Digiday estimated turnout at 25% less than previous years. Pundits dubbed the mood “pensive” and “quiet.” Still, the star factor was high. In town for the event were Olympic skater Adam Rippon, Thandie Newton, Jon Bon Jovi, Queen Latifah, David Schwimmer, Girlboss’s Sophia Amoruso, Ellen Pompeo, Naomi Campbell and many more. There were plenty of concerts, glittering displays of opulence and fireworks to entertain them.
As in recent years, tech brands dominated the more lavish beach spaces. Pinterest, Twitter, Google and Facebook all took coveted beach spots. Newer to the fray this year, with a slew of announcements (not least new original podcast content), was Spotify.
Apple and Amazon—the former largely absent from conference circuits, the latter usually under-the-radar—both featured in the line-up. Hulu also made its debut.
By now, the winners and losers are well storied. See Creative Review’s full round-up here.
Key themes among the winning projects were social activism and political commentary, and transformative innovation—with an emphasis on innovation with real impact rather than tokenistic change. Inclusion and diversity featured as well. Channel innovation was also a key theme—Apple and Google both incorporated voice assistants in some form in creative work.