Whether you love it or feel obligated to it, Advertising Week is a comin’. From September 22-26, the Big Apple will be jam packed with advertising heads click-clacking on Blackberrys and tracking down the open bars. From AdAge’s quick fix list to Joesph Jaffe’s diss on their Web 1.0 outlook, the festival took some shots. So, we decided to ask Matt Scheckner, Exec director of the Week, to address those concerns. After the jump, find about celebrity speakers (get your stonewashed jeans out – Jon Bon Jovi is coming), diversity, how AW is going to do some good and if there was is jazz in store for attendees.
1. Diversity has been a hot topic in the industry this year and I know Advertising Week and Adrants are big on pushing diversity. Which ad agencies have signed on to participate in your program this year?
“About 40 have signed on to GeneratioNext and Advertising Futures. No one we have asked has said no. The big win here is Advertising Week has succeeded in working with the City to build a dedicated high school – - the High School for Innovation, Advertising & Media, which opens next week in Canarsie, Brooklyn. And our GeneratioNext program is building a state of the art Media Lab for the school, investing a very healthy six figure sum. Among those participating are: Deutsch; TBWA, Tribal DDB, kirshenbaum bond + partners, Vigilante, Gardner-Nelson, Cliff Freeman, Grey, McCann, Mindshare, JWT, BBDO, UniWorld, Gotham, The Vidal Partnership, MPG… On and On.”
2. Some people feel that Advertising Week is for the old guard. I see you have the Gen Next program up and running again, but I’m wondering do you happen to know the break down of ages for Advertising Week? Has Advertising Week done anything this year to close the perceived “gap” between the demographics?
“Some people?” Who? I guess our old friend Burtch was old, but he retired.
The Week in point of fact skews young . . . Just look at the talent and, in turn, the audience, for the GeNext evening events (ex: Outkast’s Big Boi and Pharrell Williams band, N*E*R*D) and also who goes to Yahoo! Billboard Live. Or, who participates on stage or attends the Adobe Battle of the Ad Bands . . . Or the Facebook GeneratioNext Wrap Party. All are young professionals in their 20′s and early 30s, as are the majority of attendees at the Seminars.”
3. Is Advertising Week offer any panels, talks, etc. that deal with social media?
“Of course… Facebook has a three part series on Social Media. and Social Media as well as the other “White Hot” area of the business, Mobile, are both heavily treated. We’ve also got a really cool “Leading Edge” technologies Seminar which is getting a lot of buzz.”
4. Last year, there was an outcry for AW to do more than just offer panels and talks. In fact, Jonah Bloom (Editor of AdAge) suggested that all that talent under one roof should get together and do something “good” following the vein of Droga5′s Tap Water Project. Does Advertising Week have anything planned where the industry gets together and uses their power to do something good for the outside world?
“You bet – - Building a public high school in Brooklyn dedicated to Advertising & Media is as “Concrete” as it gets. We’re also working on something HUGE with the United Nations on climate change, which should be fully baked on our timeline for this year. And Advertising Futures engages 500 high schools students and has grown to half a dozen markets outside NYC.
And, ironically, we are recognizing UNICEF and the Tap Project at the kick-luncheon.”
5. Last year, there was some noise about there not being big enough names hosting the panels and lectures. What big names are going to be on the dias’ at this year’s festival?
“How about Jon Bon Jovi, Lorne Michaels, Emeril, Mark Cuban, Steve Nash and Jimmy Wales
Keep those cards & letters coming and thanks for the interest.”