APAC Advertising Week: Day 1 proves this event is an excellent additional to the calendar

By - CTL
August 1, 2018

The inaugural Advertising Week APAC kicked off in style this Tuesday at Sydney’s Luna Park, with some blistering and inspiring sessions across a wide variety of subjects affecting our industry.

You might look across this varied offering and wonder to yourself ‘But what is the theme here?’ and that’s exactly what Global CEO Matt Scheckner wants, because unlike other events which might try to shoehorn topics into an overarching theme, Advertising Week operates under the concept that: “There is no theme – we operate under the idea that we want to cover the timely and the timeless. Topics that are affecting our industry today, alongside topics that affect us all as people and professionals, no matter the year or location.”

That ethos is perfectly reflected in the line-up of keynote speakers.

First up was Fernando Machado, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Burger King, who offered great insights into how campaigns can quickly become global. As an example, their highly innovative campaign that essentially ‘hijacked’ the Google Home. A 15 second spot that gathered an incredible amount of global media attention, for a minimal spend, by virtue of utilising the awakening command of ‘Ok Google’. While he admitted it was never about actually working on the Google Home devices of the world, it was more about the headlines, the huge media response certainly proved the point of the creative.

The company also highlighted a print campaign that showed how even McDonald’s Senior Executives liked to ‘flame grill’ when they get home, using actual images of the gardens of McDonalds Senior Executives, complete with an outdoor grill and barbecue. He remarked that although they could have flown drones over the properties to capture the photos – they’re not douchebags – so instead purchased the images from property companies who had sold the houses.

Evidently, they have a very brave outlook on marketing, and one that is agile and relevant in the global marketplace.

Next up, we were interested to hear from Sherilyn Shackell, Founder of The Marketing Academy, whose talk was entitled ‘Why C**t Really is the Worst Four Letter Word..& Other Lessons in Life & Leadership’. However, while it had the title of a pretty good stand up comedy routine, the presentation was actually designed to talk to all levels of the marketing business structures, from leaders all the way down to those rising up the ranks.

As well as sharing The Marketing Academy leadership philosophy discussing topics such as; why leadership is for life not just for the office, how to tell your inner voice to shut the f**k up, why the best leaders are cool with being vulnerable, and how to stop managing and start leading. In a passionate 40min address, it became clear that the C word she was actually ‘can’t’ – essentially, stop the negative thinking and don’t let it hamper your rise to the top!

Advertising Week CEO Matt Scheckner then took to the stage to introduce the next speaker, saying: ‘When we started Advertising week in 2004 – Facebook only existed as ‘The Facebook’ on the Harvard campus – and now they are global partners. Instagram – now part of Facebook – wasn’t even around back then.” Showing how the event reflects the ever-changing media landscape, he then made way for Jim Squires, Head of Business at Instagram.

Fun fact: Did you know that the top 3 most Instagrammed spots in Australia are all in Sydney? Bondi Beach, Harbour Bridge, and the Opera House.

The evolution of Instagram! The first ever photo shared on the platform.


Squires then took us through the evolution of Instagram, and how philosopher Marshall McLuhan’s ethos of ‘The Medium is the message’ has been embedded in the social platform’s growth and evolution in the past 4 years. “Mediums can affect context and interpretation. He understood that the thing we use to communicate, can affect how we communicate.

Instagram has evolved, developing the platform from the early days of ‘burbn’ – its first incarnation. The platform started with just square photos and filters, and as users over time people started using video, Instagram integrated that. Resolution improved, vertical and horizontal, and most recently – IGTV, which our friends at Ad Robot wrote about for CTL just after its launch some weeks ago.

While highlighting some of the best brands and agencies using IGTV already, Squires left us with these 3 key messages for brand marketing on Instagram:

1 – not matter the format, be true to your brand

2 – Instagram is for both branding and direct response

3 – the most successful marketers use Instagram in an integrated way

Like Squires noted, the game has changed – and brands and agencies are racing to catch up. Brands are worried about losing a generation, and evolving platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Google are bridging the gap where traditional media is failing.

APAC Advertising Week ends this Thursday – get your tickets here.

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