Market Trends

Written by The Marketing Team March 23, 2018

Highlights of Advertising Week Europe: 16 quotes we loved

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Bringing together media, marketing, brand and technology communities from throughout Europe, Advertising Week Europe featured over 175 workshops and seminars this year, focused on key trends and issues shaping today’s global industry.

We were there all week and wanted to share with you some of the soundbites that hit home for us. As you scroll through the quotes below, you’ll notice the breadth of subjects covered. With our social media advertising hat on as always, we’re giving you a wrap up of the week by reflecting on 16 of the best moments!

Throughout this blog post, we’ve provided various links to the session replays as well as the speaker’s profiles and businesses. Enjoy!

Artificial Intelligence in Advertising

1. Robots aren’t taking over

In this session, Melanie Cook of SapientRazorfish spoke about the need to ensure AI always serves our needs. She prefers ‘Augmented Intelligence’ to ‘Artificial Intelligence’, since its focus is much more on the collaboration between humans and machines, and the augmentation of capabilities that drives.

2. AI breaking down stereotypes

Mick Loizou, Director, Product Marketing and Demand Strategy at Oath, noted in this session that AI will enable marketers to revolutionize their approach. As AI becomes more powerful, and insights become deeper, the last elements of ’91guess work’92 in marketing will disappear. He also mentioned that AI could eventually mean we advertisers show less ads. We’re always striving towards delivering ads in right place and right time – but what about when it’92s not the right time and when displaying an ad to a user might have a negative effect? Mick’s point was that AI will enable advertisers to optimise their ads to a whole new level, and avoid ever giving users the feeling of being spammed.


In a panel session called ‘If you can predict the customer’s future, what will it mean for marketers?’, James Prudhomme of Index Exchange spoke on a similar subject to the quote above. AI will enable marketers to re-think the way they approach their work, giving them access to deeper and more actionable insights than ever before.


The ethics of AI seem to come up every time it’92s discussed at a conference these days. At Advertising Week Europe, Tabitha Goldstaub, co-founder of CognitionX, warned us all that it’92s every marketers responsibility to keep AI ethical and in the users’ best interests.


5. VR the ’91new frontier’92

In his session, Richard Nockles of Sky TV UK showcased some of the VR and AR content they have created, which is enabling their audience to experience things like a Formula One pit-lane in virtual reality. He focused on the immersive nature of VR and how it could be as big a revolution as the television was.

6. AR on Snapchat

Snapchat is driving AR forward and that was evident throughout Advertising Week Europe 2018. As well as the quote above, Peter Sellis (Director of Product Management and Monetization at Snapchat), spoke about the company’s strategy to focus its AR functionality primarily around the user’s face. “People care about themselves…so focussing AR on the face, with lenses, means that wherever they are, it’s still relevant”. Particularly interesting for advertisers, he mentioned that AR is no longer simply a top-of-funnel ‘awareness’ tactic – “we’ve proven branded lenses drive conversions and sales too”.


7. Focus on quality

Alex Cheeseman, Chief Strategy Officer at Contented (speaking specifically about video in this session), brought up a point that marketers should always remember: make sure you keep a focus on creating quality content, instead of just quick, copy-cat material that doesn’t bring any new value to the consumer.

8. the value of comedy

In his session, Trevor reminded us of the value of comedy in advertising. As a creative, he aims to create ads that become something that ’91lives with’92 consumers – a catch line or phrase, for example, that they adopt into their daily lives.


9. The ‘realness’ of Snapchat

Philip Schofield, a UK TV personality, was interviewed in a packed session on the Wednesday afternoon of Advertising Week, about his love of Snapchat. He said he loves the atmosphere around the platform and the lightness and fun of the experiences he’92s had. He also noted, ’93With Snapchat, it’92s like you’ve lit a torch under my teenage following.



10. The state of play

Another major theme of the conference was GDPR and Rebecca Stewart, reporter at The Drum, shed a light on the harsh reality of the situation. The majority of businesses today are still not confident they will be compliant by the 25 May deadline. There seems to be a general lack of clarity around what compliance even means and how to get there.


11. Burden of responsibility

Matthias Matthiessen, Director of Privacy and Public Policy at IAB Europe, mentioned the GDPR will bring a shift in the burden of responsibility. The onus will no longer be on regulators to ‘prove’ that a company has done something wrong, but rather on any company dealing with European personal data to prove they comply.

12. Steps to Readiness

Douglas McPherson of OpenX outlined a seven-point plan to GDPR readiness. His seventh point represents a change in mindset for companies dealing with the personal data of European citizens – the GDPR brings in a need to approach privacy as a design principle for every business activity.

13. Take Action

A final point from Douglas McPherson of OpenX was for companies to simply do what they can today, towards the ultimate goal of reaching GDPR compliance.  His advice for companies who feel like they are still far from reaching that goal was to target the ‘low-hanging fruit’ in existing processes. He feels that, at the May 25 deadline, regulators will at least want to see that businesses are making steps in the right direction, even if they are not yet fully compliant.

Measurement & Analytics

14. Unique approaches

Kathy Dykeman,  Director of Northern Europe & Global Accounts Marketing Science at Facebook, was part of a panel discussing the future of measurement. She noted that technologies like AI will enable a much more tailored and bespoke approach to measurement in the future, with businesses able to get more and more granular answers to the questions they really care about.


15. The ‘multi-tasking’ generation

Gen Z, or those born between the mid-90s and early 2000s, are the masters of multi-tasking. They’ve grown up ‘dual-screening’ and are able to engage with multiple different media almost at once. The panel mentioned that this can sometimes be mistaken for a low attention span, but they prefer to believe that ‘Gen Z-ers’ are simply better at engaging with what they find interesting and disengaging early with what they don’t.

16. Speak their language

Jordan Schwarzenberger is the kind of person who makes you wonder what you’ve been doing with your life. The 20-year-old Chief Creative Officer at James Grant Group is a guru of pop-culture and Gen Z. He felt that many brands simply don’t know how to speak this generation’s language, and aren’t able to connect to a group who place a huge amount of value on authenticity.

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