Brand leaders and new features boost ad:tech London marketplace

Brand leaders and new features boost ad:tech London marketplace

ad:tech has been a key industry fixture in the UK for brands, agencies and publishers for nearly a decade.

As the final preparations are put in place for ad:tech London - the sole European event in the global series - organiser dmg is promising an extended programme of world-class speakers and a new-look marketplace.

Industry leaders such as Heineken global head of digital Paul Smailes, Unilever senior vice-president global media Luis Di Como and Bacardi global brand communica­tions and creative director Heide Cohu will join senior figures from inter­national brands including Kellogg, Tesco, McDonald’s, Lego, Boots, easyJet, Sports Direct and Karen Millen for a two-day examination of the latest shifts in digital marketing, media and technology at this year’s ad:tech London show on 11-12 September

WPP Digital chief executive Mark Read, AKQA co-founder James Hilton and Blue State Digital political director Matthew McGregor (Obama’s "digital attack dog" in 2012) are among the agency elite to speak, while top executives from Sky, News UK, Spotify, Forbes, Facebook, Twitter, Vevo and Yelp fly the flag for media-owners.

ad:tech London will take place on 11-12 September at the National Hall, Olympia. For more information about attending, visiting, exhibiting or sponsoring, please visit or call James Alder on +44 (0)20 3615 2258.

"We have listened carefully to the industry to create an environment where buyers and sellers of interactive media can gain facetime and hear directly from the companies changing the face of marketing, communica­tions and commerce," says James Drake-Brockman, who will make his debut as head of ad:tech in EMEA.

Increased digital spend
The show will feature eight summits tackling key issues such as multichannel, native advertising, social media, data strategies and programmatic buying, 50 free seminar sessions and a 7000-strong exhibition for sourcing suppliers and networking.

"Recent research by iMedia and Martini Media showed that 95% of budget holders in our community plan to increase their digital spend by an average of 22% in the coming year, making the show the perfect platform to inform strategic decision-making, benchmark and do business," adds Drake-Brockman. "With 150 suppliers under one roof, ad:tech is a convenient, cost-effective tool for digital marketing and media decision-makers to keep up to date and ensure they are not left behind."

ad:tech brand focus 1

How can brands perfect content marketing?

Heide Cohu, Global brand communications and creative director, Bacardi Global Brands
During a seven-year stint as Red Bull’s global brand director, Heide Cohu played a pivotal role in the company’s transition from an energy-drinks firm to a stratosphere-breaking content-creator and rights-holder, through initiatives such as Red Bull Stratos and Air Race. Now Bacardi’s global brand communications and creative director, Cohu’s remit is to build Bacardi’s first digital team and drive experiential content for brands such as Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose and Martini. Drawing on experiences at Red Bull and Bacardi, Cohu’s session in ad:tech’s Content & Social Summit will examine how brands can use their content assets to leverage loyalty and sales.

ad:tech brand focus 2

Forecasting the future for FMCG: how is digital change transforming global media buying?

Luis Di Como Senior vice-president global media, Unilever
Strong performance in emerging markets helped it to post double-digit sales growth last year, but what is a global FMCG player like Unilever doing to navigate the shifting sands of consumer and digital change across a culturally diverse range of markets?

Luis Di Como, Unilever’s senior vice-president global media, will use an ad:tech London headline keynote speech to lay out the company’s global vision for integrated multibrand campaigns and provide an update on the company’s latest content and digital initiatives. Di Como will also offer insight on how Unilever is rewiring its relationships with agencies and media-owners and set down the business’ digital and strategic agenda.

ad:tech brand focus 3

The connected beer bottle: a social revolution?

Paul Smailes Global head of digital, Heineken
How is Heineken approaching the "internet of things" and what opportunities will next-generation microchips create? Unveiled at Milan Design Week in April, Heineken and Tribal DDB have been riding the crest of the connected-product wave with the launch of Ignite, dubbed the "world’s first interactive beer bottle". Set for full launch in 2014, Ignite will provide a new social experience through a connected beer bottle, which glows when drinkers say "cheers" and has in-built connectivity.

"We continuously ask ourselves how design, technology and innovation can play a role in creating new, memorable consumer experiences that will spark social conversations. Ignite is important in driving invention and our progressive brand equity," says Paul Smailes, Heineken’s global head of digital, who will deliver an Ignite case study with Sandra Krstic, Tribal DDB Amsterdam’s deputy managing partner, at ad:tech’s dedicated Future Media & Technology Summit.

New show features

ad:tech has teamed up with the invitation-only event specialists iMedia to create eight full-day summits covering the issues the ad:tech advisory board and wider industry have predicted will define 2014. Other new features include the iMedia Marketplace showcase of leading suppliers on the show floor, the iMedia Executive Club, an invitation-only VIP lounge on the show floor, and iMedia Meet-ups, where attendees will be able to discuss challenges with peers and industry experts. Meanwhile, the Axciom London Roof Terrace will provide a relaxed forum where industry players can network and discuss their digital strategies.

The Next Big Thing in association with The Bakery and Collider12 is another new show feature. It is a competition dedicated to finding the brightest marketing- and media-focused start-up tipped to be The Next Big Thing.

"This competition and showcase will shine a spotlight on the start-ups that will give brands and agencies the edge with innovative ways to connect and engage with customers," says ad:tech’s James Drake-Brockman.

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