After some industry executives criticized last year’s event for lacking a clear mission and focusing too heavily on advertising’s famous icons --a symbol of the industry’s past, not the future,
|The Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales will make an appearance in Manhattan as part of Advertising Week.
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“We want to raise advertising’s visibility, celebrate creativity and its contribution to the economy and attract young people to the industry,” said O. Burtch Drake, president of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, which conceived the first Advertising Week last year. “It’s primarily a [business-to-business] event; consumers are our last audience,” he said.
Conferences, seminars, award shows
The centerpiece of the week, Sept. 26-30, will be individual conferences, meetings, events and award programs from 31 ad industry groups using the week as a catalyst to conduct business. The 4A's, for example, will hold its account management conference during the week and American Business Media will host its Creative Excellence in Business Advertising (CEBA) awards. Supplementing those are special conferences and programs -- including Advertising Age’s Madison & Vine East and Ad Age Group sibling publication Creativity’s No Spot Film Festival -- and about 50 seminars, panels and keynote speakers focused on everything from Hispanic advertising trends to music marketing.
Of course, this being an ad industry gathering, Advertising Week also plays host to a roster of parties and concerts, including Monday’s exclusive opening night gala at the United Nations and, afterward, Fluid’s Battle of the Bands at Irving Plaza, where last year’s winners, McKinney & Silver, will defend its title against 10 other agency bands.
Bud's Clydesdales come to big city
The public will still play a part in Advertising Week, Mr. Drake said. There will be online voting for the top advertising icons and slogans, to be inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertiser Walk of Fame. There will also again be a procession of advertising icons from Times Square to Madison Avenue; this year, Budweiser’s team of Clydesdale horses will make their first trip into New York in 30 years.
“[The icons] offer lots of engagement and touch points with consumers,” Mr. Drake said, "but they’ll be less centric to the look and branding of the week.” Mr. Drake also promises the Web site (www.advertisingweek.com) will be easier to navigate, designed to help industry outsiders know what’s open to the public.
Visits to other cities
Advertising Week also dropped “in New York” from its name this year and said it may in the future spin off daylong events in other key industry markets.
Here are some highlights from the event, Sept. 26-30: