Big Sean, Snoop Dogg, Jidenna, and Casey Veggies performed at Tidal and Vevo’s Ad Week parties in New York
It’s kind of crazy when you think about the outrageous amount of money that flows throughout the advertising industry. In the US alone, an estimated $190 billion was spent on advertising in 2015, with TV and digital accounting for 65% of it. With budgets that enormous, it makes total sense why these media companies and ad platforms wine and dine clients. All those fancy dinners, open bar tabs, and extravagant outings to coerce clients to spend with them are pennies when compared to the bigger picture. The advertising world convened in New York City last week for Advertising Week where industry meetings, conference, and parties took over the city. I don’t work in the industry, but luckily I have friends that do, so I was able to mooch off some of their perks. I got to attend the Tidal and Vevo parties, both held at Webster Hall.
I was surprised that Tidal threw a party mostly because I thought that the streaming service would’ve folded by now (sorry for the pessimism, I was a doubter from the beginning). According to Jay-Z, Tidal reached 1 million subscribers, but that’s small when compared to Spotify’s 20 million and Apple Music’s 11 million. If I were an advertiser, I would rather spend with the latter two to maximize reach. But enough with the business talk, how was the party?? I actually had a really good time, so cheers to Tidal. Guests were treated to an open bar sponsored by D’USSÉ (Jay-Z’s cognac brand) and performances by Cassie Veggies, Jidenna, and Snoop Dogg. Casey Veggies opened up the show and the Inglewood MC put on a very solid effort in front of a crowd that consisted mostly advertising professionals who probably came for free booze, Instagram opportunities, and Snoop Dogg’s verse on “California Girls” (more on that later). Casey Veggies performed an array of cuts, even a couple off his new album Live & Grow. Jidenna followed with a really impressive and energetic set. The dapper rapper performed several songs while busting moves with his incredibly excited hypeman/ background dancer. The lackluster crowd roared when Jidenna performed his summer hit “Classic Man”. Closing out the party was Snoop Dogg. I honestly had low expectations for this set, as I anticipated Snoop to perform more of his mainstream songs to cater to the crowd. However, he took it all the way back to Doggystle and The Chronic. Snoop also had his DPG homies, Kurupt and Daz Dillinger, supporting him as hypeman and DJ. Yes, Snoop did perform “California Girls”, which got the basic girls singing along, but he also included gangsta cuts like “What’s My Name?”, “Ain’t No Fun”, “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted”. The party was really fun; maybe Tidal should pivot its business to live events and concerts.
The Vevo party had a far better crowd but offered Big Sean as the only performer. Vevo generates a significant amount of its $350 annual revenue from ads, so this event probably had some significance in demonstrating its influence on the important Millennial crowd. Big Sean put on a great show that was accompanied by some great light and video production. He ran through his hits like “Blessings”, “Dance (A$$)”, “Clique”, and “IDFWU”, and even offered some positive words about following your dreams. Surprisingly though, his set was only 30 minutes long, which is super short for someone who’s pretty popular at the moment. Snoop performed for about an hour the previous night, in addition to 20-30 minute supporting sets by Casey Veggies and Jidenna. I think that most of the crowd was a bit bewildered. When I found out that Big Sean got paid $100,000 for his set, that just confirmed there’s too much money floating around the advertising industry.