Fads, Futures and Trust – What Stood Out at Advertising Week APAC 2019

Advertising Week APAC 2019 returned to Sydney for its second year, spanning four days at the iconic Luna Park with more than 200 speakers and 4,000 attendees. Michelle Hutton (CEO of Edelman in Australia) took the stage to present the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: In Brands We Trust?

Diverse speakers from the Australian and global media, marketing and advertising industries shared their incredible work and their thoughts on the latest industry trends. While there was a vast array of speakers and topics, a few trends were prominent throughout the conference:

Wellness isn’t a fad, it’s the future

Wellness has been an increasingly important topic across the industry in the past few years, with more and more people and organizations placing value on the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. The first keynote speaker for AWAPAC, Sherilyn Shackwell, founder and CEO of The Marketing Academy, opened the conference with a presentation on “purpose” and how to rediscover the joy in life and work. Shackwell’s light-hearted presentation left us with some wonderful life tips:

  1. Get some perspective. Take a moment to consider: Is this issue going to matter in five minutes? Five days? Five weeks? Or five months?
  2. Find your tribe. Stop spending time with people who won’t attend your funeral.
  3. Be fearless. Get the fire in your soul!

The future is social

This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, but the importance of social media and creating an integrated social media approach was one trend that was at the forefront of several presentations. One particular talk, on “The Social Evolution,” pulled the expertise from a panel of social media specialists who shared the following key learnings on what brands should keep in mind when communicating on social media:

  • A good strategy comes back to knowing your audience. Take the time to truly understand your consumers and their values so you can effectively communicate with them.
  • Social media is now part of our everyday culture, so it should be fully integrated into all elements of the business and daily media approach.
  • Quality over quantity — doing it once and doing it well is miles better than doing it halfway 10 times over.

Trust is key

Trust in brands has continued to be a prevalent topic that many speakers touched on during the conference. Hutton presented the importance of building trust with consumers through the voices of social media influencers. Some of the key findings from this data were:

  • Authenticity before reach—find the people who have the most authentic voice with your target audience.
  • The influencer’s own voice is your best bond with their audience. Brands need to allow these trusted voices to speak in their own words and tone.
  • Long-term partnerships with key influencers can help grow your brand. Influencers build solid relationships with their audiences so brands must do the same with their influencers.

Edwina Jones is an assistant account executive at Edelman in Sydney.

Annie Spratt