Highlights & Insights from 4A’s Transformation

March 25, 2015

By Bill Duggan

I spent a few days in Austin at the 4A’s Transformation conference.  Some event highlights follow.  

Mobile now accounts for 50 percent of all time spent on screens. Jeff Jenkins of Taco Bell called mobile, “The biggest revolution in fast food since the drive through.”

“Purchasing can be a source of good value.  Bring it on,” from Dominic Proctor, GroupM Global.

Tim Armstrong of AOL said that, “Client confusion in the next 20 years will dramatically go up. 4% of media is programmatic; 4% of video viewing is via mobile phones; 4% of the world’s population lives in the U.S.”

“Television is still vital with $370 billion in ad and subscription revenue; 3.8 hours a day viewing per person. Plus, 100% of television is viewable.” This from John Montgomery, GroupM Interaction USA and Chairman of the 4A’s Media Leadership Council.

 My favorite moment of the entire conference was when  Lisa Granatstein, editor of Adweek asked her panel, “What will the ad industry will be talking about a year from now?”

  • John Butler, BSSPA: “We’ll be talking about project work versus AOR and the staffing implications of the shift to project work. Agencies might be staffing more like production companies with more freelance versus permanent staff.”
  • Mike Sheldon, Deutsch: “More bundling – doing more together and bringing agency and client side-by-side again. We have lost a lot as an industry because clients have 15 different vendors who don’t know one another. Specialization can be done under one roof.”
  • Susan Credle, Leo Burnett: “The production of work – given the fact that technology is moving so quickly, how do we continue to make things? How much can we do in house, versus outsource? Both cost and expertise are considerations.”
  • Sally Kennedy, Publicis Hawkeye: “ Storytelling -- I hope we are celebrating our story telling and our craft as an industry. Given automation and programmatic buying, there will be a renewed emphasis on story telling.”

Finally, Nancy Hill of 4A's talked about the importance of trust in the client/agency relationship. She said, “Without trust, we can’t move together.” 

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