ARF at Advertising Week

Advertising Leaders at Advertising Week Discuss How Advertising Works Today! With The ARF

Our goal in these blogs is to go beyond bringing Advertising Week to your desktop and to connect you with the world’s most interesting leaders who are attended. One of the most fascinating topics was Gayle Fuguitt, The ARF CEO & President asking, how does advertising work today?

Sarah Watson, Chief Strategy Officer at Bartle Bogle Hegarty NY had a visceral response – “That IS the question? Isn’t it?


Sarah described today’s realities as compared to the traditions in our industry. “You used to be able to buy eyeballs and TELL them what you wanted them to hear . . . however today, you have to discuss how you’re going to make a mark. You have to be bold and you have to be clear about the human truth” that people (not just eyeballs) are going to WANT to connect with your brand.

For Val DiFebo, CEO at Deutsch NY, the key to “how advertising works today” is RELEVANCY. Similar to the human truths Sarah referenced, Val described connection. And connection means looking at the consumer experience, and not just the message. She is keeping an eye on culture and not just the technology or device.

For Deutsch, a key internal KPI is how “ownable and shareable the idea is.”


Val DiFebo AdWeek 15

It’s also about combining the Client’s product story narrative with a “Sell Story” to create an emotional connection, says Richard LaBonte Director, Global Business Unit Leader, Wearables at HARMAN International. Richard emphasized that it is all about the narrative and creating an emotional link to your product. Thinking about mobile ads, Richard observed, “It’s seeing mobile as a part of the process and using it as a competitive advantage” not just as a technology or platform. That takes courage and today, “Advertising is a courage business.”

Richard Labonte AdWeek 15


With regards to the research component of “How Advertising Works,” Gayle and Geoffrey McLeary, SVP Group Director, Mobile Digitas Health had a great exchange on the importance of asking the right questions. Geoffrey articulated the value exchange between consumer and Brand. They both need return. “The Brand spends money, it needs ROI on that investment. Balancing and finding the space where those two need sets and value sets overlap, that’s what informs the right question.” Having the curiosity to ask “why” is how you’ll get to it.

Geoffrey McCleary AdWeek 15

Geoffrey’s perspective is that the many sources and points of data capturing how we engage with media today should be shared. The value is not the data alone but how it’s interpreted. “Your interpretation of a data set may be 60%-70% the same as mine . . . but then we’ll differ. Where we differ is where the science value of marketing lies”. Two brands can look at similar numbers but when each applies their target, their other data competitive marketing positions can still come from the same information. The more data that’s out there to be accessed, to be combined with other data to be made relevant across many different streams . . . benefits everybody.

Check back for more blogs, videos, insights and predictions from The ARF at Advertising Week 2015.