Advertising Week New York ’23: Seven brands we need to talk about.

Four days of content, 12,000+ industry peers, over 400 sessions and some of the world’s biggest brands. AWNY brings together the brightest minds in marketing, advertising, media and tech - with a tasty sprinkling of culture, entertainment and surprise. So which brands created The Experience Advantage® (and which didn’t?)

Written by Andy Sexton & Kate Fulford-Brown.

1) Canva: The smallest, busiest activation in town.

Friendly, fun and focussed. This story-driven pop-up encouraged us to ‘get the creative juices flowing’ using the Canva platform to design and print your own smoothie label.

Simple, brand-led and rich attention to detail created a standout magnetic destination with extended impact from clever and thoughtful digital OOH.

2) SiriusXM: Serious about audio.

Magnetic, telegraphic and persuasive – SiriusXM owned the audio conversation delivering an insightful stream of content that illuminated the entire venue with compelling data on the breadth, scale and ubiquity of our listening habits.

Extending the reach and equity of the experience with a live podcast studio and a keynote featuring their famous podcasting talent.

3) Netflix: House of brands.

The Netflix effect: “The ability for a story to go beyond viewing and create a cultural phenomenon.”

Hanging off this one single idea, was a suite of title-branded immersive vignettes – from record stores, to arcades, sports bars and costume stores – all carefully curated to demonstrate the depth, breadth and power of their content omniverse.

4) TikTok: Exponential entertainment.

“One day you’re filming yourself on the Tube, the next day everybody else is, too.”

Big, bright, branded and shamelessly fun – the focus was all on educating attendees to be better creators. Deeply engaging for users, but perhaps lacking in depth for the ardent adtech attendee searching for useful audience data on reach and resonance.

5) Shutterstock: Ideas to life.

Simple wins – this gallery-esque experience created a personalised stream of content for every attendee, learning about you, your interests and preferences to curate a unique cinematic flow of images and assets.

Telling a singular story, and telling it well, this elevated space (with its considered content approach) stood up and stood out.

6) Google: Pit stop (flop).

Big budget, big theme, big crowd-puller and a clear stance on AI.

F1 continues to create interesting brand marketing partnerships, leaning into the cultural gravity of the sport. This super-slick experience lured people in, but ultimately failed to communicate anything relevant to the adtech community. A classic tale of form over function, complexity killed this story and the experience suffered.

7) Amazon ads: Vacuous village.

The standout failure of AWNY. Big, bland and boring. No story, no fun, no spirit and no point.


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Advertising Week New York ’23: Top trends and tips
Hybrid realities: How real-world marketing blends with digital
Five key takeaways from WXS 2023