AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, Fox Interactive head Jonathan Miller, R/GA founder Bob Greenburg, Interpublic CEO Michael Roth, Crispin Porter and Bogusky’s Chuck Porter, and many more we didn’t immediately identify were on hand for Advertising Week’s Opening Gala last night. (We were on AgencySpy’s turf, after all.)
The event moved this year to Times Square from Rockefeller Center. Bonus: use of giant flat screen in Times Square. Minus: The opening video played on the flat screen had an error and instead just showed random images of the crowd and podium.
Sunshine & Sachs, who is handling all PR for Advertising Week, had a team on hand, including partner Shawn Sachs. One S&S employee told PRNewser that the “Crash Test Dummies” costumes (pictured above alongside other brand icons in the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame portion of the event) were actually filled by S&S staffers. She was kind enough not to reveal their identities.
PR man (he still runs an agency, Plesser Holland Associates) turned video blog founder (Beet.tv) Andy Plesser had his video gear set up in the middle of it all. After the Time‘s Stuart Elliott declined him an interview, Plesser was quick to remind us that Beet.tv is up for an OMMA Award in the “Video-sharing” category. He said the site is doing “more original video than just about anyone as far as I can tell,” with 150,000 video views a month and recently inked distribution deals with TechCrunch and Huffington Post.
Back to Sunshine & Sachs – the agency found itself managing yet another busy day of events. Sachs informed us that Ken Sunshine was at another client function, a ribbon cutting at the new permanent site for the Frank Sinatra school of arts featuring Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto. S&S also managed a press conference for the innovative $1M Netflix contest, which pitted teams of engineers in a three-year contest to improve the site’s movie recommendation system. The press conference drew coverage in hundreds of outlets.
Sachs told PRNewser, “Companies announcing news around it [Advertising Week] is a vital sign that you have a living event.” Heather Lylis, who runs the Advertising Week account for Sunshine & Sachs said they had registered more than 200 press and that people had flown in from across the country. “It’s not just the ad trades anymore,” she said, citing involvement from CNBC, Bloomberg, BusinessWeek and The Wall Street Journal.
[Photo Credit: Matt Van Hoven]