New York Advertising Week Wrap 2019


New York Advertising Week took place last week, with 98,000 attendees across 4 days, with almost 300 seminars, workshops, dinners and of course the odd party. Here are some themes from the week.

Details and Implications

Audio was making a lot of noise: There were loads of sessions focussing on the power of audio to connect with and engage consumers. Sessions with titles such as ‘The Voice Shift’, ‘A Brand Strategy in Audio’ and ‘The Neuro Science of Audio Messaging’ all spoke to the power of audio, the spoken word and the way in which voice – whether a podcast or a virtual assistant – is playing a role in the modern media mix. And the content wasn’t just confined to one stage sponsored by a relevant audio brand, you could find sessions on the Story Crafters Stage, Culture Builders Stage, Entertainment Stage and Insight Drivers Stage. Mindshare USA’s Janet Levine, Leader, Invention+ sat down with speakers from Acast, Right Side Up and Complex Media to discuss the evolution of the podcast industry. Check out the session here.

Commerce is the new black: Always excited about a shiny thing, the industry this year could not get enough of DTC brands and what makes them tick. Session with titles such as ‘Collaboration Among New World Brands’, ‘The Rise of Shape Shifting Experience Platforms’ and ‘Reinventing Retail – How to Think Like DTC Start Ups’ all promised to reveal the secrets of these new consumer orientated brands. Amazon was also a hot topic, with panels dedicated to understanding how the commerce behemoth is ‘Reshaping Shopper Marketing’. Mindshare USA’s Hannah Rapaport, Partner, Associate Director, penned a piece looking at how ‘Omni Customer is the New Omni Channel’ Read it here. Also, Allison Kelsoe, Manager, Strategic Planning covered a session with the big title ‘The Future of Retail’, read her conclusions here – its mobile, personal and experiential if you were wondering.

Content and Influencers (and TikTok): The week was also a chance for the industry to take a deeper look at the world of influencer and content marketing. Influencer has been under some scrutiny this year with questions over measurement, an absence of standards and fraud. So, it was no surprise to find Ad Week offering sessions with titles such as ‘The Future of Influencer’, ‘Influencer Marketing #Trustissues’ and ‘Breaking the Barriers of Influence’. Mindshare USA’s Jodie Huang, Manager, Insights wrote a wrap up on the ‘Future of Influencer’ session which you can read here. It’s an $8bn business now and is predicted to grow to $15bn by 2022, despite its many growing pains. Content Marketing was also well represented across the agenda, but much of it was through the lens of the influencer (hence the bundle up in this report). Sessions such as ‘The Future of Content Marketing’ and ‘The Combination of Influence and Authenticity’ discussed the power of content marketing but also what needs to change to attract more investment. You can read Mindshare USA’s report on ‘The Future of Content Marketing’ here, where panellists want to see more measurement of the power of the approach. Finally, TikTok’ s session, ‘The Future is Unconventional – TikTok’s Path to Disrupting the Disruptors’, was interesting because there is so little data on the platform as yet. TikTok VP Blake Chandlee was joined on stage by Gary Vaynerchuk and the chat ranged from whether the platform is a social network or a content platform, to how many users it has ‘not a billion, but not half that either’ according to Chandlee. One thing is for sure, brands are experimenting on the platform and Vaynerchuk believes in it, even if it doesn’t have longevity, urging brands to think about the attention opportunity and engagement gained right now.


New York Ad Week polarises opinion somewhat. Some love it, others hate it. What you can’t deny is that it attracts big numbers in the industry to discuss big issues and as a platform for debate, it’s hard to match – check out some of the special reports below.

Further Reading: Ad Age Special Report | WARC | Forbes I Mindshare in the Loop