Key Takeouts from Advertising Week APAC 2023

advertising week APAC kay takeouts

Author: Craig Sue

Advertising Week is a unique event in the yearly calendar where people from all sides of the industry come together to share ideas and network. Whether you are a brand, agency, publisher or tech side, everyone has something to learn or talk about. 

This year I was excited to see colleagues from roles past on stage, and more than ever I appreciated the effort to offer different perspectives on a given subject matter. Notable examples: Microsoft Advertising alongside OMG, Reprise and talking about AI; Magnite and Publicis Groupe discussing Data and Audience Strategies for a Privacy-First World; and Amazon Ads, Samsung and CHEP Network reviewing how they used to advanced tech for a major product launch.

Having always been agency side, I am always keen to hear from publishers, vendors and brands on industry leading work and how they approach challenges facing the industry as a whole. Here are some of my personal key takeaways from the two day event.

AI is already here, and is moving fast

It is the topic on everyone’s minds – yet no one is an expert. However, it is a fast evolving technology that everyone can benefit from. It may seem esoteric or too big to know where to start, but there are small and large applications for this technology, with the former being already widely available to improve how we work. But as panelist Darren Stein (CEO, Annalect and MD, Hearts & Science, OMG) described, we shouldn’t be focusing just on efficiencies that AI can bring. That is only the beginning, and by far the most boring opportunity.

Dan Stevens (GM Digital, described how they internally formed a  multidisciplinary taskforce that learns and looks for AI opportunities together and how this was a key approach for their business. His recommendation was to just get started, no matter who you are or what type of business you’re in. AI is evolving at such a pace that if you don’t dive in, you’ll risk being left behind.

Privacy changes are coming, be prepared for change

With Google pushing back 3rd party cookie deprecation there are still a lot of unknowns about what the Cookieless World will actually look like. However there have already been many regulatory changes in parts of the world and with other publishers and browsers having already pushed ahead, the state of limbo until “the big one” drops continues on.

Pete Danks (Vice President, Product, Magnite) discussed the solutions that ad tech are working on right now: Identity, Context and Clean Rooms. There will be “winners and losers” in the identity space as there have been failed concepts and ones that still hold promise. But it is the future of online value exchanges between users and publishers online. Context is privacy friendly, future proof and much more clever than it used to be. Whilst it is considered an ‘old’ solution it will be an imperative in a privacy first world. Clean rooms are also a solution brands and agencies should consider adopting, as they encrypt data and are a compliant method to make data addressable and targetable without allowing access to unwanted entities in the ecosystem. 

Brooke Aniseko (Head of Performance Media and Global Partnerships ANZ at Publicis Groupe) appealed to the industry to be more open as changes in this space evolve. Testing as well as leaning in on tech relationships to weather the disruption and learn to innovate off the back of it. 

As with previous years, I found Ad Week to be valuable but always wishing I had more time for more sessions. I’m sure this is a common feeling for many attendees. But it is done and dusted for another year, and again I find myself sitting back at my desk with more to think about than before the event, which in this case is a great thing.

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