AdAge Digital: Brands As Content Creators

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Live Blogging from the AdAge Digital

We’re here at Advertising Age‘s Digital Marketing Conference in New York. This is the first AdAge event to sell out, as they had to open a second room for simulcasting.

AdAge Editor Jonah Bloom emerges to greet the crowd. Among his comments, “[Digital] Coverage is often about excitement of technology and interaction with consumers, but not about monetization and how marketers should be involved. At AdAge we aim to change that.”

Jonah spent time with TV execs last week, and they are now talking about, “being in the business of video,” a marked change from just a few years ago.

We then played “bullshit bingo” with Jonah to identify the most misused term to be tossed around over the next two days, as voted by conference attendees: Web 3.0. We’ve already moved on from 2.0 people.


Claude Brodesser-Akner, AdAge’s LA Bureau Chief moderated the first panel, “Brands as Content Creators,” which included Frank Cooper, SVP Marketing, Pepsi-Cola, Mike Geiger, Director of Interactive Production, Goodby Silverstein and Partners, H. Mitch Kanner, CEO and Founder 2Degrees Ventures, Doug Scott, Sr. Partner and Executive Director, Ogilvy Entertainment.

Claude started out asking Frank Cooper if he can see Pepsi.com becoming a new media onto itself. Cooper wouldn’t go that far, saying, “I don’t know if we are a direct competitor to old media. The most important asset we have at Pepsi is our brands.” He said Pepsi doesn’t compete against old media companies, but they are creating broader forms of story.

H. Mitch Kanner goes on to say everything we are creating now is software, to a point. But how do you create contextual content? He cites FedEx / Castaway and Men In Black / Ray Ban as two good examples, but these came more organically than many other partnerships.

Doug Scott from Ogilvy says, “Brands should own entertainment, rather than rent it.” He started out at Red Herring, where they put out the first issue on a Mac. Taking a step back, Scott states, “Look at programs holistically, how are you going to promote them, advertise them, what are your partnerships. What is your PR strategy. The biggest mistake is not taking any risk at all. You have to get out there and try new things. Understand what measurement is going to be. Define success.”

Mike Geiger from Goodby reminds us to ask “why?” “People think ‘I need to be on Youtube,’ or ‘I need a widget,’ without thinking about what it really means.”