Established in 2004 after a call from the 4A’s Value of Advertising Committee, the conference’s original mission was to spotlight advertising’s contributions to culture and society and to recognize the agencies behind some of the industry’s most popular campaigns. The first year drew fewer than 5,000 people. Executives, primarily from agencies, gathered to discuss the most pressing issues facing the industry. There was a “Walk of Fame” parade down Madison Avenue that spotlighted favorite brand mascots like Mr. Peanut and Tony the Tiger. And then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hosted an opening gala at Gracie Mansion.
“When we did the first one in 2004, I wasn’t sure we would get to 2005,” says Matthew Scheckner, founder of both Advertising Week and its organizing body, global consultancy Stillwell Partners. “But it went very well and a lot of it traced back to that very first opening gala that Mike Bloomberg hosted for us. That night created such momentum, I think some of that wind is still at our back.”
Since the first conference, those winds have blown in change. The conference has evolved into a massive event in Times Square that spans numerous industries. This year, an estimated 100,000 attendees will descend on New York to find panels on an array of topics including AI, influencer marketing, TV, politics, climate change, sports, entertainment, cannabis and more. Industry leaders including Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Michael Roth, S4 Capital’s Martin Sorrell and Procter & Gamble’s Marc Pritchard will speak. Attendees can hear from a slew of celebrities, if they so desire, including Jesse Eisenberg, Serena Williams, Laverne Cox, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Pitbull (who recently opened a multicultural agency with Horizon Media called 305 Worldwide). The only thing missing? The parade (it was discontinued in 2007).…[Read More]
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