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Mad men to robots – Unbound 2016 on how the advertising world is rapidly changing

Mad men to robots – Unbound 2016 on how the advertising world is rapidly changing

A panel of industry experts discussed advertising’s evolution at Unbound London 2016 in Shoreditch.

MEC digital partner and head of mobile for EMEA Ben Rickard felt that, a few years ago, creative was an absolute given. “There were a lot of promises of data and tech five years ago and actually what we’ve seen is promises have started to come true.”

Rickard discussed the “crossroads of identity” which has led companies to question whether to keep churning out ad volume to a large, indiscriminate audience.

Xaxis UK managing director Harry Harcus said that machines are all about automation and efficiency, and people will not be replaced by AI as they are required to work with clients, build algorithms and sell solutions, among other things.

He also discussed how, while programmatic started with direct response banner ads that were not popular, they were effective on a ROI basis.

The debate then moved to whether the three-way conversation with an agency can slow things down, and whether interacting directly can allow for a more direct relationship. Harcus obviously disagreed, reinforcing that it depended on control, and the strong relationships with media owners that advertisers were unlikely to achieve as fast.

Discussing the emergence of three clear models – in house, outsource and hybrid – Rickard discussed their relative merits. “From a client perspective it depends what relationship you want,” he concluded. “There’s a lot of game playing going on.”