April 13, 2010

ad:tech & Baseball's Opening Day Odyssey


If Charles Darwin, Babe Ruth or Stanley Kubrick were around today we expect they'd easily connect the dots between the dawn of the human race, the 2008 Baseball Opening Day and Day One of the ad:tech SF conference. If not, we're a monkey's uncle!

There's a good reason for this. For one, Ad:tech's muscle among Madison Avenue marketers is bursting at the seams. Unlike baseball, it hasn't needed steroids to do so. For another, the ad:tech conference brings out the best in us. It's all relative.

Ad:tech is not a "me too" experience, which is what makes it cool. Let's not kid ourselves. It's exciting to see two CEO's competing in the business arena on the same panel, pitching the audience for the same potential customers. Of course you'll certainly find some people and companies you can relate to. But rest assured, you'll also find people and companies you're bucking heads with in the marketplace. Which is why you need to be there. You don't want to become a dinosaur, do you?

The speakers leading off at ad:tech all testify to this. Why? They're all in first place! So are the exhibitors. Our team will be there. We've signed a number of All-Star bloggers and twitterers for the three day-triple header. With you there, once you get on base, we'll be the next at-bat with the MadAve bloggers who will put you in the batter's box with a first plate view of the keynote pitchers, in-field panelists and the exhibitors in the stands. Leading off for us is social marketing blogger and Co-Author of, "The Art of Conversation," Sean Howard. According to Advertising Age, Sean was selected as one of the "Power150" - a listing of the top 150 bloggers in the world. Check out his blog, humorously named, Craphammer.ca. Read a post or two and you'll quickly understand why he's taken so seriously.


Here's what he'll be looking for in the strike zone:


Sean: I'll be twittering live from the event and also posting about the sessions for those of you who can't attend. For those of you who will be attending, be sure to drop me a line so we can connect on-site! Here are some of the things I'm looking forward to seeing based on my first perusal of the lineup:

Keynote: George Kliavkoff, Chief Digital Officer, NBC Universal
It's gonna take one hell of a hangover for me to miss this session. With all the activity in the online video space (YouTube announces an open API, Hulu.com, Seesmic), I'm excited to hear his talk on "Consumers, Content and Control: Big Media in the Digital Age". It seems firms like NBC are starting to "get it" and are moving fast and furious to embrace this shift in entertainment and to leverage properties across channels and technologies.


Power Panel: Beyond the Pre-Roll - The State of Online Video
This one has my eye. Video has become a mix of broadcast and social media, a battle between professional and amateur and a fuel for increased fragmentation AND opportunities for leverage. And I'm very interested to see how these heavyweights view the state of video online and how/if they plan to investigate non-interruptive forms of advertising. Greg Baumann from Television Week, Rebecca Paoletti, the Director of Video Strategy for Yahoo!, Chris Allen from Starcom USA, Eric Hadley from Heavy.com, Mark Kapczynski from EyeWonder


Keynote: Jeffrey W. Hayzlett from Eastman Kodak
Okay. I've saved this one for last. I have to say I was quite surprised to see Kodak listed as a keynote. Frankly, I think of them as a dead consumer firm living out their final days as a provider of legacy products. I'm sure they disagree. ;) But that's what'll be cool about being at adtech. It will be neat to see what they are doing and where they are heading.


The way we see it is simple. Life is a game; competition is interesting and people are fascinated by it. They flock to it. On April 15th people will be celebrating Opening day all over the country. However there's no question that the one people will flocking to is in San Francisco.

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