Patti Summerfield

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Articles by Patti Summerfield

Getting to engagement

If you want to figure out the best medium to engage your target, try scanning images of their brain. Neuroscience is just one of the emerging methods being utilized by media agencies to help marketers get to engagement. But that’s just one side of the equation; truly getting there calls for a deft creative hand too. In other words, there’s an art and a science to it.


Upside down – Q’s with…Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe SA, Paris

The medium before the message – that’s what agencies must tackle if they plan to connect with the consumer, says Maurice Lévy, who joined Publicis 35 years ago and has since led it to become the fourth largest communications group and the second largest media group in the world.


Q’s with…Rishad Tobaccowala, CEO Denuo/CIO Publicis Media Group, New York

Media guru Rishad Tobaccowala is not only the chief innovation officer of Publicis Media Group (PMG), which oversees global networks like Starcom MediaVest and ZenithOptimedia. He’s also the CEO of Denuo, PMG’s future practice which strives to anticipate and respond to trends in digital, interactive, and evolving traditional disciplines.


The great outdoor

At a busy intersection in downtown Montreal this past holiday season, passersby were confronted by a dazzling Christmas tree. What really made the scene shine, though, was the fact that they were able to change the colour of the lights that glittered on the ubiquitous seasonal symbol. A large video board, adjacent to the tree, invited viewers to do so, by sending a text message from their cellphones.


Reviving Radio

Jean-Marie Heimrath was in the shower when it struck him.


Broadband’s a hit

TV and the Web are hooking up like a couple of co-eds at a campus party and broadband technology is playing the starring role as a bottle of Jägermeister. Meanwhile, with-it marketers who are getting in on the action with creative designed for broadband find it can help them score with those they court.


The action’s at retail

When the likes of P&G global marketing officer Jim Stengel calls the in-store experience ‘the first moment of truth’ – i.e. when the consumer actually makes a choice – it’s no shock that other marketers would flock to leverage in-store media too.


Signs, signs, everywhere (digital) signs

Clearly, digital signage, both with and without sound, is the vehicle getting the most attention from advertisers right now. There are a number of independent networks up and running and in demand.


Who owns the strategy?

Strategic planning used to be the bailiwick of the creative side. But since the unbundling of media services from creative, media agencies have increasingly taken the lead. Hence a turf war has emerged, as some creative agencies, hit hard by the transition from commission- to fee-based payment, consider generating revenue by beefing up their strategic capabilities.

News attracts big brands

On-demand advertising is coming to a screen near you. Molson and Ford (demo pictured below) are just two of the major national advertisers who have signed on for the trial run of Montreal-based in August. More will be announced in the next couple of weeks.


Regional roundup



Being there

If you think adding the phrase ‘that’s phat’ to your ad will help you connect with kids, think again. If a kid says it of their own accord, then ‘fo shizzle’ you’re on to something. To get there, you need your brand to hang where they hang. The trick is to do it in a way that’s relevant as well as consistent with the experience.


What’s up with the Web? Two words: ‘Old school’

You can stop calling the Internet ‘new media’ now. Other non-traditional choices, most notably SMS, have taken its place as the shiny new tools in the marketing box. In fact, the Web has literally gone mainstream. Marketers like Nike, Virgin and even BMO are increasingly choosing online as the primary or sole medium for a campaign and, in many cases, are using it in much the same way they would have deployed broadcast or print in the past.


Zigging past the Zap

Ads on TV are taking greater pains to avoid avoidance by deploying more targeted skip-aversion camouflage techniques. These stealth measures include vignettes, interstitial promotions and custom content that entertains and adds value.


Kia: La Première star

While vignettes and promercials give advertisers a closer connection with viewers without losing brand messaging control and enable them to work on their own terms and timelines, for some marketers the chance to achieve total integration within a show is worth the risk. And by controlling all the ad elements beyond the script, that risk is lessened.