Relevance Conference 2018 Recap

Xandr’s inaugural Relevance Conference in Santa Barbara, California, brought together thought leaders and luminaries in marketing, entertainment and advertising, to discuss the issues of the day facing brands and media companies – from competing for audience attention to the new currency for consumer engagement: Relevance.

During the conference, the shareholders of attention met the data-minded mavens who are changing the face of the premium video ecosystem.

Below is your personal Relevance Conference Replay, to catch all the great content on your time.

Monday, September 24

Igniting Anticipation

After their arrival at the svelte Ritz Carlton Santa Barbara, attendees mingle with other conference goers over drinks and hors d'oeuvres while enjoying oceanside views.

6:30PM – 7:00PM
Ocean Lawn

Unlocking The Power Of Chill, An Intimate Discussion With Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington, CEO, Thrive Global
Moderated by Rick Welday, President, Media Sales and Operations, Xandr
Arianna Huffington kicks off The Relevance Conference! Huffington has been a public figure for decades, most notably as co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post. She discusses the importance of health and wellness and how treating our bodies and minds well enables us to stay relevant. She also gives us a first look at some new projects she’s working on at Thrive Global.

Tuesday, September 25

The Shareholders Of Attention

Day 2 of The Relevance Conference is all about the changing pace of the attention economy: with infinite content chasing finite attention, how do you stand out?

9:00AM – 9:20AM
Bacara Ballroom

A New Kind of Advertising Company

Brian Lesser, CEO, Xandr
Brian Lesser takes the audience through the journey to build a new kind of advertising company. Inspired by our past, he reveals where we’re heading in the future.

9:20AM – 10:00AM
Bacara Ballroom

The Components Of A Modern Media Company

Randall Stephenson, Chairman & CEO, AT&T Inc.
Moderated by Poppy Harlow, CNN
Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO, talks with CNN’s Poppy Harlow about how a telecommunications giant transforms into a modern media company.

10:00AM – 10:10AM
Bacara Ballroom

Welcome To Relevance
Act 1: The State of Consumer Attention

Kirk McDonald, CMO, Xandr
CMO Kirk McDonald shares at a high-level what inspired Relevance, and kicks off the day with a sizzle, as we begin to share original research Xandr commissioned to understand the relationship between consumers, brands, content and advertising.

10:20AM – 10:35AM
Bacara Ballroom

Decoding The Science Of Attention

Dr. Ali Rezai, Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute
Brain science is relevant to each and every one of us. It helps us understand why we operate – and is crucial to creating advertising that’s less intrusive and more valuable to the consumer. What does it mean to multitask? How do consumers tune in – and out? Dr. Ali Rezai discusses why paying attention to the science of attention is no longer voluntary.

10:35AM – 11:05AM
Bacara Ballroom

Breaking The News: Staying Relevant In A Real-Time News Cycle

Jesse Angelo, New York Post
Sara Just, PBS NewsHour
Allison Rockey, VOX
Bari Weiss, New York Times
Moderated by Brian Stelter, CNN
The news business is being disrupted. From social platforms to user-generated content, the lines are blurring between content creators and professional journalists. This elite group of media mavens discusses the challenges of staying ahead in a 24/7 news cycle – and why good reporting, above all else, keeps you relevant.

11:05AM – 11:35AM
Bacara Ballroom

Video Is The “NewTV”

Jeffrey Katzenberg, Managing Partner, WndrCo and Chairman & Founder, NewTV
Meg Whitman, CEO, NewTV
Moderated by Michael Kassan, CEO, MediaLink
Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman join in a dialogue about their highly anticipated video venture, NewTV (working title), and how they’re reimagining the short-form content revolution.  

11:35AM – 11:40AM
Bacara Ballroom

Act 2: The Science of Relevancy


11:40AM – 12:10PM
Bacara Ballroom

A Legendary Second Act

Derek Jeter, CEO, Miami Marlins and Five-Time World Series Champion, New York Yankees, Co-Founder, Players’ Tribune
Moderated by Dave Winfield, Golden Glove Outfielder, Hall of Famer and 12-Time MLB All-Star
From his legendary career on the New York Yankees to his current post as CEO of the Miami Marlins and co-founder of sports media platform, Players’ Tribune, the five-time World Series champion discusses how he achieved success, and stayed relevant, on the field – and off.  

2:00PM – 2:30PM
Bacara Ballroom

Locker Room To Boardroom: Athletes Turned Entrepreneurs

Grant Hill, Turner Sports NBA/NCAA Analyst
Maverick Carter, CEO, SpringHill Entertainment
Moderated by Bill Simmons, American Sports Columnist
Athletes are everything these days: media moguls, venture capitalists, even film producers. This talk, featuring talent from across the sports sphere, discusses the skills it takes to connect to audiences on-and-off the court and field.

2:30PM – 3:00PM
Bacara Ballroom

From Insecure to Inspired

Issa Rae, Actress and New York Times Best-Selling Author
Kirk McDonald, CMO, Xandr
Actress and New York Times Best-Selling author Issa Rae, joins Xandr’s CMO Kirk McDonald in a fireside discussion about her journey from YouTube sensation with “The Misadventures Of Awkward Black Girl” to star of HBO comedy “Insecure” – and how she creates content that resonates with her fans cross-screen.

3:30PM – 3:35PM
Bacara Ballroom

Act 3: What Do We Do About It?


3:00PM – 3:35PM
Bacara Ballroom

Putting A Price On Content

Terry Kawaja, LUMA Partners
Pete Stein, General Manager, Fullscreen
Shaul Omert, CEO, Playbuzz
Vinay Singhal, CEO, Wittyfeed
Heather Christothoulou, Co-Founder and Chief Creator, Inspo Network
As the relationships between brands and consumers evolve, how do we find a happy medium between premium, paid subscription models and ad-supported media? Or should we?

3:35PM – 4:05PM
Bacara Ballroom

Marketing to A Moving Target

Fiona Carter, Chief Brand Officer, AT&T
Pam El, CMO, NBA
Jason Mayden, Co-Founder and CEO, Super Heroic
Jimmy Smith, Chairman and CCO, Amusement Park Inc.
Moderated by Steven Wolfe Pereira, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Quantcast
A dynamic group of CMOs and brand officers discuss issues impacting brand marketers of the day, from the realities of reaching audiences in a fragmented media environment, to the reason why diversity and inclusion should be a part of every business decision. It leads to happier teams, better work ethic, and more innovation. How much progress have we made, and what can we all do to be more inclusive?

4:25PM – 4:55PM
Bacara Ballroom

Ready Player Won: Why The Future Of Entertainment Is Interactive

Tedd Mann, Co-Executive Producer & Head Writer, Homeland
Stephan Bugaj, Video Game Designer and Head of D2J Entertainment
Martin Lo, NASA Designer and Scientist
Moderated by Liel Liebovitz, Author
The word “content” is ubiquitous, but what often gets lost that great content is all about great storytelling. These panelists, coming from both TV production and the gaming world, talk about how interactive storytelling is changing the way entertainment is consumed, and ultimately, enjoyed.

5:00PM – 5:30PM
Bacara Ballroom

Made You Look: Telling Stories In The Digital Age

Matthew Weiner, Creator of Amazon’s upcoming The Romanoffs
Moderated by Alana Newhouse, Editor-in-Chief, Tablet Magazine
Matthew Weiner dove headfirst into the evolution of mass communication in the middle of the 20th century with the the landmark series Mad Men. With a new original anthology series The Romanoffs for Amazon set in seven countries around the globe and shot on location in three continents, Weiner talks about the globalization of entertainment and how he creates content that resonates, engages and inspires in a fireside discussion with Alana Newhouse, editor-in-chief of Tablet Magazine.

Wednesday, September 26

Data Is The New Creative

Day 3 of The Relevance Conference centers on the data side of the attention equation, and how advancements in addressable advertising are revolutionizing TV. Experts on measurement and analytics will debate the issues impacting the industry today, from creative challenges to creating a common currency for digital and TV.

 9:00AM – 9:15AM
Bacara Ballroom

Attention, Please! Cracking The Attention Code

Joanna O'Connell, VP and Principal Analyst, Forrester
Joanna O’Connell, VP and principal analyst at Forrester, shares data and insights around ways brands and advertisers can truly capture consumer attention. How much is too much personalization? And what does it take to move from an impression-based ecosystem to measuring engagement and attention?

 9:15AM – 9:30AM
Bacara Ballroom

Consumers’ Choice: The DTC Revolution

Jesse Horwitz, Co-Founder, Hubble
and more!
Moderated by Randall Rothenberg, CEO, IAB
In a Direct-to-Consumer economy, brands are reinventing the way they connect with and sell to consumers, digitally. This trend, captured by the IAB’s “Rise Of The 21st Century Brand Economy” study, has massive implications for marketers, sales reps and keepers of the supply chain as the rules are rewritten through the removal of the middle man – in advertising supply chains and beyond.

 9:30AM – 10:05AM
Bacara Ballroom

The ROI Of Attention

Bryan Wiener, CEO, comScore
Scott Howe, CEO, Acxiom
Peter Naylor, SVP Ad Sales, Hulu
Donna Speciale, President, Advertising Sales, Turner
Moderated by Michael Rubenstein, President, AppNexus
Consumer attention is the new metric of success in our industry. How are we measuring  consumer attention today? And how does attention ultimately affect attribution? This  discussion gathers decision makers from leading measurement and data firms to discuss the  changing face of TV measurement, and the progress and pitfalls of a single currency.

10:25AM – 11:00AM
Bacara Ballroom

Advancing Addressable TV

Nick Brien, CEO Americas, Dentsu Aegis Network
John Swift, CEO, Investment and Integrated Services, North America, Omnicom Media Group
Amanda Richman, CEO, Wavemaker U.S.
Mike Welch, SVP, Corporate Strategy & Business Development, Xandr
John Muszynski, Publicis
Moderated by Jason Brown, Head of Ad Sales Partnerships, Xandr
The momentum behind addressable TV, delivering household-specific advertising based on an advertiser-defined target, has reached an important inflection point for both consumers and brand marketers. Where do we go from here?

11:00AM – 11:30AM
Bacara Ballroom

Data is the New Creative

Jesse Redniss, Executive Vice President, Data Strategy and Product Innovation, Turner
Tim Barnes, CDO, Xandr
Paul Woolmington, CEO, Canvas
Moderated by Catherine Williams, Chief Data and Marketplace Officer, AppNexus
Data has become the currency that makes advertising work, from understanding the consumer, to better reaching the consumer, and measuring the impact of that exposure. Using data for advertising goes beyond segmentation and profiling. Brands must use data to reach real individuals and customers who are most receptive to their content and messages. Properly refined, data enables brands to reach the right customer at the right time with the most relevant content and advertising experiences.