After lunch, Kerri-Anne Kennerly shuffled out for some slightly light entertainment, a game show format called ‘The Digital Showdown’. There were 8 competitors drawn from agencies across the country, where they were nominated as the agencys best digital mind. There were serious prizes too. The winner scored a trip to the Cannes Lions, and their nominated charity got a 200k media buy with ninemsn, and a 100k media buy on Channel 9.

The questions focussed on ninemsn and the digital industry, and pretty soon reps from Initiative and Ikon surged ahead from the pack. In the final quiz-off between the two leaders, Initiative’s moustached trivia maestro Andrew Davis sped ahead. Davis probably should have been docked five points, however, for not being able to remember Old Spice Guy Isiah Mustafa’s name, instead calling him “that black guy”. Cue groans across the room, and we were reminded that as far as Australia has come in digital advertising, we’ve still got a long way to go with other parts of life.

Davis held on, booking his ticket to Cannes, and that big media buy for his charity pick, the Surfrider Foundation.

Fittingly, Portland Wieden and Kennedy’s group director Daniel Sheniak stepped up next and walked us through the brilliant Old Spice campaign, and showed why his agency was an inspiring place to work.

The Case study videos were almost as great as their campaigns, depicting inspiring work with Nike on their Livestrong, LeBron James, and FIFA World Cup campaigns.

IPG Media Lab’s Brian Monahan was up next and told the summit that engagement and giving something consumers want or need really is the key to winning their hearts.

He played some consumer video diaries demonstrating that people really do hate ads, and try their best to get away from watching them on TV and elsewhere, so the key is making your brand something they want to experience.

Monahan also said consumers are doing more pre-shopping than ever before, and are getting more feedback from blogs, friends and family before buying, even for lower purchase points.

The day certainly proved ninemsn has some serious cashflow, and knows how to put on a show, but can the brand re-establish itself as the biggest digital player of all? It became pretty clear Bing forms a huge part of what ninemsn wants to be in the future, and that’s a digital power genuinely competing with Google. Yesterday’s B2B public relations exercise was impressive, and demonstrated that the company is willing to take chances and be different to Google. Perhaps harnessing this sense of cool and excitement will be key to impressing consumers in the next five years.

Marketing magazine welcomes readers comments. If you were there, let us know what you thought, either below in our comments section or on Twitter (@Marketingmag)