GV Highlights from #AWEurope 2017

Last week Advertising Week Europe descended upon London for its 5th year. The event brings together an estimated 30,000 people from the advertising industry, attending 160 events held throughout the week.

A few of us from Grand Visual made our way to Piccadilly’s Picture House to hear the latest opinions in ad land…

A standout theme that emerged was hearing brands, agencies and creatives talking about the need to focus on storytelling and ‘humans’ rather than data and algorithms.ms.

On Monday we attended “Reinventing the Real World”, where panelists discussed connections – to people and to things. They made the point that brand communications need to enhance, rather than interrupt consumers lives and brands should be really clear on the role that their comms take.

On Tuesday we saw the Dentsu Aegis session “Renaissance: A New Creative Value System” where the panel discussed how the world is now more than ever powered by technology and data. They discussed the power of ideas and the changing roles that creativity and technology are playing when it comes to advertising. Tracy De Groose (CEO, Dentsu Aegis) mentioned a study by McCann Japan who pitted an AI Creative Director against its human counterpart – the human won. The panel agreed that it was best for the industry for technology and creativity to be ‘happy bedfellows’.

Our final highlight was “Realising The Human Potential: Technology’s Cognitive Capabilities” hosted by Microsoft. Ravleen Beeston kicked things off with some stats on how technology is changing adoption rates. It took TV 38 years to reach 100 million sets sold mark, Smartphones 3 years, and PokemonGo took just 33 days. The discussion explored voice, image and emotion recognition and what opportunities these technologies present for marketers.

The main takeaway this year was the shift towards ‘people based advertising’, a refreshing change after years focused on data & technology.