Maximizing Your Brand Reach During Ad Week

By Brook Terran

There are plenty of things to consider when planning your company's approach to Advertising Week. Apart from the panels and networking events you'd like to attend, it is important to consider when and where you'd like to promote your brand.

Should you consider sponsorship? Do you have a new product to share or an announcement to make? Want to meet reporters on-site? How can you determine the best path forward, to ensure that your news will be noticed?

This article will break down some of the best ways to promote your brand during Advertising Week, along with strategies to ensure that you can cut through the noise.
Sponsorship

Let's be honest, sponsorship at Advertising Week itself is expensive.

Getting your name in a prominent place where event attendees will notice can be tricky, as well as costly; it can be very tricky to drive the needed ROI. An exception to this rule may be if the specific sponsorship opportunity includes the chance to sit on a panel with significant ties to your brand purpose.

Otherwise, unless you have a significant budget, sponsoring directly at Advertising Week may not be the best fit for your marketing goals. However, there are several other cost-effective ways to promote your brand and build your reputation.

Hosting Your Own Event

Advertising Week is a hectic clash of the entire industry — and given its three-day long duration, it makes sense that many may find themselves needing a break from the chaos. This is where marketers have a golden opportunity to host their own events. By creating a separate space away from the convention, you can ensure that your brand is directly in the spotlight.

Hosting your own event also gives you and your team the opportunity to do something more unique. Consider offering a cocktail hour or utilize an outdoor venue for attendees to cool down from the high-intensity of the convention. While these options can get pricey, you may have the option to co-host the event with a partner. This strategy can save your budget (and your workload!). Hosting your own event for Advertising Week certainly takes significant planning and resources, but when done well, you and your team can reap the rewards of an entirely personalized networking event to show off your brand and its capabilities.

Attendance

Simply coming to Advertising Week as an attendee still provides your business with significant opportunities and insights. With a bit of deliberate planning, dependent on your brand's needs, you can be sure to create a successful schedule.

First, examine who all is expected to attend. Because this is the first in-person Advertising Week following the COVID-19 pandemic, it stands to reason that attendance may be lighter than in previous years, particularly given the new venue for the event.

Next, you'll want to create the best team. In these circumstances, a smaller team may work best. So long as your team can capitalize on opportunities like networking events and scheduling face time with reporters, you can be sure to leave Advertising Week with solid connections and fresh information, to move your company forward.

Reporter Meetings

Face-to-face reporter meetings are an Advertising Week goldmine — and it's no secret they are often challenging to get as they will prioritize spending time with brands and speakers. However, any facetime you can secure with a credible reporter is time well spent. In the same way that you network with potential clients, networking with reporters can offer you a wealth of opportunities.

When looking to get in front of a reporter, you'll want to make sure you know their specific beat and how your brand ties into it. Perhaps a new product puts you within their area of expertise. Ensuring that your news can be shared from a trusted source is extremely important.

A valuable PR partner can save you time and energy in this process. They will know who exactly will attend the event and can arrange times for an executive or spokesperson to meet with these reporters.

Press Release

A press release is always a good way to attract media attention. When it comes to Advertising Week, the most essential component is timing. A flurry of announcements and other marketing-specific news will dominate the event itself, so a solid strategy may be to announce your news, such as a new partnership, product, or service, a week or more before the event. This will give the news a bit of time to circulate, while it will still be fresh and top-of-mind for you and your team's Advertising Week discussions.

As with many of the strategies on this list, ensuring that your release is topical is also important. You'll need to make sure that you are marketing this news to the proper channels to receive the highest chance of engagement.

Get Creative

Another promotional option is to do what marketers do best — get creative. Guerilla marketing tactics have been an emergent way to get your brand noticed, without going through the standard (often expensive) channels. Of course, this type of marketing comes with its own caveats. In general, the more out-of-the-box you are, the better.

For example, a 2019 billboard from Visible Mobile offered customers unlimited "massages, minutes and data." They turned what looked like a simple typo into an opportunity to offer free massages to passersby, which uniquely positioned their brand and garnered media attention. While it is generally difficult for a mobile service provider to achieve a personal touch with consumers, this stunt pulled it off successfully.

Consider how your brand might be able to stand out this Advertising Week. If physical out-of-home advertising isn't feasible, consider running a unique social media campaign. When done with a clear brand voice, encouraging consistent consumer interaction can pay off — see Wendy's infamous roasts.

There are plenty of ways to promote your brand at this year's Advertising Week — and not all of them come with a hefty price tag. With a bit of advanced planning and your own creativity, you and your team can come up with a strategy to put your brand in the spotlight and ensure that you'll be noticed by clients and the media, alike.


The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.


Brook Terran is the partner and co-founder of Evergreen & Oak.