Recap from AAF NEPA:

For this year’s annual District 2 conference, we spent a weekend in New York City, where we met some great people and heard a variety of interesting speakers involved in different facets of the advertising industry.

We started out our day on Friday at BBDO, where we heard Toygar Bazarkaya, EVP and Executive Creative Director of BBDO NY, speak about their recent “98% Human” campaign for PETA. The public service announcement was designed to raise awareness about the horrific abuse primates suffer at the hands of the advertising and entertainment agency. The campaign took several dedicated teams years of work to complete, culminating in a breathtaking and award-winning end result that proved that it was no longer necessary to use real chimpanzees and primates on camera. To see the ad and read more about the campaign and the agencies that have pledged to no longer use apes, visit

Following his presentation, we heard Rebecca Nadillo, SVP Director, Digital Strategy at BBDO NY. Bec’s talk was more of a laid back discussion amongst the room about the current direction social media is taking, and how we can effectively create engagement among users. She focused on the new creative canvas and how to adapt.

We then went to the Ad Club of New York’s offices, where we got a chance to learn a little more about each other, as well as hear Gina Grillo, President of the NY Ad Club, speak about her involvement and how they have found success.

Our last speaker of the day was Chip Walker, Chief Strategy Officer at BAV Consulting. His presentation illustrated their research on “Break Away Brands” and what creates brand loyalty. He explained their power grid formula for determining brand strength, as well as the need for a paradox or tension in brand identity.

Day 2 began at the Ad Club’s office with Andy Engel, Gotham Comedy Club’s Director of New Talent. He spoke to us about the value improvisational skills can have in business, urging each of us to take an improv class if ever given the opportunity.

Matan Ariel, Business Development Director at Interlude, wowed us with his presentation titled “The Future of Storytelling.” It showcased their platform, Interlude, which allows the creation of interactive videos that allow the user to choose their own path. The videos are such a departure from the type of media we are used to seeing that the best way to explain them is to watch them at

Our final speaker of the weekend was Marc Fischman, CEO and co-founder of Hyperactivate. Hyperactivate is a social media tracking platform that allows you to examine the engagement of each post individually, and track that engagement as far as it extends. Their unique type of metrics allow brands to see who their main influencers are, which in turn allows them to reach their audience more effectively.

Full List of 2014 Speakers:

Toygar Bazarkaya – 98% Human

EVP, Executive Creative Director BBDO NY

98% Human, Makings of the PETA Campaign

Rebecca Nadillo – Social Media

SVP Director, Digital Strategy BBDO NY

Brands That Win in Social

Rebecca is BBDO’s Co-Head of Digital Strategy, and hails from Perth Western Australia. She describes herself as a hybrid planner – having started as a brand planner who shifted into UX and digital strategy in an attempt to improve the overall quality of creative in the digital space and helps brands harness the power of it. She strongly believes in the mantra – build for and with people, not at people – and will always ask, “why?” five times. Read more about Rebecca.

Gina Grillo

President, NY Ad Club

She will speak about the many challenges and conquests made by their club. Joining the organization over 10 years ago with 1,300+ members, their club’s concerns mirror that of many clubs in our district. With Gina at the helm, The Ad Club of New York currently stands at 3,500+ members strong. Read more about Gina here.

Chip Walker – Breakaway Brands + Generation World

Chief Strategy Officer, BAV Consulting (Y&R Brands)

Chip Walker, BAV Consulting (Y&R Brands), Chief Strategy Officer will speak to data and some other interesting trends and studies and results. He will present two presentations: “Break Away Brands” and “Generation World”. Read more about Chip.

Andy Engel – Comedy & Presentations

Gotham Comedy Club, Director of New Talent (Workshop)

Andy will share how certain stand-up skills and training helps with presentation skills. He will cover several important points about how Stand-up comedy can help improve public speaking and presentation skills for business professionals and get you thinking outside the box. Read more about Andy.

Matan Ariel – The Future of Storytelling

Business Development Director, Interlude

The future of Story Telling that are shaping the way we engage with Brands and tell stories. Visit or read more about Matan.

Marc Fischman – Influencer Marketing

CEO and Co-Founder of Hyperactivate

Marc Fischman CEO of Hyperactivate will present advancements in influencer marketing. Influencers today are measured predominantly by their reach, but reach is not the same as influence. Hyperactivate has been working with numerous brands and agencies to measure influence by monitoring the audience of influencers rather than focussing on their social profile. Learn more at or read more about Marc.