In May 2022, Advertising Week Europe returned to London’s Picturehouse Central, the event’s first in person gathering for two years. LEAP’s Head of Group Marketing and Business Development Joanne Merecido joined the exciting programme of thought leadership and IRL networking. In this interview, Jo reflects on her AWEurope experience and shares her key takeaways from the event.
What was your first impression of AWEurope 22?
Picturehouse Central was bustling with creatives, marketers and agency innovators. Set over seven stages it was a wild buzz!
What were the key themes of AWEurope 22?
The metaverse, gaming, sustainability and diversity took centre spotlight at this year’s Advertising Week Europe event.
What is the one thing we should know about the metaverse?
The metaverse is something that is still relatively in its infancy for brands to utilise, but as with all innovative advertising opportunities there will be winners and losers – the brave may come out on top.
Is gaming culture going mainstream? Are we going to be seeing more of a crossover between gaming and other advertising platforms?
The persona of a ‘traditional gamer’ no longer exists. Whether you’re talking about Wordle enthusiasts or FIFA players, there are most certainly opportunities for advertisers. According to Activision Blizzard Media research, gaming is an all-day affair which has some gamers most engaged with “entertainment activities ahead of live TV, streaming TV, and streaming video — even during traditional prime time hours.”
However, there are challenges in this space for brands seeking attention. A FIFA banner ad take-over doesn’t cut it. Static advertising, albeit in a virtual world, isn’t as effective as interactive. Attention is up for grabs, and to gain more, brands are looking at interactive ads. For some this could be another year for marketers to use QR codes to engage audiences.
How are the conversations about sustainability and diversity shaping up for 2022 and beyond?
On the Boardroom Stage, sustainability and diversity were front of mind. Though many businesses are thinking about CSR, the audience was challenged to consider PSR – Personal Social Responsibility. Change is more than a list of policies. Speakers at a panel discussion sponsored by Amazon Ads and in collaboration with WACL highlighted that we are in a talent shortage and there is the need to be flexible to attract and keep talent.
Finally, if there was just one thing we should remember from AWEurope 22, what would it be?
If Content is King, Creative is Queen – this was a theme throughout the event. We all know that ads can be annoying, especially when they’re not relevant to us. But as Jean-Baptiste Moggio highlighted, “you have a chance to convert passive attention to active attention with a great Creative.” And, with great Creative, you need high-quality production. This is where we have solidified our position in the industry for 30+ years!