Getting brands centre stage play: Kelly Bedard, Saatchi & Saatchi, Toronto

When Transitions Optical wanted a broadcast-based promotion that showcased its product (lenses that change as glasses wearers move inside to outside to provide protection from the sun), Kelly Bedard arranged for the product's functionality to be featured in Debbie Travis' From the Ground Up.

Claim to fame

When Transitions Optical wanted a broadcast-based promotion that showcased its product (lenses that change as glasses wearers move inside to outside to provide protection from the sun), Kelly Bedard arranged for the product’s functionality to be featured in Debbie Travis’ From the Ground Up. The promo tied Transitions to the likeable TV personality and incorporated an online contest component, online consumer campaign, brand sell TV spots, product integration, magazine ads and in-store promos. A highlight was Bedard’s negotiation to have the show’s designers wear the lenses as they worked on various projects – inside and outdoors.

That campaign was deemed a success for generating both awareness of the product and sales results.

As an integral part of the online team, Bedard is also getting creative and pushing boundaries outside the traditional media spectrum. A case in point is her lead for the online executions of the agency’s campaign for the Toyota Matrix, which launched at the beginning of March and runs until the end of August, targeting adults 25 to 34 with a strong male skew.

Bedard’s plan went far beyond the standard big box ads. The club finder execution is a custom unit arranged with Toronto.com that uses a Toyota Matrix skin, giving users a drop-down menu to find clubs based on location, genre and music. An online summer guide sponsorship with Ticketmaster uses co-branded Toyota/Ticketmaster units to drive users to the sponsored section of the site, and includes Matrix-branded ticket wallets and banners on Ticketmaster.ca‘s ticketAlerts. Bedard also tied in a homepage takeover with Heavy.com and a music player takeover on Iceberg Radio. The online components include a Facebook fan page and in-game advertising on Xbox sports titles such as MLB 2K7, Madden ’08 and Need for Speed Pro Street as well as category exclusivity in all NBA games.

Portrait of a media natural

Bedard, who went to Humber College for advertising and media sales, says: ‘I had no idea that media buyer/planner was a job people had. I signed up for the course not knowing what it was, but it sounded interesting.’ Before joining the Saatchi & Saatchi media team in August 2006, she spent three years as a media buyer with ZenithOptimedia.

Saatchi & Saatchi media broadcast director Natalie Ramsay says one of Bedard’s key strengths is in choosing programs strategically, not strictly based on costs, so that the targeted consumer will see the product. That follows the agency’s broadcast buying philosophy, which ensures that creative fits the programming, not just the demo. ‘Kelly has a keen sense of envisioning how the spot will look in the show and making it work with the combination of all elements, including the demo and spot cost,’ says Ramsay.

What would you love to build into a plan?

‘I love the brands that show up in unexpected places, like a concert or a construction site crane. If a brand is willing to get out of its comfort zone, it pops. Product placement stands out, especially in reality programming. There is a level of attachment viewers have with the show’s characters, and when they see them interacting with the products, that can result in a halo affect. Any time the consumer shares an experience with your brand, it stays with them long after the flight date is over.’

What’s the biggest media mistake brands are making?

‘Any brand that thinks their target is not online is missing out. Everyone is online. Even my grandmother has a Hotmail account! Online gives you the opportunity to capture your target’s attention while allowing them to interact with your brand on their own terms. If you make it worthwhile and intriguing, the consumer will spend far beyond 30 seconds with your brand.’

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p>Introduction

Nadia Cadispoti: Senior account manager, PHD, Toronto

Danny Shenkman: Account supervisor, ZenithOptimedia, Toronto

Cesar Antonio Hervieux: Search marketing specialist, Media Contacts, New York

Doug Sinclair: Broadcast supervisor, Genesis-Vizeum Canada, Toronto