Instagram, Mario Batali and Rachel Dratch Join Ad Age Digital 2014

Ad Age's Biggest Event of the Year April 1-2 In Lower Manhattan

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Mario Batali is coming to Ad Age Digital 2014
Mario Batali is coming to Ad Age Digital 2014

Two weeks out, the agenda for Ad Age Digital 2014 is finally locked down and we've got some new additions to announce:

When it comes to aesthetics in social media, Instagram sets the standard, which is why the photo sharing service treaded very carefully before inserting ads into the stream. Instagram's business chief Jim Squires is ducking out of a Facebook all-hands to join us and talk about it. (Thanks, Jim!)

We're also really excited to welcome chef, restaurateur, veteran celebrity and Crocs-wearing icon Mario Batali to the Ad Age Digital stage. Mr. Batali has two new series debuting this spring, "Feedback Kitchen" on Dailymotion and "The High Road With Mario Batali" on Hulu. In a keynote coversation, we'll talk about the difference between creating for the web and for TV, working with brands, and how he connects with his fans on an individual basis through social media.

On the first night of Ad Age Digital, we take a break from the keynotes and panels to honor the very best branded storytelling in the world at the Viral Video Awards. This year we have a very special host: former "Saturday Night Live" cast member and geniune funny person, Rachel Dratch. Most recently, Ms. Dratch is author of the memoir, "A Girl Walks Into a Bar: Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters and a Midlife Miracle."

But you probably remember her best as "Debbie Downer."

The VVAs of course honor the agencies and brands behind the most-shared and most-viewed video campaigns of the year, among other things, but we also want you to help us decide who gets a VVA, so if you haven't yet, help us pick: the funniest, best stunt and most important ads of the year.

The latest additions fill out two days of excellent programming at Ad Age Digital 2014 this April 1-2, taking place for the first time at Pier 36 in Lower Manhattan.

Ad Age Digital is the only event that brings the entire value chain of advertising and marketing under one roof from brands to agencies, social platforms to startups. You can peruse the whole program at but here are some further highlights:

  • Mark Addicks, CMO, General Mills
  • John Borthwick, CEO, Betaworks
  • Rich Greenfield, managing director, media and technology analyst, BTIG
  • Clive Sirkin, CMO, Kimberly-Clark
  • Lynn Vojvodich, CMO, Salesforce
  • Pete Blackshaw, global head, digital and social media, NestlĂ©
  • Eli Pariser, co-founder, Upworthy
  • Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO, Vaynermedia
  • Mike Hopkins, CEO, Hulu
  • Jim Bankoff, CEO, Vox Media
  • Liza Landsman, CMO, E-Trade
  • Rei Inamoto, chief creative officer, AKQA