. Another said that after years of dealing with an economic climate that has been risk averse and somewhat resistant, we are now entering a time that will be known for its growth, with advertising being the engine.

Keeping customers first. Celebrating innovation and success. Participating and sharing in the opportunities now available to our industry and our clients. Chevy’s CMO spoke about “Finding New Roads,” enlarging horizons and building sustainable demand as the marketing possibilities Chevy is pursuing.

Ryan Seacrest, host of “American Top 40” and “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” spoke on a panel related to radio. A favorite tweet from him: “Radio is more than just talk, now it’s also listening.”

The dynamics of our industry are rapidly changing, yet at the core; it’s still about the power of ideas to transform and drive demand and success. There’s a freshness to our industry. It’s shaking things up, but allowing us to conclude that this a great time to be doing what we’re doing for our clients.


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