The event also includes a pair of conversations, both of which are moderated by Brian Stelter, senior media correspondent and host of Reliable Sources. The first is with that agency’s head about the media landscape. During the Feb. 16 event at IPG Mediabrands’ office, Stelter spoke with David Cohen, president for North America at Magna Global, about the importance of succinct messaging.
“We spent tons and tons of time over the past couple of years talking about data and programmatic and media, and we haven’t spent nearly enough time, in my view, talking about what is the message that we’re putting in that environment,” Cohen told Adweek. “We’ve done a bunch of research recently. Attention spans are at an all-time low. I feel like a 15[-second ad] is long and a 30[-second ad] is interminable. We talk about a Snapchat of 10 seconds, a YouTube of six seconds; we need to be far more condensed in how we’re telling stories.”
In the second conversation at the event, Stelter speaks with a rotating mix of CNN execs and talent, including Lisa Ling (host of This is Life with Lisa Ling), Chris Cuomo (New Day co-host), Otto Bell (vp and group creative director, Courageous) and Ed O’Keefe (svp, premium digital content), about some of CNN’s new programming, how the network tells its stories and how partners could work with them. “It’s an opportunity to talk a little bit about the brand, but also talk about the business together,” said Cukaj.
Cohen said he found the CNN Experience a refreshing change from the usual run-of-the-mill upfront discussions. “It’s a period of several weeks of meetings where we go to see some relatively generic presentations that we’re just sitting in the audience, listening to our media partners talk about what they’re bringing to market. A bunch of us have been trying to figure out, is there a better way?” said Cohen. “This is probably the most elaborate, most hands-on, most experiential thing we’ve done with a partner, but that’s what cuts through. So when you think about Turner and CNN, you remember something like this, as opposed to sitting in an auditorium, listening to a bunch of talking heads.”