IAB demands artistry

1 October 2014

NEW YORK: Marketers must focus their efforts on becoming both "technologists and artists" if they are to thrive in the changing digital world, according to Randall Rothenberg, president/ceo of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

While addressing this year's IAB MIXX conference in New York – an event celebrating its tenth anniversary – Rothenberg outlined some of the challenges now facing brand custodians in the new media space.

"We have the chance – and we have the responsibility – to be technologists and artists," he said. (For more, including the other challenges facing the industry, read Warc's exclusive report: At IAB MIXX, the promise of art dances with digital technology.)

"Our work is about beauty and human emotion, about changing hearts and minds. And that's what we're going to be talking about over the next two days."

As part of this process, marketers need to expand the range of their focus, and aim to create campaigns and experiences that can truly delight and engage consumers.

"We have before us an opportunity – even an obligation – to transition our industry from the transactional to the inspirational," said Rothenberg.

"We must show the world that technology and the communications we enable can inspire; can move people to act."

Reaching this can be considered a major sign of success for an industry which, just ten years ago, was unsure about its place and status in the wider communications ecosystem.

Even five years ago, Rothenberg asserted, the predominance of formats like banner ads and pre-rolls left few tangible options, whereas there are now a vast array of further choices for brands to choose from.

"Today, with smartphones, tablets, phablets, laptops, desktops, connected TVs, WiFi [and] 4G, we are the primary means by which men and women, boys and girls, learn about the world around them," he said.

"Today, we are the single largest advertising-supported medium in the United States."

The winners of the 2014 IAB MIXX Awards have also been announced, with the Best-in-Show prize going to Chipotle Mexican Grill and Creative Artists Agency for their campaign 'The Scarecrow', which cleverly blended an app-based game and an animated short film.

On the tenth anniversary of the awards, there were special honours for American Express, as the 'Most-Awarded' marketer in the history of the program, and DigitasLBi, as the 'Most-Awarded' agency.

The success of these two, said David Doty, Executive Vice President and CMO, IAB, was confirmation that "creativity can win out in an age of disruption".

Data sourced from Warc