The 9th annual FFWD Advertising and Marketing Week by the Institute of Communication Agencies (ICA) kicked off on Monday, January 30 and runs until Friday, February 3 with most events taking place at the Bell TIFF Lightbox in Toronto. FFWD is a combination of speaker engagements, parties, awards and galas, all surrounding topics relevant to the communications industry including of course, marketing and advertising.

This year’s lineup of events included speakers from Facebook Canada, Twitter Canada, Google Canada, CIBC, Rogers, Amazon, Shopify, Mazda, and many more. Topics ranged from the future of financial services, to SEO, to the steady growth of app usage.

Some members of the TACK10 team had the opportunity to engage with the FFWD speaker series throughout the week, tweeting some of the most interesting pieces we picked up. Today in particular, TACK10’s Megan had the chance to sit in on two back-to-back sessions. The first was part of FFWD’s Morning Master Series, this one featuring Dr. Kyle Murray, Professor of Marketing and Director of the School of Retailing at the Alberta School of Business. Dr. Murray’s talk centered around “Emotion Hacking the Consumer Mind,” or the way brands can understand how their customers’ feelings affect their purchasing habits.

Dr. Murray pulled from personal research in the field to explain to the audience the important link between behavioural science and marketing, and how brands can, in a sense, manipulate the way their consumers are feeling in order to push them towards certain products. In a similar way, consumers themselves can try and alter their feelings as a way of purchasing what they think they want or need. For example, someone who loves chocolate but wants to start a diet will make themselves believe they hold negative feelings towards chocolate in an attempt to stop purchasing it. This Morning Master Series speech was fascinating and the engaging question period at the end made it all the more informative.

Following Dr. Murray’s presentation was an entertaining panel session on “The Power of Live Sports” lead by Tara Slone, co-host of Sportsnet’s Hometown Hockey. Slone spoke of the personal impact Hometown Hockey has on each community the show visits, and how the importance of sports broadcasting in general has grown throughout the years. Slone was joined on stage by VP of Programming at Sportsnet Greg Sansone, President of Charlton Insights Gord Hendren, and COO of S&E Sponsorship Group Matthew Logue, who each took an anecdotal approach to the discussion, really showing how live sports impact viewers on a personal level. Logue even explained how sports broadcasting can inform purchase decisions – he once bought a new television simply because he was about to host a Super Bowl party.

To find out more about which sessions TACK10 members are taking part in, and what we’ve learned at each, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @TACK10Strategy. And if you’re too late in purchasing tickets for FFWD, make sure to do so for next year’s event! For now, join the online conversation by using #FFWD2017.