Marketing executives who control the budgets of the nation’s largest advertisers are in Orlando this week for the Association of National Advertisers annual “Masters of Marketing” conference. Ad Age will be on the ground to cut through the clutter and deliver you what you need to know about the four-day event, which kicked of last night with a dinner and performance by Train. In addition to Drops of Jupiter, the forecast here calls for rain and thunderstorms, which is perhaps appropriate for an industry facing its own storm clouds, including the growing threat of privacy legislation that could make digital advertising harder. For more on what to expect, check out our primer.
Follow along on this blog for what catches our eye at the event, which gets into full swing today with presentations by Progressive, FedEx, Unilever, Bank of America and others. We start with some observations before the curtain officially rises.
5:30 p.m. ET, Oct. 24, 2018
ANA organizers are expecting more than 3,000 people to attend the conference here at the sprawling Rosen Shingle Creek resort. Registering for a conference and attending one are two different things, of course, but the printed ANA attendee list reveals the following:
… Procter & Gamble travels light:
Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard, who is chairman of ANA’s board and has a speaking slot on Friday (is there a marketing conference at which he does not speak?) is only accompanied by three P&G colleagues.
… But U.S. Postal Service does not:
The federal agency, a longtime ANA sponsor, is listed as having 17 people here, not including CMO Jakki Krage Strako, who is slated to speak at a sponsored breakfast on Friday.
The agency presence is mixed
There are plenty of agency people here, as usual. But some shops brought a lot more than others. McGarryBowen registered 13 people, including founder Gordon Bowen and Chief Creative Officer Ned Crowley. Leo Burnett, by contrast, only has six people here, and DDB has only one person listed, as does 360i. By contrast, Deloitte, which like other consultancies is pushing onto ad agency turf, has 28 people attending representing its various divisions, including Deloitte Digital.
The mouse is in the house
Disney, whose Orlando theme parks are nearby, has several people here, including five from ABC. The list includes Rita Ferro, who just added ESPN ad sales to her plate.
Digital giants log in
When it comes to the number of attendees, Google beat Facebook, 19 to 10. Twitter also brought 10 people according to the list, as did Pinterest, which was slated to sponsor a breakfast called “Time Well Spent” bright and early Thursday morning at 7 a.m. Those out late partying might think their time is better spent in bed. — E.J. Schultz