Rising Young Media Stars

In his recent book Erase Everything and Start Over!, Pierre Delagrave, president of Cossette Media, and vice-chairman of the new global independent media services company Columbus Media International (see page 62), stated that the revolution we've experienced so far in the introduction of new media and technologies is only the first wave. Wireless Internet is second and will soon be part of daily life. To fully deal with this, he says both clients and agencies should have early adopters on staff. Media shops are already on it, staffing up with an exceptional calibre of innovative and strategic young people, so strategy asked media directors to identify some of their rising young stars, and here's their take on the mediaverse.

In his recent book Erase Everything and Start Over!, Pierre Delagrave, president of Cossette Media, and vice-chairman of the new global independent media services company Columbus Media International (see page 62), stated that the revolution we’ve experienced so far in the introduction of new media and technologies is only the first wave. Wireless Internet is second and will soon be part of daily life. To fully deal with this, he says both clients and agencies should have early adopters on staff. Media shops are already on it, staffing up with an exceptional calibre of innovative and strategic young people, so strategy asked media directors to identify some of their rising young stars, and here’s their take on the mediaverse.

Lisa Correia, account manager, ZenithOptimedia Toronto

Claim to fame: In addition to CIBC and W Network, Correia works on specific divisions of Nestlé Canada, including confectionery, infant nutrition and the Nestlé CARNATION Breakfast Anytime brand. Recently she was part of the team tasked to make the KIT KAT brand synonymous with an uplifting break. The result was ‘The KIT KAT Break,’ a CanWest-produced animated 15-second unit featuring a branded clock built out of the bar itself, which bracketed top programming such as the Superbowl and Survivor running in concert with the brand-sell creative.

Background: ZenithOptimedia is the third agency for Correia since entering the media business nine years ago. ‘Ever since Who’s The Boss was on TV I knew I was going into advertising. Media really appealed to me because of the strategic work. It’s something I’ve always wanted to be involved in.’

What should everyone be aware of?

‘If you don’t have a PVR, get one. It poses a threat to advertisers so we need to fully understand the technology when looking for solutions or strategies.’

What campaign brilliantly connected?

‘The Dove ‘Campaign for Real Beauty’ built on a strong consumer insight that the average female hates being compared to beauty stereotypes. That really struck a chord with consumers.’

What would you love to build into a plan?

‘Seeding is a great opportunity to get the product into the hands of ‘evangelists’ who will recommend it. One of the reasons a lot of advertisers probably haven’t gone for it is they’re unsure how this is going to impact sales. So measurement is definitely key.’

Which brand, other than your own clients, would you most want to

work on?

‘I would really love to work on a small client with a growing product because I think it would be very rewarding to be part of its success. COLD-fX comes to mind.’

What would you do for COLD-fX?

‘An online campaign with search engine marketing, because people with colds are always searching for ways to get rid of them. It’s a great place to be, where people are searching for information. Also product seeding. Endorsements and recommendations are very influential.’

Are opportunities being missed due to caution?

‘Definitely – particularly with new media. Many advertisers tend to stick to what has worked in the past. They need to embrace online and digital. I think it’s our job as media professionals to minimize the risk and convince them that it’s the right decision.’

Is a radical media rethink required?

‘We have to rethink media strategies. We can’t just look to TV anymore. Our plans should encompass in-store, recommendations, flyers. Even within TV we need to rethink our strategy, such as incorporating product integration to help with PVR penetration.’

What common industry belief would you love to whack?

‘We have to think beyond GRPs because there are a lot of opportunities we should be considering that you can’t measure that way. We have to start thinking more of how can I engage consumers.’

Kevin Hung, SMG IP manager, Starcom Worldwide, Toronto

Claim to fame: Hung recently made his mark with two campaigns, one being the worldwide launch of the Visa Olympic Game themed around Torino 2006. Canada was number one globally with consumer participation, more than 61% higher than any other country. Canada also had the highest number of games played and highest amount of time spent with the game.

And his online campaign for LEGO Canada’s Bionicle brand on YTV.com not only generated buzz and upped the cool quotient of the action figures with tweens, sales were up 186% at Toys R Us during the campaign’s run.

Background: With a University of Toronto degree in economics and political science and a minor in computer programming, Kevin worked in finance before combining his statistics-oriented education and his long-time love of all things geeky in his dream job – at Starcom.

What new gizmo should everyone be aware of?

‘iTunes. It’s revolutionizing the way music is now [perceived] by consumers – and not only music now that there’s video streaming. [Marketers] have to start harnessing that power.’

Who is getting it right?

‘I would say the Nike iD campaign in New York. They combined retail with a digital out-of-home position in Times Square and mobile phones. They synchronized phones with the digital board so that you could customize your shoe by the touch of your phone. You’d program it onscreen and send your shoe, with all the customization, to your mobile phone. You could then walk to the Nike store down the street, show them the shoe and get them to order it for you – and there was a discount as well. That is a very innovative way to incorporate an integrated media program to speak to the right consumer at the right time.’

What would you love to build into a plan?

‘Broadband video streaming – and the reason no one will go for it or hasn’t as aggressively, is the talent rights and production costs required to do it separately from standard 30-second TV spots.’

Which brand, other than your own clients, would you most want to work on?

‘Unilever. I do believe they are one of the leaders in pushing within a digital realm but I don’t believe they’ve truly harnessed it.’

Is a radical media rethink required?

‘No. What it’s about is being able to harness and appropriately manage your media mix. That hasn’t changed. There are more touchpoints but at the end of the day, it’s still about being in the right place at the right time for the right price.’

Caroline Moul, digital media strategist, PHD IQ, Toronto

Claim to fame: The Honda Canada campaign featuring the Honda Fit driving across the Yahoo! homepage. When the trunk of the car opened, all of the items from the menu bar popped out and went to their usual spot on the page. It was designed along the strategy of ‘How does the Fit fit you?’ showing how all the things that happen in your life fit into the Fit.

Background: Moul took the advertising program at Sheridan College in Toronto and started at PHD four years ago where one of her first duties was online optimization for the Intel campaign. Last year about 90% of her time was devoted to working on online campaigns – for about half of PHD’s clients. In January, the agency officially formed a specific unit for online and interactive strategies.

What would you love to build into a plan?

‘If you’re launching something, I would love to do a complete domination. Not only take over Yahoo! but to do it across the board for a specific demo. For a female demo, anywhere a woman would go, they would see the message.’

What opportunities are being missed?

‘While clients are interested in click-through rates, they’re not doing the back-end metrics with all the other research you can get from tracking how your ads are performing once people get to your site. With online we’ve got an opportunity to really connect with consumers, to customize messages to a site to make it more relevant so that when a consumer sees it, it becomes part of the content. That often isn’t taken into consideration from a creative standpoint.’

Is a radical media rethink required?

‘Yes. The consumer has evolved in their media consumption and it’s now time for advertisers to catch up; otherwise they’re going to miss the opportunity to stay connected to the consumer in their day-to-day life. With the advertiser being too cautious to try new things in a more mainstream way, such as SMS, we limit ourselves.’

What common industry belief would you love to whack?

‘Advertisers are missing – because they’re so gung ho about reaching the youth market and the 18-to-49 crowd – anything above that. Even online we have a hard time reaching [the older demo] because there are not a lot of properties for them. It’s like the advertiser never evolved when the boomers did. I think they’re missing out on a huge opportunity.’

Jeff Phaneuf, supervisor, broadcast investments, ZenithOptimedia Toronto

Claim to fame: The Kia Canada product placement/integration in The Tournament on CBC.

Background: Phaneuf received an honours degree in communications studies from Brock University and did his third year, a practicum in advertising and PR, on exchange in Glasgow. He entered the industry in 2001, and has been with ZenithOptimedia since 2004 working on Kia Canada, Corby Distilleries, and the XM Canada satellite radio businesses.

Who is getting it right?

‘The Capital One ‘Hands in My Pocket’ campaign. Everyone knows the song and it’s so catchy. What’s more important is that people remember it is for Capital One. Awareness is the first step.’

Are opportunities being missed due to caution?

‘Yes, and frequently. Advertising budgets are sacred and we need to be wary of our investments, but there are a lot of new, exciting, and untested opportunities out there. Because we rely so heavily on metrics, cost per points, and the constant craving for historical data to back up our choices, I think we may be missing the breakthrough idea that could catapult an advertiser to the next level. It would be beneficial for advertisers to do more risk taking. Something that I’ve really taken to heart is to go with your gut feeling on things and run with it, make it work.’

Is a radical media rethink required?

‘What is at stake is the makeup of the traditional media plan. I think more targeted strategies are going to become part of those plans. It’s a good time to be a grassroots marketing guy or a specialty TV rep. We’re going through a period right now where there needs to be a lot more ‘think’ behind the plan.’

What common industry belief would you love to whack?

‘I think there needs to be a flexibility to understand that the GRP is not necessarily the holy grail if there is another opportunity out there that makes sense. I think most advertisers recognize that but there’s still that comfort zone to stay with the GRP.’

Jamie Tomlinson, strategist, senior investment, MediaVest, Toronto

Claim to fame: Tomlinson takes a special interest in content creation and the third screen, co-piloting a number of multi-platform projects (both in-show and long format) in English and French. These include Qu’est-ce qui mijote, a Kraft Canada-produced cooking program on TQS, and an in-show segment in 2 filles le matin on TVA.

Background: When Tomlinson graduated from the Humber College advertising and media sales two-year program, he started as a buyer. Now he has multiple clients and is working as both planner and buyer.

What new media should everyone check out?

‘They should just experience things as a consumer, such as branded content creation. At counterfeitmini.com, they set up a website for fictional counterfeit Minis, where people send in pictures of Mini fakes. You watch clips they produced to show the Minis in action. It’s really comedic, interactive with a viral element.’

Who is getting it right?

‘Mini Cooper. They’ve done a lot of alternative ads on the Internet. Even if I don’t buy a Mini, I’m going to forward it on to potential purchasers.’

What would you love to build into a plan?

‘Right now I’m looking to do some ad-supported video-on-demand. The challenge is always to balance the two forces between traditional reach and innovative ideas. It’s always a tough sell when there’s nothing really proven.’

Which brand, other than your own clients, would you most want to work on?

‘Once again, I think Mini because they have the vision to take the road less traveled and it’s often beneficial to the brand.’

What would you do for them?

‘Using the short film clips already produced, it would be neat to get them on demand whether it be through Rogers On-Demand TV or a sponsored free iTunes download that you could download to your PC, Mac, or iPod, or even smaller clips through a wireless provider to cellphones. Something to make all the media work as one.’

What common industry belief would you love to whack?

‘That such a high percentage of ad dollars should be spent on the 30-second spot when there are more innovative and meaningful approaches.’