Advertising week #adwk 2009 is off to a strong start.

I saw some interesting speakers today.

Jezz Frampton, CEO of Interbrand introduced a panel moderated by Business Week on the Best Global Brands-“building brand credibility and building trust in a recession”.

It featured heads of marketing  from Cisco, Microsoft, Audi and KFC.

Some interesting tidbits:

Audi CMO said that “optimism” was the biggest challenge today in the car industry

KFC CMO stressed how happy they were that they had launched grilled chicken despite the recession. It wasn’t planned this way, but it was too late to cancel the launch and it actually made a big splash and surpassed expectations. Perhaps consumers were looking for something new, healthier, and cheap in these challenging times.

Microsoft CMO talked about the internal debates they had around the launch of Bing (e.g. to brand it Microsoft or to distance it from the Masterbrand). Ultimately they decided that in order to build a brand in this tough climate, it needs all the built in recognition possible. Plus, although Microsoft has its detractors, the “silent majority” e.g. the majority of the general public have a lot of faith and trust in the brand.

Cisco CMO talked about the importance of not over-reacting to a few negative bloggers and to focus on your “inbound” traffic- passionate fans who are coming to your site- as much as “outbound” traffic- people you are trying to push message out to.

Terrific presentation by Andy Berndt at Google Labs about all the cool things (he showed 87 in one hour!) that can be created with tools from Google. It made my head spin, and also wonder who has all this time on their hands?

Among the weird and wonderful apps:

– a map of Ohio that can be played like a piano

– a stargazer that allows you to look at the night sky and situate all the constellations (no more wondering is that really Orion’s belt)

– an application that translates conversations in real time from one language to another.

The presentation is posted with a link to the full information and is definitely worth checking out. (p.s. If you are having trouble seeing the whole thing with this link, then try googling “87 Cool Things”) and finding an alternative copy.

Tomorrow afternoon I will be participating in a panel for the Jay Chiat Planning awards.

This year we’ve introduced two new awards on Brand Experience and New Product/Content Innovation.

I was on the judging panel for the latter.

We will be having a provocative discussion on future of the importance of these new categories, future of planning, and definition of great experiences.

Space still available, would love to see some friendly faces. Plus it’s at B.B. King’s. Should be cool. (And it’s only $60 bucks).

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?
What have you seen/heard at Advertising Week that’s inspired you?

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Julie is the Founder and CEO of BrandTwist, a brand consultancy that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build stronger, more profitable brands.