…and After Work, Much Play.

On the second-to-last night of the conference, AdForum organized its annual dinner at a restaurant called Public. This is the night when the heads of agencies can loosen their ties alongside search consultants, then everyone gets all fluid and friendly.

Here are a few shots to prep the palate (the rest are here). A couple were taken at other points in the week, when people found time to giggle, gossip or — in some cases — dance.

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Burning Beds with David Jones; Sorrell Stresses Importance of Travel

Friday the 9th, the last day of AdForum’s summit, was a treat. The morning kicked off with a buffet-style breakfast at the Thompson and a talk from Global CEO,Havas Worldwide and  Euro RSCG Worldwide David Jones.

Instead of rendering search consultants comatose about why Havas is a special network that gets the social media/digital thing, he talked mostly about a project of particular importance to himself and his agency: Tck Tck Tck, a mostly-crowdsourced effort to raise awareness about climate change.

Not to say he didn’t discuss Havas-related issues at all; he said the holding company is working on turning Arnold into a global micro-network. It is also in relatively little debt compared to its competitors: a mere $40 million, give or take.

As for the topic most salient: Tck Tck Tck began as a way to encourage governments to throw their weight behind the Copenhagen Summit in December and sign a deal that moves business forward while protecting the environment. Over two million people worldwide have registered, and the British government recently voiced support. A number of musicians key figures (including Kofi Annan) and artists have also donated talent to the message. Check out their music video, Beds are Burning.

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Social Media: Brand Slaves or Brand Masters?

On the fourth day of the AdForum Worldwide Summit, we were treated to Social Media & Mobility: Brand Servants or Brand Masters?, a set of presentations and debate among people that carved niches into the nebulous frontier of digital communications. This list of thought leaders included Jerry Johnson of Brodeur, Nicco Mele of EchoDitto, Emily Nagle Green of Yankee Group and Joe Trippi of Joe Trippi & Associates. You may recall the latter as a shaping force of the Howard Dean campaign that, with help from social media, began well enough — and ended like this.

Johnson kicked off by telling us that in the future, our grandchildren will look back on two historical anomalies of our time: retirement and broadcasting. Then he dispelled a series of myths about social media. They follow thus.

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Incognito Integration, Elephant Parables and Carbonated Pop: Draftfcb, Wunderman and Arcade

Draftfcb

vodacom-been-having-it

Our first stop yesterday was Draftfcb, where familiar faces with crisp suits greeted us with breakfast bits. President/CEO Laurence Boschetto kicked off by telling us what he’d cover:

  • What the agency’s been up to for the last three years
  • How the model’s advanced
  • What the future holds
  • The work

So we began at the beginning. Where’s Draftfcb been for the last few years? Hunkering down post-merger, mainly, and trying to ensure integration didn’t result in too many inefficiencies. As a result — you’ll notice Draftfcb always comes back to the bottom line — 2009 was a record year for them, despite the economic downturn.

As for how they work, the model is simple enough. Their proprietary ad measurement tool divulges that a company only has 6.5 seconds to win the heart and mind of a user. So Draftfcb came up with 6.5 Seconds that Matter, a formula for producing solid work.

The model is based on the premise that your crucial 6.5-second idea lives at the intersection of two things: a little-known fact that changes how you think about a brand (internally known as the “holy shit” number), and an insight.

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