Last week Kirsty Brice (Marketing Director), Kirsten Lincoln (Senior Manager, Client Services) and I attended IAB Engage in London. This year’s topic was Power & Choice, and as always the Internet Advertising Bureau didn’t disappoint us with amazing speakers and fascinating insights.

Many interesting topics were covered, here are some top takeaways:

IAB insights
Results H1 2016 UK Digital Ad Spend Results

  • Mobile – For the first time in the UK mobile display overtakes desktop display by reaching £802m.iab-engage
  • Video – the fastest growing format, increased by 69% since H1 2015 and according to Dara Nasr (MD UK Twitter) 82% of internet traffic will be video in 2019.
  • Social – Social Media Display Advertising is still growing with 43% increase year on year (+£224m).

Smart use of Data.
Once more the ‘’data’’ discussion was everywhere, but discussions were about understanding that the amount of data we can get is not important and it’s not the aspect we should focus on. Marketers need to think of the way to use this data and how it can be relevant to their customers. Before speaking about data, we need to understand our costumer’s needs and offer them specific solutions to deal with their requests and help them reach their goals.

Snapchat: ‘’The art of storytelling’’
The rising social network made a lot of noise this year and IAB Engage attendees had great expectations of the presentation from Claire Valoti (GM UK, Snapchat) as this was her first public appearance on stage in the UK. Below are some great insights shared with the audience about Snapchat and its phenomenal growth:
– 10+ Million active users in the UK (50+ Million in Europe)
– 50/50 gender split
– 77% over 18
– 43% are parents
These statistics show that Snapchat is not only a great opportunity for marketers because of the number of users but also by the diversity of the audience offered – Snapchat users are not all teenagers.


Ad video Snapchat templates were shared at IAB Engage proving that Snapchat is a serious player in term of creativity: ‘’People don’t just tolerate Snapchat ads, they play with them,’’ according to Valoti. By using this new video format, Snapchat will be the first social network to make their users interact and play with ads. It’s an exciting time as this format will offer new possibilities for brands and marketers to reach their audience in an innovative way.

The harmony of humans and machines.
During this session we focused on the following question – Can machines be creative and how can this creativity help us? We heard from the remarkable Saqib Shaikh (Microsoft software engineer) who lost the use of his eyes at age 7. Saqib was presenting ‘Seeing AI’ which is a project that helps people who are visually impaired to better understand what’s happening around them. Here is a video of this incredible project which is bringing humans and machines together.

All in all it was a great event and we’re looking forward to IAB Engage 2017.