Agenda - WEdnesday, October 10

Details subject to change. Please check back for updates as speakers & sessions are being added regularly.

8:00AM – 9:00AM
Breakfast and Registration


9:00AM – 9:15AM

Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO, 4A's
Amy Winger, Chief Strategy Officer, VML


9:15AM – 9:45AM
The Gemini Agenda–A Playbook For THe Future 

Five years ago Faris and Rosie formed the nomadic creative consultancy Genius Steals by dismantling assumptions about what an agency is. Since then, they have worked with companies across disciplines and geographies around the world, giving them unique insight into the trends and forces impacting consumers and brands. The result? The Gemini Agenda and the belief that duality is required for success in today’s landscape and into the future. You'll hear provocations from them on defining a middle way, based on the way they believe agencies should behave in response to client needs, and what they're willing to pay for.

Faris Yakob, Co-Founder, Genius Steals
Rosie Yakob, Co-Founder, Genius Steals


9:45AM – 10:30AM

Every C-Suite, marketer and agency faces a growth imperative: You either grow your brand, or it dies (often along with your career).  Increase your odds of success with strategies newly proven to lift the performance of short term activation efforts while at the same time driving YOY increases in revenue, share, margin and brand strength. These discoveries are the result of a robust meta-analysis of recent longitudinal data and case-based evidence, from credible sources around the world, spanning both B2B and B2C, and many categories of business including CPG, durable goods and health care. Revelations include the ways marketers and agencies are inadvertently thwarting the very growth they’re charged with driving.  And in an increasingly direct-to-consumer world, seven best practices critical to effectiveness.
Marsha Lindsay, Chair + Chief Strategist, Lindsay, Stone & Briggs


10:30AM – 11:00AM


11:00AM – 12:30PM
CHOICE Workshops


Advertising Age reported 81% of surveyed advertisers admitted they are providing unclear briefs. That's a disturbingly high number. So what can agencies and advertisers do to go beyond the briefs that fall short?

At Genius Steals, we work with agencies and brands all over the world – and our broad experience with briefings, templates and processes has led us to rethink the traditional model. Our workshop, designed to help brands and agencies of all kinds (from traditional advertising through media, digital and PR) rethink their briefing process, continues to be one of our most-requested.

In this session, we'll share and interrogate briefs from around the world, discussing both the artifact and the process, and leave you with tools you can take back with you to use at work the next day.

Faris Yakob, Co-Founder, Genius Steals
Rosie Yakob, Co-Founder, Genius Steals

claiming cultural capital: turning trends into earned brand opportunities

In a world of rapidly dissolving trust and hyper-fragmented attention spans, brands are fighting harder than ever to earn consumer attention. To remain perpetually relevant, brands must learn the science (and art) of identifying current and emerging trends to tell their brand stories in new and compelling ways.

That said, there is an inherent danger in brands trying to hop on the back of “trends” to make themselves relevant.  Trends are difficult to identify with an appropriate degree of certainty. And even if you correctly identify and diagnose the viability of a genuine trend, it can come across as inappropriate, insincere, “off-strategy”, cloying, and short-sighted if executed poorly. 

At Edelman, we have developed a proprietary methodology by which we gather rising industry, consumer, business, and cultural trends; examine their “heat” (resonance with the consumer) and “potential” (fit for the brand); and work with clients to identify and prioritize the highest opportunity areas for brand action.  At Edelman we call it Trend Analysis & Brand Opportunity Assessment.  It’s our way of evaluating, stress-testing, reality-checking, and prioritizing opportunities for incremental earned opportunities by creating quick-turn brand, strategically sound activations aligned with the highest potential cultural trends.

Lilia Arroyo-Flores, Executive Vice President, Head of Planning & Consumer Insights, Edelman Chicago
Joshua Baze, Senior Vice President, Digital Planning & Strategy, Edelman Chicago


Human-Centric Ideas That Get People Talking

Want to spark a conversation? Ignite a revolution? Launch the next big thing? Change the world? First, you need to understand human centricity.

Our belief? Human-centric ideas earn attention.

In this session, we’ll share the framework, principles, and creative approach to problem solving used by Twitter’s Brand Strategy team to advise the world’s top marketers and agencies for capturing the attention of the most valuable audiences when they’re most receptive.

Tom Chirico, Twitter Brand Strategy, Twitter

Start-Up with Purpose

The old idea of a brand and its ‘positioning’ just isn’t working anymore. What gives brands focus and flexibility is not a single-minded proposition or position, but a sense of purpose. We know many brands that have built equity around purpose - Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation, Toms, Patagonia to name a few but there hasn’t been a standard framework for finding brand meaning and articulating purpose - Until now.

In this workshop you will learn how to author and apply a simple model that can imbue start-ups and non-profits to the most valuable brands in the world with a powerful belief, inspiring purpose and a set of pursuits that can drive everything from operations, marketing ,culture to innovation.

The workshop will be led by Phil White - Founding Partner of ‘Grounded’ - a social impact and innovation consultancy of creatives,  strategists, designers, investors, academics  philanthropists and activists who help brands and business make money by doing good.

Phil White, Founding Partner, Grounded

Turning Your Strategy Teams Into Client Business Partners

It’s no secret the strategic role of agencies is under full assault. With the continued shift to project-based work, shrinking budgets and reduced timelines, it is difficult to provide a high level of strategic output. 

Meanwhile, client’s expectations have spiked. They are demanding deeper consumer insights, strategy that cuts across a growing number of channels and more immediate business impact. And whether this comes from an agency, consultancy or in-house – clients will take it.  

As a result, the role of strategic planning has evolved. It is no longer about uncovering “human truths” that can be leveraged to inspire the creative output of the agency. Planning is now accountable to uncover the underlying purchase motivations that will unleash business growth potential for clients. 

In fact, at the core of the new agency model is your ability to turn consumer insight into client business growth.

Based on Mirren’s client-side research with Harvard Business Review, recent industry studies, and experience training several hundred agencies around the world, Brent Hodgins will address the new role of Strategic Planning. More importantly, he’ll challenge you on your definition and application of genuine consumer insight – while providing methods to have you more effectively correlate strategy to client business impact. 

This session will cover several topics:

  • How Shifting Client Accountabilities Are Impacting the Agency Business

  • The New Client Expectations for Agency Strategy

  • The Shift From Communications Impact to Business Impact

  • Leveraging Genuine Consumer Insight to Unlock Client Business Growth

Expect a lively and interactive session, with group discussion and time for Q&A. Leave inspired and equipped to begin evolving your agency’s strategic horsepower.

Brent Hodgins, Managing Director, Mirren


12:30PM – 1:30PM


1:30PM – 3:00PM
Choice Workshops

Get in on the Ground Floor with Voice Technology (Before It’s Too Late)

The future of advertising will be about the evolving connection between brands and people. Successful brands will be those who make people’s lives better by providing seamless connections to their products and services. By the end of 2019, more than half of all search enquiries will originate by voice, making voice technology the most important marketing tool any brand can have in their back pocket. But understanding the unique role voice should play for your brand and audience requires an in-depth understanding of the space.

Join 360i’s Chief Strategy Officer Raig Adolfo and Account Director Dani Calogera as they detail actionable steps marketers can take to get involved in the voice space and incorporate this valuable technology into their marketing mix, before it’s too late.

Raig Adolfo, Chief Strategy Officer, 360i 
Dani Calogera, Account Director, 360i 

Creative brainstorming techniques from the UCB Writers Room

The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater puts on live imrpov and sketch shows every night of the week. In this interactive session you'll learn the creative teamwork skills that help them generate new content under pressure and learn how it can translate to making your brainstorming, ideation and collaborations better. No previous experience necessary!

John Murray, Performer, United Citizen’s Brigade Theater 
Abra Tabak, Performer, United Citizen’s Brigade Theater 

Storytelling Fun-0-1®

Want to connect with consumers, clients and colleagues more authentically? Communicate and sell ideas in a clear and more impactful way? Deliver a more engaging and memorable presentation?

Tell them your story.

In this fun and interactive workshop, you will learn:

  • The 5 essential elements of every story

  • Practical ways to engage your audience in person and online

  • How to cater your stories to various audiences and connect with them authentically

  • How brands can create a compelling human story that will not only captivate an audience, but drive them to action

Robin Gelfenbien will then invite you to help dissect stories, the elements that made them so engaging and how brands can apply these principles to make consumers a part of their story in a very real way.

Robin Gelfenbien, Ambassador of Fun & Co-Founder, The Story Whisperers

What Agencies of the Future Will Look Like

Agencies have more access to data and technology than ever before, but this also comes with many challenges for their classic business model. The biggest roadblock is the near-constant pace of disruption that washes over the marketing industry. As our industry learns to to integrate AI into more facets of our business, we need to be concentrating more on what agencies do best versus all the things we “can” do.”

David Sequeira, Director of Northeast Sales, Quantcast

With the power of storytelling, data can become kryptonite for any barrier you face

David Ariely, the brilliant behavioral science with over 10M views of his Ted talk said, “Big data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.” Does that ring true to you?

Changing behavior is hard but in this new normal, that’s the only way to succeed. When data is brought to life in a narrative form, it has the power to break down mental blocks and open your audience up to the truth, essentially becoming your own personal kryptonite

Since the beginning of time, the combination of art & science has unlocked tremendous breakthroughs in understanding. What if this was a power we all could harness? And why is this skill uniquely needed now? This workshop is designed to help you rethink how you feel about data, insight & the power of storytelling.

In this session, we’ll examine the driving forces behind the demand for data, look at some phenomenal examples of data-driven storytelling and each participant will leave with a few tips and tricks to help them move from data being an abstract idea to a secret weapon in their day-to-day.

Dionna McPhatter, Founder, NACCI

3:00PM – 3:30PM


3:30PM – 3:45PM
Jay Chiat Award Winning Case Study: nATIONAL cATEGORY


3:45PM – 4:15PM
Why I Love And Need My Agency Partners

How is marketing changing and what valuable role will agencies play in the future? Drawing upon her experience working in leadership roles on both the agency and client side, hear from Claudine Cheever on lessons learned about what makes these relationships and their outputs work well, or not.  What are some of the unique ways Amazon is working with its agency partners today and what will they and other marketers need from their agencies and planners in the future.

Claudine Cheever, Global GM of Marketing and Advertising, Amazon

4:15PM – 4:30PM

4:30PM – 5:00PM
Conditioning for a Screenless Future

The rapid rise of voice, advancements in alternate realities (AR/VR), and power of computer vision all indicate a future user experience void of screens. By looking at the psychology behind our reliance on screens and how we currently digest information, we can point to a future world of ambient and environmental display.  

Where we are going, we don’t need screens.

Christopher Neff, Senior Director of Innovation, the community

5:00PM – 5:15PM

5:15PM – 5:30PM
Wrap Up

Amy Winger, Chief Strategy Officer, VML

6:00PM – 7:30PM
Reception Sponsored by Google