Top 10 Must-See Ad Week Sessions for Monsters

Aw damn – even AdMonsters is embracing the listicle. But we’ve got a good excuse: Advertising Week celebrates its 10th anniversary of unleashing the marketing hordes on the Big Apple. The official guide to Ad Week is 263 pages long (warning: it’s full of ads) and the mobile app is a labyrinthine affair. But I selflessly treaded through the maze of Advertising Week sessions to find the stuff I knew would most appeal to Monsters. This does not include Charles Barkley or Kris Jenner.

You’re not an easy group to curate for – I decided to bypass all the “storytelling” sessions in favor of slots that promised real operational meat. In assembling this list, I also tried to leave out heavily stacked panels – what really can you get out of eight people trying to hog a stage?

And no, I don’t mention any sessions from Thursday, Sept. 26 because you should be at AdMonsters’ OPS – the three days of Ad Week prior are basically a warm-up, priming you for a full-day’s discussion on native advertising, programmatic, video and TV, mobile commerce and so much more…

But first, an important message from AdMonsters Content Czar Rob Beeler on making the most of Ad Week (and not looking like a jackass).

Rob Beeler Talks Advertising Week from AdMonsters on Vimeo.

Thanks Rob – mighty impressive wardrobe changes. Now the list:

10. Viewability. Here’s one for you: a publisher (Forbes), an agency (Horizon Media), an ad server/SSP (OpenX), a DSP (Turn) and a service provider (RealVu) walk onto a panel to discuss viewability. They (violently?) disagree. Monday, 12 pm at Lucille’s at BB King Blues Club.

9. Digital Video. I doubt you could find more interesting media operations – Newscorp, Discovery Communications, The Young Turks Network and Vice – to speak about the evolution of digital video, especially as digital content producers push to gain audience share across a wealth of screens. Tuesday, 1 pm at Lucille’s at BB King Blues Club.

8. Data Congress. To be fair, this is actually a two-hour shindig with multiple parts, including a kickoff speech by upcoming PubForum keynote Shelly Zallis of Ipsos Marketing. Following that is a big data breakdown led by Bryan Melmed, Director of Insight Services for Exponential Interactive, then a “roundtable” with representation from MLB Advanced Media, Axciom and MediaMath; and ending with a case study from GfK. Should be intense. Tuesday, 4:05 pm at Times Hall Center.

7. Intersection of Physical and Digital. A big topic at OPS this year, this should be a fun trip led by the always interesting Andrew Deitchman, Co-Founder & CEO of Mother, with special guests from Firstmark Capital and Virgin Special Pojects. Tues., 1 pm at BB King Blues Club.

6. Second Screen. Not second sight, which has long eluded the advertising world. No, this session led by VivaKi’s The Pool (we are fans) brings together Kraft, Viacom, Zeebox and MediaVest to examine case studies where simulscreen efforts are successfully monetized. Yes, that can be done. Wed., 11:45 am at Times Center Hall.

5. Can I get some privacy? You got some nerve to ask – the third annual iteration of Ad Week’s privacy forum ties Edward Snowden’s leaks about government suirveilance (thanks to participation from The Guardian) together with public policy. You have to admit, the digital privacy debate has taken an interesting turn since knowledge of the NSA’s comprehensive surveilance plan became widespread, and with increased adoption of device identification technology, the regulatory road ahead seems hazy at best. Monday, 2 pm at Liberty Theater.

4. Mobile is turning marketing on its head! That may sound like a generic title, but the right people are commenting – with UM Global Chief Media Officer David Cohen and Digitas SVP of Media Adam Shlachter on the panel, this may be the best stop to get the agency perspective on the future of mobile. Monday, 9 am at Times Center Hall.

3. Disruption. Another one for the peeps: Mindshare North America CEO Colin Kinsella and Conde Nast Chief Innovation Officer Drew Schutte are two of the sharpest minds on the agency and publisher sides, respectively – I can’t wait to hear their thoughts on coming shakeups. Also, Barbarian Group has been invovled in some of the most engaging and groundbreaking campaigns of the last five years. Monday, 10 am at Liberty Theater.

2. My Dinner With Tim. Just don’t take his picture – CEO Tim Armstrong has helmed a mighty turnaround for long beleaguered AOL, but not all of his moves (cough, Patch) have paid dividends. It’ll be curious to get his thoughts on AOL’s next steps, as well as digital media as a whole. Monday, 11 am at Hard Rock Cafe.

1. “The Best Worst Idea.” We should strive to learn from our mistakes… as well as from others. So much of Ad Week is about hailing “success” (i.e., gloating) that a session that boldly salutes failure seriously stands out. Monday, 5 pm at Times Center Stage.

Of course, these are just our suggested sessions curated by Advertising Week – exciting partner events include IAB’s MIXX, a two-day soiree (Sept. 23-34) highlighted by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell. And Monday, Sept. 23 also marks the Mobile Media Summit – if mobile is your bread and butter (or just your chief troublemaker), you probably don’t want to miss this impressive lineup.

It may be just as hard to miss the Mobile Marketing Association’s Monday-Tuesday conference SM2, which boasts Walmart EVP and CMO Stephen Quinn on top of its marquee of mobile talent. If you’re looking for excitement on Wednesday night, NYC digital advertising society 212 will be hosting #NYCSTARTSUP alongside The New York Times. Find out which of the three finalist startups most impresses a panel of judges that includes UM’s Cohen, Unilever’s Babs Rangaiah, L’Oreal’s Rachel Weiss and more.

And Thursday, Sept. 26 brings you OPS at 82 Mercer in SoHo, which you can read about in grand detail here… Space is limited – jump on the train now.