Profile: Steve Soldano

Oct 29, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Title: President and chief operating officer, Optimedia International.
Recent interesting deal: “For a major national restaurant chain, we utilized on-air talent of ESPN’s `SportsCenter’ for a promotional spot that was included as part of a larger buy with the network. The deal included the network covering production costs and obtaining dramatically reduced talent payments for us. Using the ESPN talent in character, the 13-second spot is a form of tagging that had been previously offered only to movie theaters as a tag to ads for new films. I’m very proud of this deal, because it demonstrates how the creativity of media professionals can be used to get prospects directly involved with our message. The collaboration of the Optimedia broadcast team and the promotional people at ESPN resulted in a concept that has proven its success by virtue of the fact that after two years, it is still running and continues to be well-received by our target audience.”
The next big thing: “Media departments will be more involved in the creativity end of the business. They will create virtual networks through the aggregation of prospects who register and supply information on purchasing behavior in exchange for some measure of content or hardware. This will allow marketers to deliver a message digitally that’s targeted to a group of consumers who are interested or predisposed to a specific category or product. As media professionals, we will increasingly have the creative resources to frame material for the most appropriate delivery through a particular medium. And the message itself may be in a form that’s very different from selling messages as we know them today.”
Anything you wish you had bought less of: “Any form of media that doesn’t allow for absolute flexibility. The nature of our business has forced a level of responsiveness that is unprecedented. The events of Sept. 11 and recent weeks are bringing fundamental changes to the way we buy all forms of media, and we will have to live with these changes for a long time to come.”
Anything you wish you had bought more of: “Real estate.”
If you weren’t in media buying: “I’d probably be a lawyer, because every lawyer I’ve dealt with seems to have the power of the spoken word balanced with a good analytical mind. That combination makes for great lawyers and great media people alike.”#