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New York Festivals International Advertising Awards® has announced the 2018 Grand Jury. To date, NYF’s powerhouse 300+ Grand Jury represents the most diverse brain trust of global creative minds in the advertising industry from 50 countries.

From Cape Town to Sao Paola and Berlin to Tokyo, this esteemed peer-nominated panel provides a 360-degree creative view of the advertising world today. 2018’s Grand Jury is comprised of Chief Creative Officers, Executive Creative Directors, Creative Directors, Art Directors, Copywriters, Executive Producers, and Marketing/PR pro’s all playing a pivotal role in selecting the World’s Best Advertising® winners.

“New York Festivals is honored to have these prominent industry creatives participate on the 2018 Grand Jury. This 300-strong creative jury were all nominated by their peers, creatives who were judges themselves last year, and are respected globally for their innovative work and award-winning creative talent,” said Michael Demetriades, President/Executive Director of New York Festivals International Advertising Awards.

Using New York Festivals online judging platform, the Grand Jury will review global entries through two rounds of meticulous judging and select the creative work that merits Finalist Status. These entries will then move on to the medalist round. NYF’s Grand Jury is also the first line of defense, scrutinizing ads to provide security against possible scam ads.

2018’s trophy winning entries will be determined by the 8th annual Executive Jury, an elite panel of 30+ Global CCO’s. The Executive Jury will gather this April in New York City for four rounds of judging across all mediums and select 2018’s First Prize, Second Prize, Third Prize, Grand Award winners, and Best in Show. The members of the 2018 Executive Jury will be announced soon.

“NYF’s juries are dedicated to the process of selecting the World’s Best Advertising, these creatives that are nominated to serve on the jury provide both their time and creative insights to ensure that the best creative work from around the globe is honored,” said Mr. Demetriades. “Their creativity and industry expertise represent the diverse range of creative talent present in today’s international advertising space.”

To view the 2018 Grand Jury, Please click HERE

The 2018 New York Show℠ awards ceremony and gala will take place the evening of Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the world-class performance space, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th Street, New York City.


Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

The Celebrity Power of Music in Advertisements

Influencer marketing is one of the industry’s trendy flavors. Connecting consumers with brands through the voices (and images and videos) of celebrities. Or through anyone with influence.

Our recent research, however, reveals that there’s an old-school component to ads that acts much like an influencer: music. Neuroscience shows us that, when used correctly, music can put viewers and listeners in a more positive mood, leading to a greater reliance on intuition and a reduction in both critical thought and focus on detail. This “fluid processing” is an ideal state of mind for processing advertising that brands should be seeking when communicating with consumers.

The familiarity that consumers feel with some music also helps to engage memory frameworks, bringing to the brand familiar and positive associations already in place in the minds of consumers. Of course, not all familiarity is positive familiarity. The wrong music can trigger associations that are not in line with core brand values and can overshadow the brand if it is the wrong song, or it may even date the communication. So how do you know whether music creates this “celebrity” or “influencer” halo, and when it positively engages consumers?

How Audio can Influence Trust

A value, like trust, can be difficult to communicate and measure with traditional research tools. Much of the perception of trust is nonconscious, so measuring it accurately can only be derived with technology that can measure the nonconscious impact.

A financial institution approached us recently with the following scenario. In trying to build trust with viewers, marketers wanted to know whether the creative and, specifically, the soundtrack were properly aligned. One version used music with a modern and contemporary sound, while the other used one with a more traditional musical tone.

Both ads otherwise consisted of the exact same series of visuals depicting people confidently striving to achieve their goals. The results showed that the more traditional music was significantly outperforming the modern soundtrack, particularly in helping the ad to better connect emotionally with the viewers and convey a message of trust.

This emotional boost wasn’t constant throughout the ad (it’s not as simple as one piece of music over another). Instead, the traditional music supported key messaging moments in the ad. This synchronization helped the ad’s visuals and voiceover to perform better with the traditional music.

Sometimes it pays to invest in Popular Music

It’s no secret that music licenses can be expensive. Brands, of course, want to know whether such an investment will be worth the return. Another client, this time one of our beverage clients, wanted to test such a scenario. In short, would a well-known pop song be worth significantly greater investment than a song created just for the ad? It was a quarter-million-dollar question for the brand team.

Using the tools of neuroscience, we found that the pop song increased attention, emotion and memory by 20 percent. Additionally, our neurological wear-in score showed that the pop song delivered a significant increase in effectiveness over multiple viewings, meaning that consumers engaged more with the ad the more they viewed and heard it. In our experience, this is a difficult feat to accomplish!

In addition to tapping into memories for consumers, the power of popular music may be in part due to its potential to trigger the "conforming" (or "follow the herd") heuristic. This gives the advertised product a halo of popularity, which signals to the consumer that there is less risk in trying it out for new purchasers. A famous song may also imbue the messages in an ad with greater authority if the music drives associations with rich and famous musicians who are seen as cultural leaders.

That said, there are also dangers with popular music in comparison to lesser-known pieces. Some popular music already has established associations, such as era and sub-culture, which may or may not be aligned with the brand. Or the music may steal the show, so to speak, instead of playing a supporting role, which can lead to a weak connection with the brand and an ad that is merely entertaining as the core message gets lost. We’ve even seen cases in which unfamiliar music performs as well or better than popular music, which means there may be situations where there is no clear benefit in exchange for the high price tag of popular music IP rights.

Consistency also plays an important role: when done correctly it can create what can be called “sonic branding.” A strong celebrity endorsement or an advertisement that creates a celebrity. That same halo can be created when consistent use of a piece of music is used across a brand’s advertising. Even if previously unfamiliar, it can create an enduring link for the brand that provides easy access to its associations in the minds of consumers. Brands throughout history have used songs and jingles for this purpose, but it is a technique that often advertisers do not use to their full advantage.

The important takeaway is that every situation, every ad and every brand is different. Our brains will react differently to different songs in different contextual environments. But only when you can access this deep layer of thinking can you truly understand - how does sound influence us? And that is a question worth answering.


Written by Dr. Bradly Vines, Director Neuroscience Europe, Nielsen

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

A new hope for QR Codes?

We talk a lot about “online” as if it’s still 2005. People today don’t go online. We don’t plug in modems or dial up. We don’t spend time surfing the web, eBanking or online dating. Being online is just life in 2017.

Since 2000, we’ve done a great job of creating a digital overlay to our world, but there are still gaps and effort required of consumers: Text four digits to an eight digit number to get real time bus information; go to a website to find out more; or “search this” to download our app. The next stage is to better bridge reality with the lattice of the Internet. For example, while I’m not quite as excited about voice as many, TV ads that instruct you to ask Alexa to order something are interesting and reduce complexity. As Alexa, Siri, Bixby are built into phones and devices, you’ll soon be able to speak and get help anywhere. But what can brands do next to bridge the gap between online and real world, to enhance consumer experience?

QR codes could be the solution.

QR codes have dominated life in Japan since the late 1990’s, and have since taken off in China, but have never really been adopted in the West. Nobody understood what they were or what to do with them. Historically they have required downloading a special app or embedding something in another app. The mixture of no clear use cases, no existing behavior, and friction to download has killed any attempts. (I actually tried making the Western World’s first QR code ad campaign in 2005, but I think they were only scanned twice – and that may have been me.)

QR Codes have many advantages. They are free to use, free to make and free to distribute – it’s just an image that can be created dynamically in seconds. They can be featured anywhere you want: In magazines and stores, on clothing and signs. They can be encrypted, secure, and thus used for payments. By their very nature, QR codes create a virtuous circle in reverse.

Pinterest recently announced new ‘Pincodes’, making it even easier to explore ideas and be inspired by products and places. Pincodes are scannable codes on products, which will link to Pinterest boards and ideas. Pinterest already has some major US brands on board, like Nordstrom and Home Depot, leveraging opportunities in e-commerce. There will also be Pincodes on Kraft Heinz products, showing you recipes using those items. This certainly does attempt to close the gap between the online and real world. If we can find ways to leverage QR codes to make great experiences and reward people, the future could present fascinating opportunities for delivering ROI to both consumers and brands across the customer journey. We could automatically convert awareness and consideration to purchase by creating print ads that you can buy products directly from. We could scan spirit bottles to see cocktail recipes with links to additional ingredients, and reorder a pair of jeans we love by merely snapping a picture of their label, driving additional purchase and retention.

Spotify now embeds QR-style codes in their app so that you can share music in seconds, and Shazam uses them to make business cards come to life in AR. More recently, Apple has embedded automatic scanning of QR codes in the IOS camera function, and Google added them as a clear option on Chrome. We now have over one billion devices that can access them. The new wave of QR codes opens up a world of visual search opportunities that brands can tap into very easily, with huge benefits.

QR codes represent a vastly under tapped technology when it comes to delivering true ROI to consumers across their journey, and missed opportunities for brands to create two of the most critical contributors to purchases, loyalty and advocacy: Increased touchpoints and reduced friction. When we look at what the consumer actually needs from technology like QR codes, we’ll deliver so much more for them and for brands.


Written by Tom Goodwin, Zenith Media

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:00

Gaana crosses 50 million monthly active users

Gaana becomes the first music streaming app in the country to cross 50 million monthly active users

Gaana, India’s favorite music app, announced that it has crossed 50 million monthly active users to become the first music streaming app to achieve this milestone. Gaana has also been awarded the “Most Entertaining App on the Google Play Store for 2017” categorization. Gaana also has the biggest installed base amongst music streaming apps with 92 million downloads.

Gaana has continually climbed an upward demand curve garnering more than 350% growth in monthly active users over the past two years. Gaana’s attainment of a sizeable chunk of the millennial audience was a result of their innovation first approach with detail to uniqueness.

Gautam Sinha, the CEO of Times Internet which is the parent company for Gaana. “We started Gaana to delight our users with music and make it a household name. 50 million monthly users is just a beginning. ”- he said.

To their credit Gaana had launched a range of industry first features like- ‘Gaana originals’ a platform for independent music; exclusive content from both Bollywood movies & regional markets to cater to its diverse audience; ‘Gaana Specials’- an original audio content programming with top celebrities in across genres of expertise; android-auto functionality, local music Integration, transliterations in 9 languages; player optimization and auto-queue; an intuitive music recommendation engine and seamless playability even at 2G data speed.

Talking about the achievement, Gaana COO Prashan Agarwal expressed both delight and a reckoning for better future. “It’s a proud moment for Team Gaana, not many home-grown brands have achieved this kind of milestone and very few brands in the entertainment space has been able to reach to this kind of scale in India. As an Industry leader, we shall continue to innovate and deliver the best consumer experience to our users. There is a lot more in store for our users for the next quarter. Every milestone is a stepping stone for us, we shall continue to challenge ourselves & look forward to enter 2018 on a high note”, he said.

Two thirds of the world’s digital display advertising (67%) will be traded programmatically by 2019, up from 59% in 2017, according to Zenith’s Programmatic Marketing Forecasts, published today.

The value of advertising sold programmatically will rise from US$57.5bn in 2017 to US$84.9bn in 2019, growing at an average rate of 21% a year.

Programmatic trading has evolved far from its roots of building cheap coverage from remnant inventory. It now often occurs in premium environments, using private deals in which agencies can use their scale and relationship with publishers to ensure their clients ads are displayed in the right place and at the right price.

The key to success is the ability to create unique data sets that deliver unique competitive advantages, usually based on first-party data or data partnerships, and to apply these datasets to tailor brand messages and communicate them at the points most likely to move consumers along the consumer journey. Some agencies are going further by modelling these datasets to optimise their programmatic activity. Zenith has been a leader in this direction by applying machine learning to attribution modelling – a world-first initiative begun last year that has delivered double-digit gains in performance for our clients.

Programmatic trading is most advanced in three English-speaking markets: Canada, the US and the UK, where we estimate 81%, 78% and 77% of digital display advertising will be bought programmatically this year respectively. Denmark is in fourth place, with 70% of display being traded programmatically, followed by France, at 63%.

The US is by far the largest programmatic market, valued at US$32.6bn (57% of the global total) in 2017. China comes next, at US$5.3bn. Just 29% of digital display advertising is traded programmatically in China at the moment, so there is scope for plenty of future growth here.

Programmatic techniques are starting to spread from internet advertising to other, more ‘traditional’ media. In most markets this is in the very early stages and too early to forecast, but it is starting to take hold in the US. We estimate that US$5.6bn will be spent programmatically across television, radio, cinema and outdoor in the US this year, representing 6.0% of total ad expenditure in these media. By 2019 we expect the total to rise to US$13.0bn, or 13.6% of the total.

“The most advanced display markets will be 90% programmatic by 2019. It won’t be many years after that until the global display market is fully programmatic,” said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s Head of Forecasting and Director of Global Intelligence. “The question then is how rapidly programmatic techniques will spread to other media. We will be keeping a close eye on developments in the US as a guide to likely developments in the rest of the world.”

“Brands are tying together programmatic technology with unique consumer datasets and machine-learning to optimise their digital communications,” said Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s Global Brand President. “This allows them to respond in real time to consumer behaviour and continually improve upon campaign results, delivering greater brand growth.”



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