It's Advertising Week, and you know what that means: Over the next four days, a flurry of mid-level digital gurus and "brand ambassadors" with semi-familiar celebrity faces, along with an occasional brand CMO, will descend upon Times Square to talk about programmatic advancement, the importance of diversity and millennial outreach.
The mostly "pay to play" programming, with nearly 300 panels, events and parties, is plentiful—perhaps too plentiful—and the hustling back and forth between 18 different venues could harden even the most enthusiastic of attendees. Yet the week does have its merits—and not just interesting moments like Ad Age reporter Lindsay Stein's snub by Meg Ryan. (Lindsay told Ryan how much she loves her movies; the actress said, "Okay..." and walked away, leaving Lindsay with an apologetic PR person.)
Ad Age staffers, resigned to covering the annual spectacle, break down the week by the numbers, below:
98,000: The expected number of attendees at Advertising Week this year. Craigslist is going to get weird.
$1,699: Cost for one "Platinum Delegate" pass, which includes VIP Lounge access, fast-track entrance to some events and other perks.
320: Pages in the Advertising Week catalog. Talk about a "September issue." At least it could double as a door stopper in October.
91: "Corporate" and "Gold" Partners listed on the Advertising Week website. You'll be seeing a lot of those logos this week.
22: Panels touting the word "millennial." Good luck finding any there.
10: Activations, including a morning coffee truck, pizza lunch truck and photo booth.
7: Events tackling the "diversity" issue in advertising. That's a new one.
6: Events boasting transparency as a topic. How transparent are we about our feelings regarding Advertising Week?
4: Actresses on panels talking about their brands. Not quite at Cannes levels yet, but getting there. Opportunity alert for any budding actor-entrepreneurs eager to hone their Hollywood exit strategies.
3: Panel appearances by Keith Weed, global marketing and communications officer of Unilever. But how many outfit changes?
2: The number of Chainz who will be performing at the Nucleus wrap party Thursday night.
1: Panel featuring Mr Peanut. Fun fact: his full name is Bartholomew Richard Fitzgerald-Smythe. Also, he drives a nutmobile.
0: Original thoughts.