FOA 2023: The advertising of the future needs to be relevant if it is to exist at all

Written by Raquel Ríos Dafonte - Marketing Specialist at Techsoulogy
Created Jun 12, 2023 - Updated Aug 08, 2023 | 5 min read
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“This is the jungle.” Don’t just take our word for it: this was the motto of the 28th edition of FOA, The Future of Advertising. An event organized by the digital medium and during which publishers and advertisers discussed the difficulties involved in winning the attention of a hyperconnected audience in the digital age.

Eight hours of presentations and round tables on Artificial Intelligence, creativity, TikTok, data, and “brave brands” which have been capable of doing something new and really surprising their audience. Techsoulogy has experienced this jungle first-hand (the event’s decoration, soundtrack, and even the presenter’s skirt all evoked this atmosphere). Here are the most interesting insights we gathered.

How to make relevant advertising in the digital age

Given the number of media and entertainment platforms that users have at their disposal, the challenge for brands today is not just to figure out where to make an impression, but also how to do so. With what message and in what format. How to ensure they are relevant.

The key for Fernando Godoy, of the Mr. Goldwind agency, lies in having the courage to do something different from what has gone before, even incorporating a touch of madness. Drawing a parallel with the Roman emperors whom we remember thousands of years later for the significance of their actions, Fernando said that in advertising “we either die for love, or we conquer Gaul, or we burn Rome. Otherwise, we are not doing our job well. We are not being brave.”

Media quality, creativity, experience, and context are key drivers of relevance and consumer attention.

For the speakers from the agency Exterior Plus, the main drivers to win the fight for relevance and consumer attention are the quality of the medium, creativity, experience, and context of both the user and the moment of consumption itself. In line with this, they cited the example of their campaign for the Mutua Madrid Open 2023 tennis tournament: mounting a real clay court in the center of Madrid available to users who wanted to feel like professional players for a day. According to Ágata Romo and Piedad Siegfried, the success of this proposal lay in the fact that it combined a good idea with perseverance and a courageous partner who dared to implement an aspirational advertising campaign that appealed to consumers’ emotions. “For advertising to be relevant, it’s not about applying technology or artificial intelligence – they are your tools. What you have to do is excite your audience, and connect with them. Good ideas go beyond the medium,” they said.

Speaking of capturing the user’s attention and being able to measure it in order to test creativity and optimize results, the Director and Customer Success Spain and Portugal at Integral Ad Science, Benito Marín, advises taking into account three pillars:

  1. Visibility: which is the combination of viewability, exposure time, and whether you see the creativity full screen in all resolutions or need to scroll
  2. Situation: ad density, ad share of screen, brand suitability, and contextual relevance
  3. Interaction: regarding scrolling and the actions that the user carries out on the ad itself

Although these are all factors that can come into play to capture the user’s attention, according to Benito Marín, it is not about measuring everything or obsessing over a specific metric. It’s about “figuring out which metric is most important to each customer and their goals.”

Is real time marketing for all brands?

Another of the topics on the FOA table was real time marketing and how brands should take advantage of current issues to position themselves in the social conversation.

The first step, according to the Chief Marketing Officer of Ikea Spain, Gabriel Ladaria, is to establish very agile internal creation and approval processes. Considering that real time marketing consists precisely of being able to jump on a trend that may arise at any time, the challenge is to plan how to act before it happens by having a secure understanding of the tone, values, and limits of the brand, so as to be move within these when the time comes to take action.

That’s why not everything works. Working with real time marketing also involves deciding which trends a brand should not get involved with in order to maintain its coherence and credibility with the consumer. And, with respect to the fear of making a mistake when taking such quick decisions, the advice given by Fermín Elizari, Head of New Communities at Vocento, is to consider that the real risk is not to make a mistake but to “always be doing the same thing”.


The limitless application of AI in brand communication

CTV’s Role in tomorrow’s media planning

The Lead Agency Director at The Trade Desk, Tacho Orero, said that omnichannel marketing, in the sense of using all channels at the same time, has already given way to synchronicity. In other words, currently, brands must understand that the diversity of channels and platforms available to the user is part of a whole that has to be connected in order to launch the right message, in the corresponding channel, at the right time.

One of these booming channels where advertising investment is growing – also confirmed by brands present in FOA such as McDonald’s – is CTV. The brand’s Head of Brand and Strategy in Spain, Rocío Holgado, announced their intention to continue investing “a little more every year” in this medium, given the strong results in terms of improvements to ROI and campaign efficiency by connecting with much more qualified audiences.

CTV is growing and brands should continue to invest more and more in this channel.

In the same vein, for Beatriz Pérez, Head of Sales Spain & Italy at Samsung Ads, the rise of CTV can be explained by the fact that 55% of television consumption time is already dedicated to streaming content and that brands perceive it as an increasingly reliable environment for their positioning and for measuring the performance of their campaigns.

The definitive step in CTV for Daniel Balboa, Head of Digital Marketing, Media & Madtech in LG Electronics, is “to understand the new consumption moments as previously we understood that prime time in linear television was watching a family series at ten o’clock at night.”

Artificial Intelligence: a tool or a partner?

The role that Artificial Intelligence will play in the future of advertising was a constant running throughout the FOA conference. A special focus was given to Bing’s new functionalities including its chat that, in addition to links, offers enriched answers and dialogue in response to user searches.

The multiple insights can be summarized as follows:

  1. That AI is a technology that will not supplant advertising professionals
  2. That it must be used to gain efficiency and timeframes
  3. That it helps us make better decisions
  4. That it can help us co-create and improve our projects
  5. That it serves to make programmatic media purchasing more efficient
  6. That it makes it possible to optimize the consumer experience
  7. That its incorporation into search engines, such as in the case of Bing Chat, represents a huge opportunity for brands

The Global Head of Programmatic Evangelist at Microsoft, Daniel Godoy, highlighted the exponential increase in Bing searches in the United States following the launch of its new chat service. “Users are really liking it; they are really getting into doing searches again and this represents a huge opportunity for brands to position themselves in very similar searches.”

In conclusion, we return to our initial affirmation: it is ultimately about achieving relevance. That’s where the real focus of the advertising of the future lies. Transforming channels, innovations, and moments of consumption into opportunities to launch a relevant message that brings added value to the end user.


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