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Event Spotlight: Advertising Week New York 2023

Advertising Week New York returned for its 19th edition last week to bring together industry leaders across marketing, advertising, media, and technology. With two onstage speaking engagements, numerous fruitful on-the-ground meetings, and one unforgettable party, Wurl had a stellar week centered around excitement for what’s to come in the Connected TV (CTV) space.

It’s all about the data

A consistent theme across the board at Advertising Week was the role data plays in helping brands connect with consumers, especially within the CTV ecosystem.

Thought leaders recognized access to granular data and insights as a key differentiator in this new era of streaming. “It was always a little bit of throwing money at the wall and hoping that some of it stuck – and some of it did, but you don’t know how much of it was a waste,” said Tim Langlitz, Director of Audience Development at The E.W. Scripps Company speaking on Wurl’s panel about marketing in the age of traditional TV. “And, as someone whose background is ‘I want to know exactly how much this dollar I spent got me back,’ that would keep me up at night.”

Attendees gathered at THE PENN DISTRICT for Advertising Week New York 2023.

Georgina Thomson, Head of Investment, Beauty Co Lab at Omnicom similarly noted that the industry now has access to a lot of data that it didn’t previously with traditional TV. These insights, Thomson suggested, are especially important when it comes to knowing who you’re trying to target and not wasting money on users you’ve already converted.

On the topic of understanding one’s audience and how best to reach viewers, Dana Ortiz, Vice President of Platform Marketing & Emerging Brands at A+E Networks shared: “The edge that Wurl brings is helping us get really granular with who our target audience is.”

Industry thought leaders from A+E Networks and The E.W. Scripps Company joined Wurl onstage for a panel discussion around the future of FAST.

Addressing discoverability

With streaming outpacing cable as the most-watched viewing platform, the conversation surrounding CTV has shifted from how to get viewers to cut the cord to how to get the right content in front of the right audiences.

Speaking on a panel about “Improving the CTV Experience” moderated by LG Ad Solutions, Dani Benowitz, President of Global and U.S. at MAGNA, noted: “We need to find ways that are either AI-enabled or intuitive to get [content] in front of people.”

Wurl’s CEO, Ron Gutman, also spoke to the discoverability challenge onstage, noting that people don’t know how much content they have at their fingertips. Today, content has migrated to streaming, but viewership has not, Gutman added. We still see a gap between the average number of cable channels per household that viewers used to watch versus the average number of free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels they currently stream (the latter is much lower).

Wurl CEO, Ron Gutman, discussed “Bringing Performance Marketing to FAST” onstage at Advertising Week New York.

On the subject of FAST, other thought leaders suggested that the overwhelming choices and subscription options viewers now face on CTV will lead to increased adoption of free or lower-cost content. “Adoption will only rise,” said Nyma Quidwai, Vice President of Client Services and Inventory Partnerships at VIZIO Ads, speaking on free streaming services.

Championing diverse voices

Beyond CTV industry discussions around programmatic advertising, measurement, and discoverability, we saw a lot of great content at Advertising Week New York centered on highlighting diverse voices within the streaming space.

On a panel about “The Women Who Power WBD,” Sheereen Russell, Executive Vice President, Ad Sales and Client Partnerships at Warner Bros. Discovery, addressed what it looks like today to be an inclusive business and brand. “We lead from the place of servicing the audience first,” Russell said, noting the importance of viewers being able to see themselves represented on the big screen.

In a separate session, Oswald Méndez, Chief Marketing Officer at Canela Media, spoke about the growth of Hispanic viewership, pointing out that this group is “not a minority anymore” and platforms like Canela are a destination for such audiences today.

Celebrating big with mini golf

Advertising Week New York wouldn’t have been complete without a few great parties. In partnership with AppLovin and Meta, we welcomed industry peers, partners, and leaders to Swingers Crazy Golf for food, drinks, music, and mini golf, of course! It was the perfect way to connect with old friends and new.

Partygoers networked and enjoyed a few rounds of mini golf at Swingers Crazy Golf for AppLovin, Wurl, and Meta’s co-hosted event.

Thank you, Advertising Week New York, for another successful year!

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