P&G, Best Buy, Google, EA, Twitter Headline Ad Age's Digital Conference April 6-7

Big Brands, Startups and VCs Talk About What's Working -- and What's Not

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In less than three weeks, marketers, publishers, agency executives, digital strategists, creative technologists and internet entrepreneurs will descend on New York for Ad Age's fifth annual Digital Conference, where they will share their visions for the digital and emerging media landscape, along with their stories of what's working and what's not.

The video-gaming industry has gone through massive changes, adapting what has historically been a hit-driven console-game model to thrive in the exploding world of casual, social and mobile games -- and no one is better evidence of that than Electronic Arts. CEO John Riccitiello will open up the two-day event with a look at the rapidly changing gaming landscape and the content, audiences and platforms it encompasses.

But gaming is a microcosm of the marketing and media world writ large. Later in the day, Dell Chief Marketing Officer Karen Quintos, Best Buy Senior VP Drew Panayiotou, Lexus CMO Dave Nordstrom and Converse CMO Geoff Cottill will join Nielsen's Steve Hasker for a discussion on the importance of "Digital DNA," focused on how digital innovation fits into their larger marketing pictures.

Twitter used last year's Digital Conference to announce its "promoted tweets" and a year later we'll revisit the concept as Twitter President of Global Revenue Adam Bain gives us a look at the platform's continuing monetization efforts and an inside look at Twitter's advertising efforts to date, insights on what's working and a taste of what's to come. Meanwhile Radio Shack CMO Lee Applbaum will offer up a case study on how it dove into social media, using tools such as Twitter's promoted and sponsored tweets.

Among the other topics covered:

  • Social shopping and group-buying platforms are becoming increasingly important tools. Alex Tosolini, Proctor & Gamble's VP-global e-business, a newly created position, will give his company's perspective on these trends in e-commerce.
  • As content creators are increasingly looking to emerging media as viable distribution platforms, many in the industry are bracing for a head-on collision between TV and the internet. In one panel, we'll look at how the incumbents are evolving and how new players, like Idan Cohen, co-Founder of Boxee, are innovating, as both sides vie for the same territory. Others, like Marcelo Guerra, VP-digital marketing at Showtime, and Christy Tanner, exec VP, TVGuide.com and TV Guide Mobile, see the plethora of new channels and platforms as complementary to traditional broadcast vehicles.
  • The conference is designed to bring the technology, marketing and media communities together, and speakers such as Michael Wolf , Activate's Anil Dash and Union Square Venture's Brad Burnham will address what big brands and media can learn from startups.

Kicking off the second day, Google's VP-global marketing, Lorraine Twohill, will give a rare inside look at how Google sees itself as a marketer. To cap off day two, Arianna Huffington will discuss her new role at AOL, the controversial "The AOL Way," content aggregation's role -- or lack thereof -- in modern journalism, and new-media editorial philosophies.

Finally, continuing a tradition started last year, Ad Age will host its second annual Viral Video Awards on the evening of April 6.

See Ad Age Digital Conference 2011 for the full lineup.

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