Highlights from the ANA Media Leadership Conference

February 28, 2013

By Bill Duggan

ANA’s inaugural Media Leadership Conference was just held in Miami, attracting 350+ media mavens. Here are some highlights from the event.

Subway: Content has a foundational role in the Subway media plan as that provides greater “attentiveness” versus solely running ads.  For Subway, this is message integration and not product placement and must (1) seamlessly integrate into the story line; (2) be non-intrusive; and (3) increase brand likeability.  The reward here is shareable, talked-about content. (Tony Pace, CMO)

Kellogg: Kellogg asked, “What capability must we excel at to effectively and efficiently steward media investment and brand growth”? The answer – insights! Kellogg defines insights as “a fresh and unique understanding of a person’s thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or motivations that leads to actionable brand and category opportunities”. Human insights are the connective tissue that should guide how Kellogg invests in technology, uses data, and thinks of its channel mix.  Kellogg’s best brands, best work, and best results have rich insights at the core. (Jon Suarez-Davis, vice president of global digital strategy and North America Media)

Unilever: Discussed the three principles to craft brands for life: (1) Put people first – and do that by getting real insights to make a real difference in people’s lives; (2) Build brand love – to maintain and grow brands while being true to their strong equities, and ensure they are brands that people cannot live without; and (3) Unlock the magic – develop an expertise, a mastery that pays as much attention to the precision, the rigor of marketing, as to the passion for the magic of the end product.  (Rob Candelino, vice president of brand building)

Macy’s: Recognize the importance of authentic, exclusive content.  The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and “Yes, Virginia” (a musical) are prime examples. (Jennifer Kasper, group vice president of digital media and multicultural marketing)

Chrysler: Chrysler was once again a major Super Bowl advertiser.  The company ran two sixty-second commercials that we both ranked among the top five most popular per the USA Today poll.  It was noted that many advertisers took advantage of the “online playing field” with pre-game postings of teaser content. Many advertisers used video ads on YouTube ahead of the game, to complement their game-day media, to drive early brand buzz.  (Neville Manohar, head of emerging media)

Deutsche Telecom: Consumers respond best to engagement campaigns when they feel they are part of something bigger than themselves.  The presentation stressed the importance of the emotional over the rational. (Gerhard Louw, senior manager of international media management)

MillerCoors: One of the key media principles at MillerCoors is “Taking Multicultural Mainstream.” The company subscribes to total market planning.  It’s not enough to just have Spanish language activity.  These consumers are part of the mainstream and reaching them in broad communications is also essential.  (BradFeinberg, media group manager)

Two other themes were woven through many of the presentations:

  1. Shopper marketing and its increasing importance
  2. You´re only as good as your partners!  Media and agency partners.

The 2014 ANA Media Leadership Conference will be March 30 to April 1 in Boca Raton, Fla.  I can’t wait!



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