Cookiepocalypse, NFTs and other Insights from Ad World 2021

Cookiepocalypse, NFTs and other Insights from Ad World 2021

Surviving the Cookiepocalypse

Ben Parr, president and co-founder of Octane AI, the zero-party data marketing platform for Shopify, spoke about two big problems marketers are currently facing.

Earlier this year iOS 14.5 gave users the ability to opt out of being tracked 96% of US users have already opted out of Facebook tracking. 

Cookiepocalypse  by 2023 Google will stop supporting 3rd party cookie tracking.

What this means is that ad conversion rates will drop, and retargeting ads based on third-party data will be going away. Ultimately you can no longer rely on these ‘rented relationships’, you need to focus on building your own relationships with visitors and directly collecting zero-party data.
Screenshot of Ben Parr talk

The Future of Brand Building in Web 3.0

Mark Adams, SVP and Head of Innovation at VICE Media Group shared his view on how the next stage of the internet will be radically different from what we have today and how three paradigm shifts will drive activity.

  • Web 1.0 was essentially websites  it was about gathering information. 
  • Web 2.0 was all about identity-based social media  we uploaded our ‘selves’ and social circle online, which very quickly became about ‘status’ online, manifesting in curated Instagram feeds and filtered selfies. 
  • Web 3.0 will be a direct reaction to the in-authentic human connection mistakes made in 2.0  it will be about belonging. It completely detaches social media from our physical friendship graph, it’s architected to have no connection based on friends or friends of friends  instead, community is AI-driven. 

Community will be the thing that every single brand begins to focus on. Gaming worlds and their communities are the new social networks  he cites examples of kids throwing their birthday parties on Roblox, and Grand Theft Auto introducing a casino purely for socialising.

Adams says demographics never defined who we were, and they were never a good way of grouping people together. The AI-driven connection he foresees is driven by our interests, not by geography, and not by demographics.

Web 3.0 and its focus on community will allow for a different kind of business model  companies will decrease their reliance on advertising and embrace micropayments and commercial transactions. Examples are Kuaishou, TikTok’s main competitor, which makes 62% of its revenue from micropayments; and Soul which makes nearly 100% of its revenue ($104M over the last 12 months) from value-added services and micropayments.
Screenshot of Mark Adams talk

The Limitless Marketer: Upgrading Your Brain, and Increasing Your Productivity 

Jim Kwik, NYT bestselling author, founder and CEO of Kwik Learning, spoke about supercharging your thinking. His key to learning anything faster lies in the acronym F.A.S.T.

Your mind works best when it’s open, so forget what you temporarily know about the subject. And forget about anything that’s not urgent or important — avoid distractions and multi-tasking.

Learning is not a spectator sport, you learn better through creation — taking notes, asking questions.

Information tied with an emotional state becomes unforgettable — think of how a song or smell can trigger a memory. Never learn something in a bored state, it will be forgotten — choose states of joy, fascination, and curiosity.

Teach and train somebody else. With the explanation effect, you get to learn it twice
Screenshot of Jim Kwik talk

Technology and Devices That Are Changing Advertising Forever

Catherine Henry, SVP at Media.Monks with a focus on metaverse innovation and transformation strategy, spoke about tech-tonic trends for 2022 — three of great interest were Avatars and Identity, China and the Metaverse, and NFTs.

Avatar creation offers people an even greater chance to assume new roles or personas in games, and virtual social media. To give you some idea of the numbers: there are currently 293 million Snapchat daily users; 200 million users on Roblox, with 10% in VR; and 58 million monthly VR users which is 17% of the US population.

Henry recently expanded on this topic for TechCrunch — Is China building the metaverse? 

In truth, both the U.S. and China are trying to build and lay claim to the metaverse, with other actors such as Europe trying to do so as well, but they simply don’t control enough of the core technologies that make the metaverse possible. These core technologies include AI, 5G, end-user devices and the sector-straddling super apps that bring everything together — and related technologies such as smartwatches and eyewear. Competence and dominance across these four criteria is what may give China an insurmountable head start over the U.S. in the race to build the future of the virtualized human experience.

Henry foresees a gold rush on Non-fungible tokens [NFTs] — a ‘one-of-a-kind’ asset in the digital world that can be bought and sold like any other piece of property, but which has no tangible form of its own. She says it doesn’t just take the form of art, it can be anything — an icon, a photo, or a video moment in time like a winning touchdown. Whatever your product is, you can have an NFT. 

If you’re into sports and toying with the idea of NFTs or just want to see what’s on offer, you should check out Autograph. Co-founded by Tom Brady, it’s an NFT platform that brings together iconic brands and legendary names in sports, entertainment and culture, to create unique digital collections. 
Screenshot of Catherine Henry talk


Ad World delivered exceptional value and loads of inspiration — this article touches on only a few of the highlights, there were so many! If you have the opportunity, you should attend the next conference in May 2022, it promises to be another huge success.  And while there were many insightful sound bites throughout the event, these two struck a chord.

Email is the cockroach of the marketing strategy — it’s not dying, it’s not going anywhere.
Ryan Deiss. Founder & CEO, Digital Marketer

Instead of looking for prospects, why don’t you look for students, people who are enrolled in the journey and who can’t wait to hear from you, because if you are teaching people who want to be taught, you will always outperform interrupting people who don’t want to hear from you.
Seth Godin. Founder, altMBA, Yoyodyne & Akimbo

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