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Profile: Gene DeWitt

Oct 8, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Title: Chairman and CEO, Optimedia International (U.S.).
Recent interesting deal: “My favorite recent media campaign that we developed at Optimedia was for BMW Films,” he said. “BMW hired some of filmdom’s top directors to write, produce and direct five short action films to be launched exclusively on a newly developed Web site, BMWfilms.com. Internet users were able to stream the films on narrowband or watch them via broadband connection. Optimedia’s job was to promote traffic to the site and viewing of the films. The films were launched on a biweekly basis over the course of three months, so the media campaign was planned in short bursts to coincide with each film’s launch on the site. The media mix and tie-ins we developed were innovative, and the results were outstanding.”
The next big thing: “The next big thing in TV advertising will be the development of an electronic marketplace in which all TV ads will be bought and sold off of screens via B to B Internet systems. It is inevitable and in fact essential that this process be made more efficient and timelier. Given the likelihood of a general slowdown in the future economy, sellers will want to make it as easy as possible to buy TV ads. Now is therefore the time to adopt new systems for buying and selling that move television into the future. Otherwise, streaming video on the Internet is going to look like a very good alternative to all current forms of television as broadband rapidly becomes more widely available.”
Is there anything you wish you bought less of: “I think everyone wishes they had bought less in the upfront television marketplace just past.”
Is there anything you wish you bought more of: “I always wish that we would buy more magazine space for our luxury products marketers and less television. TV still has a nearly mystical place in most marketers’ minds, however, so print tends to be underutilized.”
If you weren’t in media buying: “I would have loved to be a copywriter, but I didn’t have the guts to risk it. Copywriting still strikes me as an incredibly exciting career and one of the most challenging I can imagine.