7×7: It Just Went Over 49 Minutes (Surprise)

By Kiran Aditham 

So, we went to Saatchi & Saatchi NY’s “7×7” Advertising Week event just a couple of hours ago to represent our old editor/partner-in-crime MVH, who of course returned the favor by pointing out yours truly just before his speech in front of the whole audience (say 200-250 strong) at B.B. King’s in Times Square. Anyh0w, Saatchi NY’s CCO Con Williamson, the first of the “7,” prefaced things by discussing his travels to the agency’s New Zealand office, witnessing a rugby match and how this applied to winning a certain global account yesterday, though he didn’t say which  (*cough* Trident *cough*).

Following his rather humble intro, Williamson ceded the mic to Fast Company editor Jason Feifer, who provided an anecdote on how he actually learned he had lost his sense of smell (and taste). He might have gone over his time limit, as most did, but Feifer’s speech was more like a medical case study, in which you realize the tricks our own minds can play on us when it comes to our senses.


Anyhow, there was also Contagious director Jess Greenwood, who in her speech compared being tops in marketing/advertising to baseball (it appears the young lady is a rabid fan judging from her slideshow and her knowledge of the last perfect pitch as well as the dissing of the Boston Red Sox for their collapse at the end of the season).

In addition, the audience heard a diatribe about bald discrimination from Headblade inventor Todd Greene (nice touch with the Curb Your Enthusiasm clip), a biography from legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen (complete with a ton of his awesome pics in a slideshow) as well as Mr. Van Hoven’s impassioned speech about online privacy and human rights (he’s come so far *tear*). But, Saatchi saved the best for last with comedian/musician Reggie Watts, who’s actually from Seattle but could’ve had those unfamiliar with him fooled with his perfect British accent and fluid way with words. For his triumphant conclusion, Watts (below) went into music/hip-mode and used his FX boxes and sampler to create a tune to encapsulate the day’s events. It was fun and jammy and was completely out of context, which is just the way it should be.

Despite the various tangents of the hour-long event, we appreciate the fact that somehow every speech was tethered tightly or (very) loosely to advertising and marketing. On to the Battle of the Ad Bands tonight.