Rising Young Media Stars

This is the final instalment of our two-part exploration of the next wave of media talent. Media pundits have been adamant that to succeed in the new mediaverse, agencies require new ways of thinking. Curious as to who these new thinkers were, and what they were thinking, strategy canvassed the industry, asking media shops to single out their top innovative and strategic recruits.

This is the final instalment of our two-part exploration of the next wave of media talent. Media pundits have been adamant that to succeed in the new mediaverse, agencies require new ways of thinking. Curious as to who these new thinkers were, and what they were thinking, strategy canvassed the industry, asking media shops to single out their top innovative and strategic recruits.

We found that the next generation are creative, love what they’re doing, and ‘get it.’

Media-neutral is second nature to them since it simply reflects the world they live in.

The industry is in good hands.

Zoryana Loboyko, account director, PHD Canada

Claim to fame: The ‘Dove Campaign for Real Beauty’ voting billboard.

Involved from the very beginning, the PHD team worked to bring Dove’s new philosophy and positioning as well as the creative to life. The result included two live LED screens in Toronto with a toll-free number to call to vote. The tally was changed on the board in real time. Other 10-by-20-foot posters were placed in major markets to drive consumers to campaignforrealbeauty.ca.

Not only did the campaign win awards, the idea was also picked up in the U.S. and executed via a billboard in Times Square.

Background: Loboyko graduated from Ryerson University with a bachelor of commerce in marketing and is now in her sixth year at PHD. She was hired into the research department, and worked there for about eight months before moving into the Unilever group as an assistant media planner, quickly moving up to account manager, then supervisor, and now director.

Who is getting it right?

Apple iPod. I’m a bit obsessed with it. This is an example of a brand being able to create a culture, a following, and a feeling of – holy smokes, I really must have this product!

It’s a brand that’s dynamic, wanting to push the limits and be breakthrough, and wants to explore new media opportunities itself. Apple is everywhere I expect them to be. They did some very interesting island shelter wraps. They’re huge in OOH. It drives me nuts because when I come across a great media placement opportunity, I look up and Apple is always there. This is a brand that keeps inspiring me in that way.

Are opportunities being missed due to caution?

Opportunities are being missed because of a pure CPM measurement from the client’s end. So that wouldn’t really be considering the impact of an idea, consumer reaction, or potential PR.

Sometimes that’s where it stops and you can’t move forward with the idea. This isn’t in all cases. If we looked at that with the electronic billboard we did for Dove, we wouldn’t have executed it.

What common industry belief would you love to whack?

The struggle between media and creative and really creating a space at the table for both. I want to see media and creative working together. We focus on building consumer insights and understanding the consumer. It’s all about who we want to talk to and when they are best poised to see the message. That leads to my hope of collectively coming up with the idea to reach them. We see it with advertisers such as Nike and the particular brands I work with.

Sarah Armstrong, media planner/buyer, Genesis Media, Toronto

Claim to fame: Being in the right place at the right time. A recent example is a radio campaign to help StarChoice recruit staff for offices in Canada that targeted by time and mind-set. Radio tags were scheduled when people were on the road home from work. Armstrong worked with the client and station to write the script positioning StarChoice as a place where people actually enjoy their workday. It was so successful that StarChoice asked the agency to stop the ads.

To help Indigo Books target the teen market, something they hadn’t done before, Armstrong aligned the brand with Habbo Hotel. This entailed an Indigo-branded section of the virtual online hotspot, and an Indigo contest.

Background: Armstrong has been in the business a year, and took the advertising course at Sheridan College. Before joining Genesis, she managed a small family business in Oakville, Ont. where she led a staff of seven.

Who is getting it right?

For Town Shoes, we created a unique brand experience at the opening of Izakaya, a restaurant and lounge (in Toronto). We partnered with the social site martiniboys.com (nightclub and restaurant reviews and listings for Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal), and there was an online component where you could invite people to the event and enter a Town Shoes contest. It became so viral that some of us at Genesis were getting invites to our own party.

We put shoes on display and served martinis with an imported liqueur from Japan, and the vibe at the club lent itself to a cool brand experience and really elevated Town Shoes.

What common industry belief would you love to whack?

That everything that is impactful costs money. Innovation and the right media set for the client can make $100,000 feel like $1 million. So the narrower the media buy, the bigger the media dollars feel.

Andrew Braunston, communication planner, Carat Canada

Claim to fame: Was recently part of the Carat team on the Adidas account and the brand’s World Cup activities, which involved a TV campaign as well as assisting Adidas in various projects outside of that medium.

Background: Braunston moved to Canada from the U.K. about two years ago, and before that he worked on an ad project for the British government. He always wanted to be in advertising and after doing some research decided media was where he could thrive. Carat is his first job on the agency side.

‘I think I’m fairly imaginative and creative yet I don’t have the artistic background. I took economics at school, so definitely wanted to go into something business-oriented where I could take that type of theory and apply it to real life.’

What new media destination should everyone check out?

Secondlife.com, a 3-D version of MySpace. It’s like a grownup Habbo Hotel. You can go in and create a personality down to the tiniest clothing detail. You can purchase the currency of this 3-D world, and then buy land, set up stores, and trade within this virtual world. You can blog, upload photos and videos, and get into community chat groups. In addition, Adidas could go in and open up a store. You can walk down the street and see billboards and you can actually purchase those billboards for advertising as well.

Who is getting it right?

Last summer we created a Canine Care Crew program for IAMS dog food. Reps visited dog parks in the major cities in Canada with samples and information about IAMS and really engaged the consumers with their dogs. In addition, the reps took photos of the owners and their dogs and then e-mailed right to their inboxes.

Are opportunities being missed due to caution?

Absolutely. In my experience, the traditional media expectations have to be satisfied first on a campaign and these new and exciting ideas are difficult to measure in terms of ROI directly related to that advertising. Coming from the U.K., I think the European style is very much ‘give it a shot’ – and more often than not the feedback is tremendously positive.

What common industry belief would you love to whack?

That a good campaign relies solely on good creative. A truly great campaign is a harmony between the creative and media placement. Great creative is all good and well but if it’s not placed correctly then it’s not going to work. We try to have everyone at the table whenever we can to create a holistic campaign.

Heather Loosemore, media planner/buyer, Genesis Media, Toronto

Claim to fame: Work on the Bacardi Breezers business as a joint venture with john st. involving a contest-driven impact campaign on wish.ca and betterthanbeer.com. Loosemore bought everything that she could get on wish.ca, such as backgrounds, banners, and big boxes and ran them all together to create the impact needed.

Background: Loosemore graduated from the Sheridan College ad program, and has been at Genesis Media for two years as an interactive planner/buyer with the added responsibility of working as part of the broadcast buying team. She develops online strategies for almost all of the agency’s internal accounts.

What new tool should everyone be aware of?

RFID. The transmitters gather valuable consumer data with little or no consumer involvement. It’s coming.

Who is getting it right?

I’m going to say the betterthanbeer.com campaign. If you’d been downtown anytime in the past few months you’d have seen a combination of wild postings, OOH, as well as a viral online campaign to drive consumers to a unique URL to answer that pressing question, What is better than beer? It was for Bacardi MIXX and really spoke to the young, socially active male target. It’s kind of like taking that YouTube feel and putting it into the campaign. Consumers didn’t know what they’d find on the site. The creative was a series of visually different executions to break through the clutter. A couple of the ads featured a really overweight guy in a little red Speedo with his abs drawn on, and it just says betterthanbeer.com. It’s the type of humour that appeals to that young male target.

What would you love to build into a plan, but haven’t been able to yet?

Getting clients to participate in user-generated content, so the MySpace and the Friendsters of the online world. The risk is you’re turning over control to the user. Clients either fear or embrace that. It’s just going to take a while to bring people over.

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

Sirius Satellite Radio. From an online perspective, there’s that great symbiotic synergy between Internet and radio. They both share vertical on-demand platforms customized by the user, live and interactive apps that engage and challenge, and they both provide that experiential media that people are willing to pay for because it’s all about choice.

I’d like to develop a proprietary direct response model just to further the client’s understanding of which marketing channels are performing the best and even more importantly finding the most profitable acquisitions and subscribers.

What industry belief would you love to whack?

That online investment should be 15% to 20% of the overall spend. Just come to everything from a media neutral point and don’t use formulas to determine your path.

Second, there is no timeline to your career, no set path to follow. Create your own job description and get involved in absolutely everything.

Robyn Baldwin, strategist, OMD Toronto

Claim to fame: After three months in the industry and at OMD, Baldwin negotiated a creative content-driven location buy for Wrigley Excel Extreme, which included wall murals and site-specific billboards in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver this past January. She cherry-picked locations that lent themselves to maximizing creativity tied to the boards’ surroundings. For example, the Yonge and Dundas Media Tower made use of the retail-centric placement with the line, ‘More Intense than Chicks at a Shoe Sale’.

Background: Armstrong graduated in April 2005 from Hamilton’s McMaster University with an honours degree in commerce and a strong focus on marketing. That’s where her love of advertising began. Last summer she sold outdoor wall murals, and from this vantage point decided to become a media planner and joined OMD in October.

Who is getting it right?

What comes to mind is a TV commercial for Special K featuring Carson Kressley from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He’s talking about using the product to maintain your weight. I think it’s smart in terms of not promoting a fad diet and targeting those women who are happy where they are now. It’s such a specific TV commercial. So many times 30-second ads are fun theatre, but this one actually has a call-to-action to buy.

What would you love to build into a plan?

Holograph projections. They’re being used in Europe, and there are a lot of PR opportunities for it because it’s so new. We haven’t been able to go for that yet because of the high cost and it’s such new tech to Canada. But it’s something really cool to do in the future.

Is a radical media rethink required?

Radical no, but a constant rethink, yes. Constantly challenging yourself. Constantly educating yourself. I think people get complacent. Don’t just sit at your desk and do the day-to-day work. Read, and go out and experience everything so that you know what you’re talking about.

What common industry belief would you love to whack?

All of my friends who are accountants believe the advertising world still has liquid lunches. I would love to whack that because we don’t even have time to eat lunch outside of the office.