By Carly Sitzer
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Ashton Kutcher, Tori Spelling and Kevin Jonas were just some of the celebrity names in New York City Thursday night for an Internet Week event which examined how the World Wide Web has made the widespread, viral creation and distribution of content—that was once a dream—a reality.
Brand agency Digitas was behind the fourth annual NewFront conference, an event designed to bring together the company’s clients with the leading content creators, distributors and talents.
This year’s theme was “Pipe Dream/Pipe Reality,” and included a panel titled “Modern Family,” where reality TV stars Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott joined pop star Kevin Jonas and several others to discuss the role of social media – for not only professional growth, but also its personal impact in the lives of young people.
The NewFront encouraged interaction from audience members by having a live Twitter feed (featuring tweets with the hashtag “#NF11”) and by asking them to answer questions via text message.
The “Modern Family” panel asked the question, “Has technology brought your family closer or further apart?”
Lizzie Marie, an 11-year-old chef also featured on the panel, explained that technology has brought her family closer and told a story about how her father’s biological family contacted him after they found him Facebook.
“Because of him being on Facebook, we’re going to have a family reunion,” she said on the panel. “It’s really cool that I get to meet these aunts and uncles and a grandfather I never met before and it’s all because of being on Facebook and meeting through technology.”
Musical group the Roots also had a member present on the conference. Drummer Questlove spoke on a panel titled “Live! Unstaged” about how this contact through technology can personally engage an artist with his/her audience.
“More than ever before fans are connecting with their favorite artist,” the drummer said. “And those fans openly share when they’re upset by something the artist is doing.”
Additionally, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Tyra Banks, Soleil Moon Frye and Zach Quinto were also among the celebrities who spoke to Digitas’ clients from the frontline of creative content construction.
There were also people such as Susan Popper, senior vice president of marketing communications for SAP Marketing, who offered advice on not just what to market but also how to market your content.
“Distribution strategy is as important as the content strategy,” Popper said. “Where your brand is going to live online is just as important as what your brand is going to say online.”
For more information on The NewFront or to watch videos of the panels, visit the official website of The NewFront here.
Carly Sitzer is an intern with CBSNewYork.com.