What Ad Execs Really Got Up To At Ad Week

Virool Race to Space launch partyViroolVirool threw a space themed party to celebrate sending one person to space on the Virgin Galactic flight.

New York’s annual Advertising Week brings together ad execs from all around the world.

It’s filled with panels featuring the most high profile figures in the ad industry, such as Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of the massive firm WPP, and other sessions designed to shine a spotlight on the emerging advertising superstars.

You might think the entire week is dedicated to learning and starting important conversations about advertising, but there’s a completely different side that happens at the end of each day when the panels wind down and the meetings wrap up: the events and the parties.

As actor Kevin Spacey put it when he addressed a group of industry execs at his very own Ad Week slot earlier this week: “It does in fact look like some of you are still drunk.”

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Advertising Week is as notorious for the conference as it is its parties.

After a busy day, attendees want to blow off some steam and enjoy a drink or two (or three). The parties, while not as notorious as the Cannes Lions Festival with its beach bashes and private yachts, can still be quite lavish.

Some serve surf and turf dinners drenched in a chardonnay sorrel sauce. Others stock open bars with endless bottles of high end spirits and wines, often serving fancy signature cocktails like a potent apple martini. There was even a space-themed party to celebrate one lucky marketer winning a ticket to be one of the first passengers on Virgin Galactic.

But it’s not all drinking. Ad Week attendees are also gifted with celebrity appearances, the chance to do some major deals, weird corporate gifts, massage parlors and a whole lot more.

Ad execs attend panels during the day, some with big celebrities like Jessica Alba.

Kevin Spacey spoke about creative courage at the IAB MIXX Conference.

Perez Hilton stopped by for a panel about story telling in a digital age.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali popped by to talk about chefs as brands.

And of course, advertising's biggest celeb, Sir Martin Sorrell, was in attendance.

Attendees could relax in the WebMD center, which comes fully equipped with massage therapists.

There's always some good swag to pick up, like customised Converse and Angry Birds plush toys.

Verizon sponsored a 'red room' complete with comfy couches, WiFi, and a fully-stocked bar.

Concerts are always big events at Ad Week, like this year's Outkast performance at The Best Buy Theatre.

Ad execs also got to show off their musical talents at the Battle of the Ad Bands sponsored by Pandora.

The week is filled with fancy award shows, from the IAB MIXX Awards to the CLIO Awards.

Of course parties (and drinking) are a big part of the celebration.

Virool threw a space themed party to celebrate sending one lucky person to space.

Other parties are less about the theme and more about the socializing and of course, more drinking.

Ad Week wraps up on Thursday and there will most likely be some sore heads on Friday morning.

Now take a look at some of this year's best digital ads from around the world.

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