Industry & Life Insights from Advertising Week New York

I never thought that one day I’d have the chance of attending Advertising Week New York – the premier world’s event in the industry.

However, as unpredictable as life can be, I’ve just come back from the last edition.

It was four days full of insightful panels about data, tech, e-sports, gender equality, diversity, creativity, branding, storytelling, emotions and customer engagement, and so much more.

I knew that once I got there, I’d be lost between so many panels I wanted to attend. Unfortunately, we (still) can’t be at more than one place at the same time, so, I did my best to plan ahead.

With a notebook, a pen, and an immeasurable mix of excitement and curiosity, I left my Airbnb in New Jersey, early every day, to get the maximum out of #AWNEWYORK!

DAY #1

Six panels attended, an entire day of learning and astonishing. From “Co-Creation“, by Cirque Du Soleil & Sid Lee to “Bias in Advertising“, by Saturday Morning and P&G, I left the first day full of energy, insights, and joy.

Some of the highlights from Day 1:

  • “Humans avoid uncertainty. Uncertainty comes from our fear of death. Unless you embrace it and decide to take risks. That’s what we do at Cirque du Soleil.” (Sheila Morin, Senior Director Marketing of Cirque Du Soleil)
  • “Media is not creating only one moment with consumers; it is creating different moments across the entire consumer journey. By using emotional targeting it’s possible to create genuine engagement and drive brand value.”

Advertising is biased toward gender and race.

Wait, no.

The world is (unconsciously) biased.

The issue is bigger than we think and is still a work in progress. “The Look“, a campaign created by P&G and Saturday Morning, brings the issue to ads to provoke discussions around it. More than worth to watch it.

DAY #2

Six more incredible panels. Starting the day with Fernando Machado, the CMO of Burger King, and closing it with Disney in a compelling presentation about “Storytelling.”

I can’t even say how amazing it was to have the opportunity of attending such panels. Fernando Machado is undoubtedly one of the bravest marketers I’ve heard about so far, always willing to take risks that others wouldn’t even consider. The “Whopper Detour” is one of the best proofs of that.

Some of the highlights from Day 2:

  • “The best question to be asked is ‘What happened?’ because this gives room to the interviewee to tell her/his story.”(Mike Greenberg Host, Get Up!, ESPN)
  • “Nowadays everyone is looking for ways to implement the newest tech in their strategies. However, they are doing it wrong. Briefs shouldn’t be made focused on using tech. Briefs should focus on your objectives towards your target, and tech should come as one of the tools you could use to create real engagement with your consumers.” (Fernando Machado, CMO of Burger King)
  • “TV is now fragmented. Consumer behaviour is dynamic. And there is a lot of content available across different devices. Such a fragmented viewership also fragments data, which can lead to media opportunities: companies can now reach a specific audience on TV.”
  • “It’s not only about technology improvements, but also (most important) about the internal organization. Teams must collaborate with each other to reach a common goal, as each of them has different touching points throughout the consumer journey.”

DAY #3

I decided to start the day attending one panel that wasn’t in my pre-defined schedule: “Morning Meditation & Optimized Business,” by Conscious Enterprises. Why? Well, I believe that taking care of our minds is one of the most important things to do and that we usually forget.

How many hours per day do we truly dedicate to take care of ourselves? 🙂

As a person who has already tried to meditate for thousands of times without succeeding, there was one lesson from this section that got into my mind, and I’d like to share with those who feel the same way:

“The mind thinks involuntarily, just as the heart beats involuntarily. So, telling your mind to stop thinking, is as effective as telling your heart to stop beating.”

(Emily Fletcher Founder & CEO, Ziva Meditation)

That’s how learning to meditate should start: by accepting that the thoughts and concerns will keep coming while you’re there seated and breathing. However, once you recognize there is nothing you can do about it, you’ll feel much lighter after taking some minutes to just quietly sit and breathe.

The other panels that I got the chance to attend during Day 3 were all about AIunderstanding Generation Z, and improving customer experiences.

Some of the highlights were:

  • “When you’re designing your customer experience journey, you should view problems as goals. And adopt a transformation vision: bottom-up, using tech to understand your customers, and top-down, using tech to improve their experiences with your brand.” (David Levin, VP, Customer Experience & Digital Innovation, Bob’s Discount Furniture)
  • “GenZrs are religious to brands, as they see it as an extension of who they are. However, brands must represent GenZrs values at first.” (Nadya Okamoto, Chief Brand Officer of JUV Consulting)
  • “Within the Advertising Industry, only a few women are in power positions (11%). And when it comes to creativity, it gets even worse. Without enough women having the chance to produce content, ads end up being much more likely to be gender-biased.” (Rachel Terrace, CMO of TIME’S UP)
  • “Machine Learning is a program that consumes data and makes predictions. Artificial Intelligence is a program that considers predictions and takes action. In Advertising, AI can be applied to audience discovery, dynamic creative, and predictive analytics.” (Jacob Grabczewski Head of Product, Copilot, Xaxis)

DAY #4

Last day of #AWNEWYORK and the desire to get the most out of it! Burnout x Resilience, Women: Decision Makers and Influencers, Future of Content Marketing, Brand Building and Experiential Engagement… What a day!

  • “Accept that you’re not in control of anything besides your mind, your actions, and your will; this will give you real freedom.” (Lucio Ribeiro, Professor at RMIT in Marketing and A.I.)

“Podcasts are only good if they fit into your content strategy. It must have context. It shouldn’t be only about checking a box.” (Jamie Luke, Director of Content at The Foundry @ Meredith Corp)

  • “The future of content will focus more on what people/influencers are creating/crafting instead of how many people they are reaching. It’s about quality instead of quantity.” (Julie Hochheiser Ilkovich, Co-Founder at Masthead Media Company)
  • “Brands want to be out there sharing content about themselves; however it’s more important to first understand what consumers are looking for, which phase they are in the consumer journey, and deliver the type of content they need – so you can truly engage them.” (Stephanie Stahl, VP at Content Marketing Institute)
  • “You learn the most from the people you like the least. Difficult people teach you what not to do and also how to do extraordinary things.” (Sarah Ivey, Founder at Agents of Necessity)

Finally, here is an example of what happens when women are in power in the ad industry. Coors Light launched the first beer ad focused on women as consumers: “The Official Beer of Being Done Wearing a Bra.” The idea was not to exclude men but to include women in the conversation. Watch the ad.

Chelsea Parker is the Senior Marketing Manager behind it.

When we developed this campaign, we made a conscious decision to focus on real moments — things our consumers were actually doing. Taking your bra off at the end of a long day is one of those moments that really resonated. By choosing to feature occasions that feel surprising for beer advertising, we’re hoping to forge more authentic connections with our drinkers.


What more can I say?

Attending such an exciting event and learning about the future of advertising from such amazing speakers was just… mind-blowing!

It was also one of those life opportunities for me to get out of my routine and put myself in some uncomfortable situations:

  • I was travelling to a city I’ve never been to before (New Jersey);
  • I’ve been one time in New York before, but now I was walking around the city without data to access the internet;
  • I had offline maps, yeah. But I still got lost multiple times – which was great because I got to accidentally discover different places;
  • I was alone out there, and as a shy person, I confess it scared me at first. But, I just ignored my fears and once I was there, I enjoyed the opportunity to talk to different people, why not? 🙂

I can say that after all the experiences and learnings I went through those four days, I left Advertising Week feeling more human, more energized, and more prepared to face the challenges that are yet to come.

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

― Brené Brown

A special thanks to Centennial College for the bursary that helped me to attend Advertising Week 🙂


Published By

Bruna Tenorio

Memories of Melbourne

In October, I got the chance to travel to Melbourne to experience the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnic’s biannual conference, this year focusing on preparing for the future, now.  People from all over the world had different takes on how to help prepare students for the future of work as technology transforms the workplace. To get the chance to not only hear brilliant speakers like Stephen Murgatroyd and Ann Buller, but also meet people from all over the world was a joy.

Attending the main conference instead of the youth camp was nerve wracking, but the chance to talk with and hear the thoughts of some of the global trail blazers of post secondary education was one that I couldn’t pass up. Going into the conference, I was unsure of my place in it as a student, but as time went on and I talked and listened to the people around me, I learned so much about colleges and how I can improve myself as a student for the future.

What really impressed me though is the effort that TAFE (Technical and Further Education) Australia put into making the event a success. Many of there institutions were open for visits, and the thought and care that everyone from the director of the college to the students who were catering to various events throughout the conference. From the awards ceremony and there fashion show to the workshops, everything felt masterfully organized, and as a student it was really impressive to see people my age involved in setting up an event of this scale.

One really great thing that SaGE gave me was the chance to go places where I’ve never been! Melbourne is beautiful, and luckily for me I didn’t find any of Australia’s famous(and deadly) wildlife. From the coffee to the hiking trails to the convention centre where the conference took place, my week in Melbourne was an absolute blast and I’m so grateful that I got the chance to experience it.

My Dubai Experience!

My experience in Dubai this December was amazing! I had the opportunity to not only represent Centennial College, but also Canada at the annual G200 Conference. Through this experience, I was able to network and build professional relationships with global leaders and youth around the world. In addition, I was also immersed in all the cultural experiences that Dubai had to offer.



For the first couple days, we had back-to-back meetings and presentations at our hotel. I was in the Labour Market and Global Health Committee, where we established a series of recommendations for the United Nations about various topics including gender equality, maternal health and precarious work. It was amazing to hear ideas from youth around the world who held very distinct opinions and thoughts due to our diverse backgrounds.


The conference was really busy. We were learning, sharing and eating together throughout the three days.

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Apart from the conference, we also had some time to explore Dubai together. We visited Jumeirah Beach, the Burj Khalifa and went to the huge Dubai mall. I also had a chance to do a desert safari trip in Sharjah, about an hour away from the city.

Overall, my Global Experience trip was everything that I anticipated and prepared for. I was able to participate in a space to discuss my passion for youth development in labour and education, all while meeting new people and experiencing a different atmosphere.


I also got to know Maegan, Lina and Carlos from my very own Centennial community!

Written by: Sara Omer

Global Experience to Dubai!

Let me start this blog off with how grateful I am to have been given this opportunity to go to Dubai on December 3- Dec 10, 2017.

My goal was to learn more about the culture and have the opportunity to network with the business professionals at the G200 Youth Forum.


I went a couple of days earlier and the conference started on December 6, 2017.  This global experience was a chance to experience the culture, network and learn more about my self. I went two and a half days earlier before the conference, I was able to adjust to the time difference.


I had the chance to go to the Global Village, It was by far one of my favorite things to do in Dubai. It was beautiful at night with the lights and this was the best opportunity to shop.

I went on a Desert Safari and the Gold Souk.

I went to the Dubai mall and behind the mall was the fountain show.


Once Wednesday came, that was the first day of the G200 Conference.  I applied to participate in the G200 Young Professionals Platform and The G200 Entrepreneurs Platform, which went great with my program I study at Centennial College. At this conference, I had the chance to listen to other speakers and meet them.

Overall, my Dubai Experience was amazing and I learned a lot from networking and traveling by myself.  The G200 conference was a great opportunity to learn about world issues and business professionals life experiences, the importance of happiness, globalization, investor relations, social entrepreneurship and about other countries.

Written By: Maegan

One Young World Summit 2016


Last month around these days, I was planning to go on a trip of a lifetime. Centennial College provided me with the opportunity to go and feed my hunger to be part of global event, the universally acclaimed One Young World Summit founded by David Jones and Kate Robertson. The first summit was held in 2012 by the leadership and guidance of Former President of Ireland, Mary Robertson, and after that has been an active Counselor for all the summits. One Young World  is the preeminent global forum for leaders aged 18-30. The not-for-profit organization hosts an annual Summit with 1,300 delegates from all 196 countries; drawn from businesses, universities, NGOs and other forward thinking organizations. The delegates are joined by One Young World Counselors — global luminaries who support the network of young leaders in their ambitious projects for change. Kofi Annan, Professor Muhammad Yunus, Mary Robinson and Bill Clinton have attended previous One Young World Summits as Counselors.

Opening Ceremonies

Being a One Young World Ambassador was no easy road for me, as being the lone representative for Centennial College required me to pass an interview which had all the potential candidates. Luckily and due to my good interview I was selected to represent my second home country Canada . I traveled to Ottawa through VIA train and reached the Hotel Delta on October 28th. Shortly after I reached my destination, the opening ceremony was held on the beautiful grounds of Parliament Hill.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Speaks

The opening ceremony started with an orchestra by a NGO, Orkidstra. Then, all the Counselors arrived on stage and were welcomed by David and Kate. Finally, came the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

Then the day ended with beautiful flag ceremony and small keynotes by Counselors preparing us for what is next in three days.

Here is the link to the speech of our Prime Minister:

The next day was full of plenary sessions, networking breaks and free Starbucks coffee! The three days focused on health, violent extremism, education, gender equality and economy. Amongst all these informative sessions, the things which left impressions on me are:

I learned that to change the world, we have to unite. As emerging leaders and the leaders of today in our communities, working alone is simply not an option.

1 – If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together
2015 Queen’s Young Leader award winner PJ Mandewa-Cole from Sierra Leone talked about his organization’s efforts in transforming the situation in the country and how by building a movement and leading people to join his mission really helped to super power his work.

2 – We need to bridge the gap between developing and developed nations

Listening to the way Mohammed Yunus has used social entrepreneurship and micro finance to transform livelihoods into sustainable entrepreneurship across Bangladesh inspired me. Developing parts of the world can adopt practices from other regions and the infrastructure and thought leaders from developed parts of the world can play a key part in injecting the inspiration, governance and leadership to help effectively build capacity on a global scale. We need cross-fertilization of ideas and talent between all corners of the world if we really want to unlock the key to equality in both participation of various groups and in economic development and opportunity creation.

Internal Breakout Session

3 – Cross-cutting partnerships are the way forward                                                        

Every sector, every country, every leader, has a piece of knowledge and experience which could be useful. I learned from breakout sessions at the conference that economic opportunities could be created for young people through effective collaborations between corporate foundations donating their employees’ time along with effective microfinance schemes, government backing and local leaders promoting opportunities. Who will be the leaders, the glue, the nucleus which joins such initiatives and leadership together to achieve systemic, sustainable social change? We need to think deeply about strategic, cross sector partnerships. In the UK for example, Youth Business International who I work for, work with governments, local agencies, donors and corporates in order to build youth entrepreneurship programmes across the world creating businesses and employment opportunities for young people.

I hope my thoughts and reflections are useful and give some ideas about achieving social change in innovative ways in your community. I will certainly be sharing further insight in future posts and look forward to your comments.

Amongst all these I came across so many young, successful people working hard to change their lives and ultimately change this planet. Made many friends from USA, UK, Spain, Austria, France, Brazil, Colombia, Australia and many more across the globe.

The Shaw Centre, where the Summit was hosted.
The famous Rideau Canal in front of the Shaw Centre.
Needs no introduction! The famous landmark of Canada – Parliament Hill.
And, finally, the best thing I ever ate in my life – the Austrian delicacy: Chicken Schnitzel.

By: Sunpreet Singh