Next Media Star 2010: Natasha Stevens, media strategist, OMD

Her groundbreaking work for Rogers at airports - including branded bookmarks, napkins and glass decals on walkways - nabbed her the title.

To determine the 2010 Next Media Star, we invited media directors to nominate juniors who were breaking new ground in strategy or tactics. The nominees behind the most impressive plans were profiled in the May and June issues of strategy, after which the Media Agency of the Year jury chose the winner, who was announced at the AToMiC event in October.

Former OMD strategist Natasha Stevens (who has since left to explore other avenues and is working as an advisor for Sun Life Financial) started her career as an account assistant at ZenithOptimedia, where she spent two years on brands like Fox Entertainment and Nestlé Infant Nutrition. She moved over to OMD when the agency took on the Rogers account, and became a bona fide authority on airport advertising, leading its U.S. roaming campaign.
Targeting adults who travel to the U.S., Stevens reached out to people in airports right before departure by embarking on some new territory: glass decals on moving walkways, branded napkins distributed by flight attendants on Air Canada flights and a new medium in airport bookstores: bookmarks.
Rogers experienced five times the number of roaming activations within two weeks of launch and extended the campaign into 2010, growing it from a limited-time execution to a priority with year-round support and ultimately taking it international.
Other first-ever executions included digital screen danglers at the Calgary International Airport and new boards at Pearson International in Toronto.
Stevens’s frontier-busting wasn’t just restricted to airports. She also brought her DIY media penchant to the streets. For a Rogers consumer wireless campaign, she led a partnership with Vancouver’s Flow Media to bring large-format HD video-screen tech Ad Glass to Canadian storefronts for the first time.

With files from Emily Wexler