GABBCON Chicago 2016: Event Recap


Held in the elegant Stock Exchange Room at the Art Institute of Chicago, GABBCON Chicago brought brands, agencies, publishers and partners together to dive into a variety of programmatic television-related topics. Highlights included lively discussions around this year’s Upfronts announcements to new research highlighting what happened after 15 CPG brands pulled significant amounts of spend from TV. (Spoiler alert: sales suffered significantly from the reduction.)

GABBCON Chicago 2016 Panel

GABBCON Chicago took place on April 6, 2016 and attracted a wide swath of Midwestern brand and agency delegates, including executives from ConAgra, Kellogg’s, MillerCoors, Spark, MediaLink, The Engine Group and Starcom MediaVest Group.

Hot topics of the conference included:

  • The growing role of data in audience targeting for TV
  • A realistic assessment of the limitations around what is known as “programmatic TV” today
  • Tips on what brands such as ConAgra and Kellogg’s are looking for from programmatic partners
  • Research demonstrating that the influence of TV remains substantial (at least for CPG)

DataXu’s CRO Ed Montes and The Engine Group’s CEO Lisa Weinstein participated in a 45-minute fireside chat during the morning portion of the agenda. In what was both a slightly controversial and often humorous session, Ed and Lisa touched on key trends in the industry, including:

  • How programmatic is unlocking the ability to create new value using data
  • Whether or not better targeting equals increased yield
  • The news around this year’s Upfronts and the numerous, somewhat “fluffy” announcements preceding them

Later in the day, Gayle Smilanich, Associate Director of KNA Media Kellogg’s, highlighted the benefits of programmatic technology and the partners who provide the software and services to brands like Kellogg’s. Gayle stated that programmatic “does not represent the lowest price or a race to the bottom, it’s about optimizing outcomes. It’s about buying a targeted audience and ensuring performance.”

The conference also supported a special cause this year. Curt Hecht, a Chicago local and widely heralded by many in the industry as the original “father of programmatic,” fought bravely but ultimately succumbed in a battle against cancer. Table proceeds from GABBCON Chicago went towards Climb For A Cure, a not-for-profit funding immunotherapy research that is trying to cure cancer by 2020.

GABBCON Chicago 2016 DataXu Booth
DataXu looks forward to appearing as a sponsor of GABBCON at the Festival of Media in Europe May 18-20 and at Cannes Lions June 18-26th.