ad:tech 09

27 02 2009

With my very first post ever on Community Girl – I thought it best to start with my experiences at ad:tech earlier last week – as it provided a lot to think about, disagree with and aspire to.

The two days were undoubtedly jammed pack full of case studies and opinions, with several people who presented, emerging as true ‘advocates’ for social media. The panels also proved to be informative on what both agency and social media champions deem to be the best way to engage with all this social networking stuff – others however seem to still be a little clueless…

One of my favourite panels was ‘Effects Of Transparency: Cash For Comment And The Dark Marketing Debate’, which included the ‘real’ Julian Cole as well as David Lee from Nuffnang. While I haven’t personally experienced any cash for comment scandals in my work so far (touch wood, touch wood) I will admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about the latest ones from our shores. Tim Burrowes from Mumbrella has provided me with lots of scandal and juicy comments over the recent Queensland Tourism and (even more infamous) Witchery Man debacles.

A woman in the audience asked Julian about whether or not he deemed the Witchery campaign to be successful, as it had given the brand the recognition and publicity that they would have been after – and at least everyone now knew that Witchery had a men’s clothing line. Hmmm…. they do say that any publicity is good publicity – but really? In my opinion the whole campaign thoroughly damaged the reputation of Witchery, especially in the media – and in my experience people don’t take too kindly to being blatantly lied to, which in turn can damage any of their subsequent campaigns.

Other panels to mention included “To Build Or Not To Build: Identifying The Value Of Social Communities”, which included the very brave UBank representative and the very experienced Anne Massey from Starwood Hotels & Resorts, showing us how far the US is in front of us in terms of their experience with on-line communities. Mark Ritchie from Newmarket Livestock also demonstrated how on-line communities can be used for even the least tech savvy – now running a site through Ning for farmers in Victoria – I must declare my interests here however, as I was involved in setting this community up for the group at Newmarket Livestock.

You couldn’t mention ad:tech 09 without talking about Twitter, the tweeting that was happening throughout the conference was sometimes more entertaining and informative than some of the discussions – many providing a no holds barred approach with their comments! But really it allowed those presenting instant feedback on their panel, as well keeping everyone on their toes – especially those who were using the conference to do a hard sell to the audience.

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a lurker on Twitter at the moment . Reading other people’s tweets that always seem to be witty/informative/interesting or all of the above – I often find the pressure of making my 140 characters worthwhile a bit daunting! But after witnessing ad:tech – the phenomenon that is Twitter is undeniable.