Sweetness…

Cable has more than come into its own in recent years, and advertisers are taking notice. So we’ve made a point lately to recognize people from brands and agencies supporting cable with ad buys, partnerships, brand integrations and other strategic alliances designed to get the right brand messages to the right audiences. Nowhere can you do that better than within cable’s niche universe. As this year’s upfront winds down, it’s especially important to understand that despite all the changes in how people consume video, TV brands still command considerable power. According to Nielsen, for example, 49% of social network and blog site visitors are also visiting individual TV network sites. At the same time, TV ad spend continues to trump all other media, with $69bln in buys. But mobile video viewing is up 41% over last year, and nearly 150mln people view online video every month. The execs listed below are the reps from brands and agencies that are key contacts, sounding boards and collaborators for cable as it continues to innovate into the next decade and beyond. This year, some of our Sweet 16 kindly imparted their wisdom on advertising, which you’ll find throughout this section. Enjoy!

Wendy Clark
SVP, Integrated Marketing  
Communications and Capabilities
The Coca-Cola Company

It’s fitting that one of the most influential women in advertising heads global design, marketing communications, media, sponsorships and interactive marketing for one of the world’s top brand. It’s fitting, too, that Wendy Clark targeted 160 countries last year, mounting Coke’s largest integrated marketing effort, for the 2010 World Cup. The budget was in the 100s of millions, Fortune estimated as it named Clark one of its “40 Under 40” in ’09. Up next is the 2012 Olympics in London, and naturally Clark is thinking big. Her everyday gig has her marketing 500+ brands in 200 countries (that’s more than are in the U.N.). And to make things a bit more interesting for this member of the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Fame, not long after Clark joined Coca-Cola in ’08, its ambitious 2020 vision was announced. “[A business] that took us 124 years to build… we will double by 2020,” Clark told Ad Age’s Digital Conference in April. There are 1.7bln servings of the full Coke portfolio consumed daily. “That’s 1mln servings per minute… We will more than double that, to more than 3bln servings [per day] by 2020.” How will Clark and Coke’s 2700 marketers do that? By combining “what we’ve learned” in the past with what’s new and “on the edge,” including acknowledging “the networked consumer has changed everything.”

Natalie Conway
SVP/Director of Cable Investment
Starcom

With clients like Kellogg’s, Allstate, Darden and Best Buy, Natalie Conway carries considerable weight in the world of TV advertising—and she devotes most of her attention to cable as Starcom SVP and Director of Cable Investment. She’s been in that role for about a decade and—from what we hear—pretty darned good at it. In fact, her reputed passion for more accountability prompted Starcom to create the industry’s first exact-minutes-guaranteed deals for her clients. And while cable nets sometimes struggle to meet new measurement expectations, Conway has always strived to create win-wins that work for all sides.

What’s the best thing about advertising on cable? We continue to turn to cable for its abundance of choice. With broad networks, as well as channels to meet nearly every niche, cable affords advertisers the opportunity to tailor human experiences around specific consumer passions. Cable is focused yet scalable, which makes it a strong contender for our advertising dollars.  

How do you see the future of advertising deals evolving as consumers demand video content on multiple platforms? To align with the liquidity of content, we need to break down traditional platform silos—both on the seller and buyer side. Everything is digital. We need to think and act holistically. Our aim is to place value on opportunities based on the depth of the consumer experience with the brand, not based on tradition.  

What’s the biggest thing cable nets could do to better serve advertisers? Advertisers are no longer content with 30-second commercial buys. In today’s landscape, control is being democratized and technology is enabling deeper experiences. We are looking to our cable partners to help us find ways to ignite interest in our brands and spark conversations with people.
 
With major clients like Kellogg’s, Allstate and General Motors, what’s your perspective on how attitudes are changing among major advertisers when it comes to TV spend? Television continues to be an important part of our advertisers’ mix. However, the supply discussion no longer ends with television. Opportunities to reach people—and create meaningful experiences—are endless. Content knows no screen limitations, and our marketing approach should not either.

Robin D’Elia
SVP, Activation Group Client
Director, LiquidThread
MediaVest

It’s been anything but a straight path to the Sweet 16 for Robin D’Elia. The native New Yorker and Syracuse U grad yearned to be an actress. Hoping to be discovered and pay the bills between acting gigs, she took a temp job with New Line Cinema. But instead of being in the movies she ended up selling them, staying at New Line for 12 years, rising to SVP of National Television Promotions and Marketing. Now at LiquidThread, D’Elia, a specialist in branded integration, is selling far more than films, boasting clients like Comcast, P&G and Walmart. She leads more than 14 team members whose goal is to merge human experiences with brands. As she told us, “Branded content isn’t limited to video. It’s anything that entertains, informs, provides utility and fuels a dialogue between the consumer and the brand.”

Biggest thing cable nets could do to better serve advertisers? Help us customize experiences and content for brands. We’ve moved out of a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead we look for innovative opportunities to achieve ‘firsts.’ Cable has always been a playground for innovation and creativity in programming. Advertisers want that for their brands, too.

How do you see the future of advertising deals evolving in light of multiple platforms? We’ll see more content that can be served in different formats and distributed across multiple platforms and screens, as opposed to pulling audiences in to congregate around one channel.

What’s the best thing about advertising on cable? Cable networks have done a phenomenal job branding and creating focus for their content. As a result, advertisers can leverage the networks to create meaningful and contextually relevant experiences for their own brands.

Carl Fremont
Global Media Director
Digitas
While Fremont thanked us for putting him in this year’s Sweet 16, he also made sure to mention that he he’s focused on the digital side. Were we sure we wanted him on the list? You betcha. In fact, it was Fremont’s innovation and leadership on the digital side that made him a shoe-in for this honor. As global media director at Digitas, he’s one of the top digital media strategists around, with his hands all over everything from events to sponsorships and partnerships. Clients include American Express, Delta, Kraft, Sears and that grouchy duck over at Aflac, just to name a few. And he isn’t afraid to challenge the TV biz to keep up. “Media companies need to see themselves first as content providers that can distribute to unique audiences on multiple platforms: broadcast, online, mobile, social,” he told us. “For some, this is a large cultural shift from selling impressions on a single platform. For advertising, this means that buyers and sellers need to change to focus from impressions to audiences on any platform and not just measuring reach but also impact.”

What’s the biggest thing cable nets could do to better serve advertisers? Cable companies and advertisers must have more of an open dialogue. Through a mutual understanding of what a brand’s marketing challenges are, cable nets can best devise marketing solutions that are built on their platforms and assets and not just look to sell impressions.

The upfronts, useful or outdated? Upfronts can be useful for those marketers who seek to lock in a certain audience delivery. The upfronts can also, if enabled, encourage a dialogue to develop opportunistic marketing solutions that go beyond simple impressions. For example, brand content integration, through existing or new programming. Realizing the need for digital branded content, Digitas has initiated the Digital Content Newfront, bringing together content producers and distributors, inclusive of cable networks, and talent in an open forum to discuss, debate and review leadership in the digital content arena—it’s a place where partnerships are forged and new ideas are born.

Digitas employs an “Active Branding” strategy. Can you explain what that means and how it applies to cable? Active Brands are ones that inspire ongoing consumer engagement and become part of consumer conversations. We believe the more engaged a consumer is with a brand, the more this will translate into a certain “performance” action: consideration, purchase, loyalty. Cable networks should measure themselves as Active Brands as well; the loyalty and social sharing of their audiences. It is through this connection of Active Brands that cable networks and brands can come together. It can be a big win-win for everyone.

Edward Gold
Advertising Director
State Farm Insurance Company

In the super-competitive insurance market, Ed Gold’s job is to make sure that, as the iconic song says, ‘like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.’ Gold does his job so well, State Farm seems to be everywhere. Just look at some of the partnerships Gold’s forged in the sports world. Earlier this year State Farm was a sponsor at the NBA All-Star Game. Then there was the State Farm Home Run Derby at MLB’s All-Star Game last July, which was the first telecast produced by ESPN 3D. And don’t forget the State Farm Classic next month on the LPGA tour. In his role directing State Farm’s media strategy, planning and execution across all State Farm product lines and customer segments, Ed’s crafted State Farm’s entry in NASCAR, partnerships with the NCAA and NFL and led State Farm’s first foray into entertainment marketing through co-branding efforts with Disney/Pixar for the movie Cars. Gold credits his success to being flexible when dealing with client partners. “I make it inviting for [our media vendors] to bring me their big ideas directly, while also making sure that they bring the agency into the loop,” he told our sister publication min.

Cheryl Green
SVP, Media Director
Mercury Media

Green must be doing something right. Why else would she be the only person in this year’s Sweet 16 to make the list 2 years in a row? The truth is that we keep hearing raves about Green’s continued passion for direct-response advertising, which she admits was once the ugly stepchild but has lately come into vogue as viewers demand more interactivity and advertisers demand more accountability. But she credits the cable industry for “the variety of out-of- the-box opportunities and overall flexibility cable networks offer.” Music to our readers’ ears…

Best thing about cable? I have found over the years that cable networks are far more open to new advertising ideas, sponsorships and packages and offer a variety of upfront and premium deals, as opposed to broadcasters. For example, Discovery Communications offers Mercury Media quarterly upfront and premium packages across all of its networks. In addition, Viacom offers DR upfront deals versus the broadcast networks, where in order to negotiate an upfront it needs to be on general advertising terms.

Biggest challenge using cable to get out your message? The biggest challenge I have faced in executing a campaign using cable is the need to balance media schedules with various tiers of cable networks in order to provide the reach and frequency necessary for a successful campaign. The top tier cable networks’ rates have become very competitive to the broadcast networks; however, advertisers need these top-tier networks in order to provide campaigns with the necessary reach to become successful. In order to balance the high spot cost and CPMs, it is necessary to include a variety of mid- and low-tier cable networks to not only bring the overall CPM down on the schedule, but to also provide our campaigns with the frequency necessary to reach their overall goals.

Future of ad deals? I have noticed that many network groups have begun requiring advertisers who are interested in sponsorships, upfronts, and packages to build a component of VOD into their campaigns in order to approve the deals.   

The biggest thing cable nets could do to better serve advertisers? The best thing cable networks could do is to stop competing with the broadcast networks. For example, in order to provide media opportunities to all agencies and clients, it would be beneficial to offer tier CPM deals versus competing with the broadcast networks for competitive CPM. In addition, as many cable networks offer B- and C-tier networks, they could continue to be out of the box by using some of this unrated inventory to bring down the overall spot costs for their network deals.

Are the upfronts still useful or outdated? I think that upfronts are useful to those advertisers with very large budgets who have the demand for specific programming, networks that are difficult to obtain volume in through the scatter market.  

Mercury Media says that direct response is “in our DNA.” So tell us, what’s cable’s biggest missed opportunity when it comes to properly using DR? As an agency with numerous lines of businesses, it can be challenging working with the cable networks in customizing packages based on leveraging our agencies’ combined spend. For example, if we were to create an upfront deal across all our lines of business it would require various rate structures based on clients’ direct response goals. Although a challenge to create, this could become a new avenue for cable.

Elizabeth Herbst-Brady
President
MAGNAGLOBAL

There’s no question that Elizabeth Herbst-Brady helps keep the global in MAGNAGLOBAL. With her seemingly endless foreign travel schedule, it’s ironic that her office is located at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, in the shadow of the United Nations. While Ms Herbst-Brady hasn’t done business in all 192 U.N. member-countries, as chief of the strategic media investment arm of IPG’s Mediabrands she’s been to most of them. And with responsibility for more than 70 foreign markets, the fact that she has a home office address could also be seen as ironic. But MAGNAGLOBAL also has business right here in the US. In fact, its late-April report buoyed domestic cable networks’ advertising, which, it said, would grow 11% in 2011, besting broadcasters’ growth of 2.4%. The world traveler sees good things for cable advertising in Europe, too. “As in the US, cable in Europe continues to grow as a meaningful outlet for both consumers and advertisers,” she told us.

Your biggest challenge with cable? The challenge is not specific to cable but rather to advertising. We need to make sure that our message can break through the ‘noise.’ There are many strategies employed to help meet this challenge from enhanced targeting via our MAGNAGLOBAL value factors to integrated marketing programs.
 
The future of ad deals? They have already started to evolve. We frequently look at opportunities ‘cross-platform.’ There need to be improvements in measurement for these to evolve properly.
 
How can cable better serve advertisers? I think many cable companies have already made great strides toward partnering with advertisers on bigger, broader programs. In addition, a willingness to extend measurement to more relevant metrics for advertisers than age and sex is very helpful.
 
Are the upfronts still useful? Yes, the upfront continues to play a very useful role for many advertisers. It‘s a tool to manage costs and guarantee access to key inventory.
 
What’s the biggest advantage to advertising on cable? Looking forward it will be very exciting when we unlock the power of set-top box data to create deeper ROI for our advertisers.

Kurt Kane
Chief Marketing Officer
Pizza Hut, Inc.

Has Kurt Kane been pursuing a career or the ingredients for a great Super Bowl party? Perhaps both. Before rising to CMO at Pizza Hut, Inc. in ’09, the West Point grad spent four years at Molson Coors, where strategies he developed for the 7-brand Molson portfolio reversed 7 years of double-digit declines. Kane also spent 3 years at Frito-Lay, where he reinvented the Doritos brand and drove it to double-digit growth. He began his career at Procter & Gamble, where he repositioned Sunny Delight. We’ve been drawn to Kane’s work on the ‘Your Favorites Your Pizza Hut’ campaign, which includes consumer videos on social media platforms. “Video content deals should be about value proposition and measurement,” he told us. “It’s important to Pizza Hut that we are where our customers are… as new platforms emerge we will advertise on the ones that have the broad and deep reach that our brand requires.”

The biggest way cable could better serve advertisers? Increase flexibility. Our business continues to evolve and change based on consumer tastes and economic challenges to the household. Having increased flexibility will help us achieve our goals. Flexibility can come in many forms, like shifting to other programs/networks, new integration ideas based on new programming etc., to the cancellation of dollars.
 
Are the upfronts still useful? Yes. The upfronts are a futures marketplace and continue to add value as we develop plans for the coming year. And they offer pricing stability; we know what the pricing will be in the second quarter of next year before this year is even complete, for example.
 
What’s the biggest advantage to advertising on cable? Targetability. With hundreds of viewing choices, consumers have lots of options. Cable has been at the forefront of developing new, innovative shows that keep viewers coming back. This mass appeal helps us get our message to our consumers, whatever their interests.
 
Biggest challenge with cable? Frequency. The benefit of niche programming is highly-targeted audiences, but the flip-side is keeping your creative interesting through frequent runs.
Joe Kardel
Senior Brand Manager
Kimberly-Clark

Kardel likes to joke that his products—including toilet paper, Kleenex and paper towels—may not elicit mass consumer excitement. But while none of us really needs an iPad, try surviving without toilet paper. ‘Nuff said. The trick, Kardel says, is creating a story around those standard household products—something he did with great skill when Kimberly-Clark partnered with Food Network for a series of clever spots in which on-screen personality Sunny Anderson presented novel cooking uses for Viva paper towels. But while the products may be staples that have been around for years, Kardel told us that marketers need to increase the level of integration across platforms to give advertisers new ways of reaching target audiences. “Advertising deals will have to become much more integrated so that commercial programs can have a consistent look and feel across all platforms,” he said. “Ad deals can no longer happen in isolation of other platforms—consumers don’t consume media that way and as marketers we need to adapt.”

Best thing about advertising on cable? The ability to target our message to a specific audience is a huge benefit of cable advertising. We are able to get the most use out of our advertising dollars by focusing our communications to channels we know our target market is watching.

Biggest challenge you face in using cable to get out your message? The opposite of my answer above—there are now so many cable channels that it’s easy to fracture our message and media dollars. If we want to get a broader reach message it can be difficult with so many choices.

As a brand that sells standard household items, what are some ways you use TV and related media to create excitement and differentiation? Television is not only a good way to get our awareness message out to consumers and educate them on functional benefits of our products, but also engages them to become better connected to the brand. A recent example was with our Kleenex Brand Tissue “Share the Softness” campaign—we had television ads tell consumers we had America’s softest tissue, but we also invited them to come to our website (www.kleenex.com) to share a free sample pack with their friends and family. Consumers could enter an address and track their shipment across the country. The television campaign resulted in more than 1mln packages being sent from the website, and we continue to receive positive consumer responses from the campaign.

Colleen Milway
Global Media Director
Campbell Soup Company

It would be easy for Colleen Milway to stick with traditional advertising for the iconic Campbell Soup brand. But that’s not her style. “We continue to invest in new platforms to keep our traditional and iconic brands relevant to today’s consumer,” the 10-year veteran of Campbell Soup tells us. “We allocate our digital mix across contextually relevant placements in the digital space, including social media, mobile and video extensions.” Want more? “We were also one of the first to launch an iAd with Apple, and we have an iApp for our Campbell’s Kitchen platform.” Mm, mm good.
 
Best thing about advertising on cable? Cable is a great vehicle to provide targeted reach to key demographics and behavioral target groups, as well as to drive efficiencies in our media plans.

Biggest challenge with cable? While cable penetration has been growing over the years, there are still niche networks that are difficult to rationalize using given limited penetration, low ratings and high cost-per-thousand. Also, despite ratings growth—some cable originals have ratings at parity with broadcast—there is still a high unit load required to create significant impact. We often are confronted with unit overload, just to deliver the gross rating points needed to achieve our reach goals.

The future of ad deals? Media companies have and will continue to offer multiple platforms to engage with consumers. As a result, multiplatform deals will be developed that leverage video across all media (TV, digital, mobile, etc). The trick will be creating the right pricing model to address the different consumer channels and the right sales approach. Agencies and vendors need to construct teams to address video across platforms, because right now some of the leverage exists through the broadcast team and some through the digital team. This approach does not serve the medium or the clients well.

Mike Molnar
Managing Partner
Glow Interactive

A decade ago, Glow Interactive was a small shop churning out banners and Websites. Today—thanks largely to the work of Molnar and his partners Pete Levin and Ted Kacandes—Glow has become a leading interactive marketing and creative agency and Molnar has become well known within cable, having launched award-winning campaigns for History, A&E, HBO, Showtime, USA, Discovery and many others. But Molnar says cable faces challenges in satisfying advertisers in a fragmented world. “There are so many ways to reach audiences now. I think one of the largest hurdles is a network’s ability to remain synergistic in its integrated marketing approach,” he told us. “Between on-air, digital, video, viral, mobile and social, networks are faced with a continuous need to illustrate to advertisers that they cannot only reach their audience but—more  importantly—engage them wherever and whenever that audience seeks content.”

The future of ad deals? I’m seeing deals evolve daily where the core of the advertiser value lives in the digital, mobile and social space. Ten years ago, we used digital media to drive on-air ratings. Today, we see many more examples of on-air using lower-thirds, bugs and promos to drive to digital experiences such as games, quizzes, etc., many of which are ad supported. What will help this continue and even flourish will be the willingness, understanding and acceptance of these mediums by network ad sales teams. Some are excellent at understanding a very unstable but lucrative multiplatform landscape and some are still late to the party.

Are the upfronts still useful? Interesting question. On one hand, how can it not be? Upfronts provide a necessary forum for the networks to showcase programming in search of vital ad dollars. But outdated? Perhaps. If programming is all your network is pushing, then yes, outdated. However, we can now see more nets pushing digital objectives for dollars. After all, I don’t think it’s an argument as to where consumers spend the most time. And for advertisers, digital offers the ability to create “speak to me, not at me” ad experiences. No other mediums can yet claim that fact. And while DVRs have all but erased advertising from my own television, that is not the case with digital, where advertisers can drive an interactive experience, and not just be the filler between an analog viewing experience.
 
The best thing about advertising on cable? Watching online traffic spike!

Trish Mueller
SVP/Chief Marketing Officer
The Home Depot
 
Responsible for The Home Depot’s strategic marketing vision, category marketing and brand development, Mueller was named to her post earlier this year. After joining The Home Depot in 2009 as vp, advertising, Mueller was considered “a natural fit for this role,” a company official told Direct Marketing News.  Indeed, the ad community has been impressed by The Home Depot’s ability to time ads to the seasons. Mueller revealed some of her secrets recently. Ads in The Home Depot’s $450mln/year budget are adjustable within a two-week window, if needed, she told Advertising Age. The company also keeps a close eye on weather conditions. Having an advertising partnership with The Weather Channel doesn’t hurt either. “We’ve gotten more precise in what we’re doing,” Ms. Mueller told Ad Age. “We’re far more tailored and relevant than we were in terms of content a year ago.” Indeed, The Home Depot bloggers prompt conversations based on current trends, including weather conditions, Mueller told Ad Age. “We’re much more involved in listening to the customers and having an active dialogue with them than we were in the past.” It’s not a surprise Mueller has impressed. Prior to her Home Depot tenure, she was svp, advertising and marketing for The Sports Authority. And she has a cable pedigree, having held a senior post at ShopNBC. Before that, Mueller spent some 15 years with Montgomery Ward, where she held positions in merchandising, field operations and marketing.

Kathy Roznowski
Senior Manager of Media and Experiential
Infiniti

Roznowski oversees one of the most recognized and marketed car brands, with a mission to ensure that Infiniti’s message goes beyond those infectious TV ads with that soothingly-affluent sounding announcer and crane shots of sleek luxury cars winding around picturesque vistas. Not that there’s anything wrong with those ads! They work. But under her leadership, Infiniti has crafted a more holistic message, most recently with its “Inspiration is Contagious” corporate sponsorship of the NCAA that includes spots across ESPN, CBS and Turner. The ads not only share inspirational stories from coaches but also promote their favorite charities. “The main message—that inspiration is contagious—will flow through all of our messaging on all networks,” she told us earlier this year. “They really all work together, and are all tied to the coaches. It’s not just about Infiniti.” Perhaps that’s the genius of how Roznowski approaches brand messaging. It’s more about the relationship with the audience… although we have to admit, we still love those crane shots and that announcer.

The best thing about advertising on cable? One of the benefits to using cable is that it is possible to reach viewers who are passionate about food, home improvement, sports, comedy, drama etc… When the consumer is watching content he/she cares about, advertisers tend to have a more engaged audience.

The biggest challenge with cable? There are many cable networks and most have a limited reach. A challenge is finding the right cable networks with programming that reaches the affluent target audience.  The reach of some of the primetime programs on cable  have increased over the years since many cable networks carry originals with top talent.

The future of ad deals? From a marketer’s standpoint, advertising packages should include an integrated approach to selling the cable network or programming. However, advertisers will still need to see pricing and numbers based on individual platforms since the metrics and analysis of each platform is very different.  

Stacey Stewart
SVP/Group Director, National Broadcast
J3 Group

J3 Group has always emphasized its comprehensive approach, which combines traditional advertising, marketing and communications into a multi-faceted soup of media outreach. And we continue to hear good things about svp Stacey Stewart’s focus when it comes to working with cable—and targeting messages across increasingly diverse platforms. But she told us that cable’s unique appeal to advertisers goes beyond its niche nature. “The targetability is always an asset when advertising on cable, but I think the real benefit is the marketing options that many networks offer,” she said. “It is great to really be able to work with our partners on creating customized solutions to our clients’ marketing needs.”

The biggest challenge with cable? Clutter continues to be an issue for all of us. In this age of multi-tasking and DVRs, it’s getting increasingly more challenging to hold a viewer’s attention through long commercial breaks and find a way to stand out and be relevant to our consumers.  

Future of ad deals? I think we are all becoming more media agnostic and are more focused on the consumer than the medium we use to reach them. It becomes important to us to reach consumers within programming and interests that they love regardless of if they are interacting with that on TV, online, on their phone, or even at a live event.

How can cable better serve advertisers? Improving its accountability would be an easy win. Some networks are definitely better than others at managing delivery and pod positions. On a bigger scale, l think we are all just scratching the surface of what we can do on a marketing partnership level. A really good network partner is willing to sit down, throw out the rules and brainstorm on how to really amplify a program or idea.

Garth Tiedje
Director, National Television
Horizon Media

There’s no substitute for experience. That’s why Garth Tiedje is in an enviable position. The Cornell graduate’s worked for public and private companies. And he’s been on the agency and client side of the business, with stints at Initiative Media, General Motors and Anheuser-Busch. Throughout, he’s been involved in television advertising. As such, he’s a well-placed observer of the opportunities for cable in advanced advertising. “Since its inception, cable has pioneered the majority of technological advancements in the television industry and the present day is no exception,” he told us. “The shared sourcing of cable and the Internet is just beginning to introduce us all to two game-changing initiatives: addressable advertising and interactivity.”
 
The biggest challenge with cable? As cable continues to grow, video outlets for this expanding source of content accelerate even faster. And whether our brands are seen on one of more than 500 television networks or on a developing digital video platform, the long tail of video makes this connection more difficult, yet more meaningful.
 
The future of ad sales? The advancements in the video space closely mirror the early days of the Internet. In both cases, the perils of development initially came at the expense of marketability. Advertisers and content providers alike should recognize the advantages that targeted, cross-platform advertising can offer.
 
The biggest advantage to advertising on cable? Cable provides the optimal platform for connecting with target audiences across a multitude of passion points. Advertisers can engage consumers in subtly different ways on various networks, communicating with them in a continually evolving manner depending on their specific viewing experience.

 Stephanie Wolff
VP, Associate Director
The Program Exchange
ZenithOptimedia

Wolff has been working in Zenith Media’s National Broadcast department since she graduated from college in ’98—and all those years of focus and expertise have paid big dividends for Zenith as well as her clients. But her work creating advertising partnerships with cable has been closest to her heart, so Wolff recently devoted her full attention to the cable community as a dedicated cable portfolio manager. What is it about cable that attracts Wolff?

“The best thing about advertising in cable is the creativity you can generate for your brands,” she told us. To be sure, Zenith puts a lot of trust in her abilities. Zenith EVP/Managing Director Dave Elhers told us he sees cable as a “great opportunity” but urges the industry to think “outside the box… Cable needs to continue to look at the great content it produces and how our brands can be integrated into that content in an efficient way to drive ROI for our clients.” With support from the top and years of honed knowledge and experience, Wolff continues to push cable forward to make it a better place for advertisers of all stripes.

Best thing about cable? Working on a multi- branded account with various demographics, it’s my constant challenge to incorporate brand messaging in a targeted environment.  It’s amazing to watch an idea come to life.

The biggest challenge with cable? The biggest challenge with cable is keeping pace with the constantly changing programming lineup.  My job is to be as strategic as possible when reaching your target demographic in an ideal environment.  Working on multiple brands you constantly have to be knowledgeable on what’s new in cable and what works best for your brands.

What could cable nets do to better serve advertisers? Cable networks need to be proactive and keep advertisers ‘in the know’ about new, upcoming opportunities and programming on their respective networks at all times.  Brands are constantly coming in and out of the marketplace and you never know what thought-starters can be generated for brands.  

The Sweet 16… At a Glance

Wendy Clark
SVP, Integrated Marketing  
Communications and Capabilities
The Coca-Cola Company

Natalie Conway
SVP/Director of Cable Investment
Starcom

Robin D’Elia
SVP, Activation Group Client Director, LiquidThread MediaVest

Carl Fremont
Global Media Director, Digitas

Edward Gold
Advertising Director
State Farm Insurance Company

Cheryl Green
SVP, Media Director
Mercury Media

Elizabeth Herbst-Brady
President, MAGNAGLOBAL

Kurt Kane
Chief Marketing Officer
Pizza Hut, Inc.

Joe Kardel
Senior Brand Manager, Kimberly-Clark

Colleen Milway
Global Media Director
Campbell Soup Company

Mike Molnar
Managing Partner, Glow Interactive

Trish Mueller
SVP/Chief Marketing Officer
The Home Depot

Kathy Roznowski
Senior Manager of Media and Experiential
Infiniti

Stacey Stewart
SVP/Group Director, National Broadcast
J3 Group

Garth Tiedje
Director, National Television
Horizon Media
 
Stephanie Wolff
VP, Associate Director
The Program Exchange
ZenithOptimedia

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