Profile: Donna Speciale

Jun 10, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Title: Executive VP and director of national and local broadcast, MediaCom.
Recent interesting deal: “We created a relationship for Subway with NASCAR that included Super Bowl promotional components. We negotiated three elements simultaneously. We secured a title sponsorship of a major Winston Cup race at the track level, allowing us to rename the race the Subway 400 at Rockingham. We also negotiated a NASCAR television package on Fox, which launched with the Subway 400. And finally, we timed the deal to include a Super Bowl unit with Fox that linked Subway’s in-game commercial with promotional spots for the Subway 400. Targeting the Rockingham race was the key strategic piece of the deal. Since it was the first NASCAR race of the season to be televised by Fox, we sensed that they would provide an aggressive level of promotional support for the race throughout their first-quarter sports schedule. We worked a certain amount of on-air support across all of their properties, including the Super Bowl, into the deal. Fox over-delivered on our expectations. On Super Bowl Sunday, Fox ran a total of 18 15-second spots promoting the Subway 400. Sixteen of these aired in the live action of the game. In addition, the tune-in spots aired on all of their cable properties, including Fox Sports Net, FX and Speedvision. In total, our client received over $3.2 million in added-value exposure, and … Subway’s exposure gave them an ownership presence in television’s biggest event.”
The next big thing: “Large media agency conglomerates will implode. Media agencies exist to service brands, and the conglomerates have forgotten about this. They are overly focused on price-but you can’t beat the marketplace when you are the marketplace. If all you focus on is size, then you’ll forget the individual brands that got you to where you are now. Those agencies … who are focused on brand-centric buying will win in the end because they will grow their clients’ business, one brand at a time.”
Is there anything you wish you had bought less of? “VH1, which had a horrible ratings decline this year that affected our buys on the network. They’ve been working very hard to turn things around by giving us many alternative solutions. However, our clients purchase VH1 for their targeted audience delivery, and not all the solutions were viable.”
Is there anything you wish you had bought more of? “Putting more dollars on [UPN] in the upfront wouldn’t have been a bad idea.”
If you weren’t in media buying: “I truly love what I do. However, marrying for money next time wouldn’t be a bad option!”