Takeaways from Advertising Week New York 2023
Abby Long is the Senior Managing Editor at PMG.
As the curtains close on Advertising Week New York 2023 (AWNY), the marketing and advertising world has been left buzzing with insights and innovations from sessions, presentations, and conversations that will undoubtedly steer the course of our industry for years to come. With so many activations taking place across the city, it’s nearly impossible to catch all the news and events, so we’ve rounded up the most important takeaways, industry news, and partner updates coming out of this year’s Advertising Week New York conference.
AWNY attendees couldn’t escape the growing influence of artificial intelligence (AI) on the advertising industry, with a dedicated conference track and numerous sessions and panels focused on exploring AI’s use in advertising, media, and marketing. Panels dedicated to AI and machine learning drew huge crowds throughout the course of Advertising Week New York, as attendees sought ideas and conversations about the practical and ethical applications of AI in advertising—and its consumer privacy and brand safety implications. The resounding message from these sessions was clear: AI requires human guidance, with human ingenuity and creativity more important than ever as advertisers navigate AI transformation across the industry.
TikTok, YouTube, and Google, among others, capitalized on all the AWNY buzz to announce new features and updates, including TikTok’s Out of Phone digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising solution and Snap’s Creator Collab Campaigns. Netflix Vice President of Global Advertising Sales, Peter Naylor, took to the AWNY stage on Tuesday to unveil new audience insights and advertising features for the streaming platform. Netflix is introducing a variety of new advertising formats, including "title sponsorships," where a brand becomes the primary sponsor for a show or season. Smartfood by Frito Lay is the first brand to take advantage of this format, according to Naylor, and has been named the title sponsor for the upcoming season of Love Is Blind.
Netflix is also working on a new format, tentatively titled the "Binge" ad, which allows users to watch additional episodes of a series without ads after binge-watching a few episodes in a row. The catch? Users must first watch a marketing message. Netflix is expanding its sponsorship opportunities to live events as well, starting with "The Netflix Cup," a golf match featuring PGA and F1 stars. Brands such as T-Mobile and Nespresso have signed on to sponsor the event, where their messages will be seamlessly integrated into the live broadcast.
Retail media partners made a splash at this year’s event with several AWNY special events and speaker lounges sponsored by the industry’s largest retail media networks, like Target’s Roundel, as many featured speakers hailed from Albertson’s, Best Buy, and Kroger, to discuss the latest innovations in retail media technology. During Advertising Week, Kroger's retail media division, Kroger Precision Marketing (better known as KPM), announced an innovative solution in collaboration with The Trade Desk aimed at meeting advertisers’ growing demand for greater data usage flexibility. As Vice President of Media Sales at KPM Jill Smith shared, the new programmatic offering with The Trade Desk decouples KPM’s audience insights, inventory, and measurement data, enhancing the flexibility and data integration capabilities offered for advertising campaigns.
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From the growing influence of the creator economy to advanced measurement solutions and the ever-evolving realm of CTV and streaming—not to mention the transformative potential of retail media and AI—Advertising Week New York was true to its purpose, offering advertising and industry leaders a melting pot of new ideas and intelligence. As many speakers alluded to, advertising is undergoing a significant transformation, and the insights from Advertising Week New York will surely set the course for what lies ahead.