Ad Week 2013 – From Reverse Mentoring to Questioning It All…

Whoa! What a whirlwind week we had to close out September! Another Ad Week – generously sponsored by The Buffalo News – is officially in the books. And this year, we did not disappoint.

Hopefully you got as much out of it as we did. The panels and speakers were engaging and informative. And the crowds (thanks to you) were large and lively. If you ask us, that’s a great recipe for success.

In case you didn’t make it to all of the events, here’s a quick synopsis in short-bit Twitter form.

Tuesday: AdLab – Leadership at Every Level – In partnership with Performance Management Partners and Leadership Buffalo

We had a great crowd to kick off the Ad Week festivities and re-open another season of our popular AdLab series. All in attendance were very eager for a great discussion on reverse mentoring and how can generations work together.

As our AdLab offerings evolve, you’ll see more topics like this, which break from the typical marketing/communications topics and additionally explore leadership and best practices.

Throughout the year it should make for a nice mix of shop talk, but also bolster skills that will help us become more well rounded leaders in our field.

What we learned: Since anyone at any age or stage of their career can lead, there’s no reason to let generation gaps get in the way of good work. Leaders can emerge at any age or any level.

    • Baby boomers: Optimistic, educated, “me” generation with a similar work ethic to millennials
    • Gen Y: empowered, entitled, collaborative. Also responsible for Nirvana and Facebook
    • Gen Z: Highly connected, super fast, impatient. Difficult to keep this generation engaged for extended period
    • Foundation of trust and mutual respect must be established for mentoring to go both ways. Wise words from Rita Markel
    • Young professionals should research organizations and make sure the culture and value system matches theirs
    • Top advice: “Take a boomer out for a beer.”

Wednesday: Social Media Coffee Talk with Craig Kanalley of the Buffalo Sabres

This Ad Week event was bright and early and had another great turnout. In conjunction with the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and the Social Media Club of Buffalo, the Ad Club hosted Buffalo Sabres Social Media Manager Craig Kanalley. Craig shared his story of being successful so quickly in the social media world, taking his talents from Buffalo, to Chicago, to New York City and now back to Buffalo.

What we learned: No matter how far you go or how successful you become, there’s always that chance to land your dream job back home. Craig did just that.

    • Photos and videos get a lot of engagement so use as many visuals as you can when sharing content
    • Live tweeting is a great way to get followers
    • Specialties are really important when a company is looking to hire. They know what they’re looking for
    • In regards to backlash or negativity: You can’t let the media get to you because they don’t necessarily know what’s happening

Thursday: The Golden Age of B.S. Bob Hoffman, author of The Ad Contrarian

%#$@ this was a great presentation! Pardon our French but some of Bob Hoffman’s passion rubbed off on us. He certainly didn’t disappoint the crowd by making us think about present-day advertising and shooting holes in commonly held beliefs.

What we learned: Bob believes it’s all B.S.  The DVR hasn’t killed television advertising. Social media isn’t the be-all, end-all. Good creative still wins out in the end.

    • We work in an industry of  BS… It’s what we do
    • No brands have been built by social media
    • The ad industry tells its clients half the truth, half the time
    • Advice for independent agencies: Do great creative work… Differentiate yourself and communicate that differentiation.

Friday: Ad Club After Hours

We raised a glass to a successful Ad Week at Lobby Bar at Statler City! Fun was had by all after what we believe was an invigorating and educational week.

What we learned: Every week should end with a Happy Hour!

We’ll see you at the next Ad Club event!