John Muszynski, 2000
John Muszynski has moved up the corporate ladder at Starcom since winning the first TelevisionWeek Media Buyer of the Year award in 2000 for national advertising.
Now, as chief executive of Starcom USA, there are new areas for which he’s responsible. Those include strategic vision for the agency’s product, people, process and organizational structure. Last year Mr. Muszynski installed a new structure at Starcom built around activation that is designed to make the agency more accessible to media partners with ideas for its client.
Another new responsibility is financial management and making decisions on strategic investments.
Mr. Muszynski said he’s still involved in client relationships, though he’s now involved at a higher corporate level and across all the agency’s clients. He’s also still involved in the investment arena as head of an activation council formed as part of the reorganization.
He said the new responsibilities make the job more challenging and more rewarding. “There are more unknowns. I used to know what was around the corner when I was a buyer, or at least I thought I did,” he said. On this job, “Every day’s a new day and I don’t know what’s around the corner.”
Howard Nass, 2000
Howard Nass, the local Media Buyer of the Year in 2000, now runs HNass Media Services and operates out of New York and Palm Beach, Fla.
“I do consulting, making sure that people’s media plans are as smart and effective as possible,” he said.
After leaving TN Media in 2002, Mr. Nass retired for about a month. Then he opened his own shop.
Mr. Nass has enjoyed life in a smaller operation. “I’ve gone from an administrator to a hands-on guy,” he said. “When you work for a big company as I did and you have literally a hundred pieces of business, you always have a client who’s dissatisfied. This is much more gratifying.”
Mr. Nass’s company reviews media plans created by big agencies for a handful of clients. It also does all of the buying for Raymond Weil USA, the luxury watch company, and a Florida bank. The shop has bought television, direct response, magazines and a lot of radio. He also works with a movie studio on product placement.
“You don’t want to grow too big, because then you can be hands-on,” he said. “I’m really having the time of my life. It’s not a 9-to-8 job anymore. It’s a 9-to-6 job,” he said.
Cathleen Campe, 2001
The world is changing for Cathleen Campe, local Media Buyer of the Year for 2001. “Obviously the landscape that we’re playing in is a lot different,” she said. “As our station groups and all media are moving to push their content out to their consumers on all different platforms and screens, we have to figure out how to be there.”
RPA, which works for Honda, figured it out with a campaign for the Acura RDX with
ABC Television Stations group that was fully integrated, employing on-air, online, Web blasts, text messaging, event and even the “super sign” over the “Good Morning America” studio in Times Square.
The agency also negotiated with stations to sprinkle three 5-second spots inside a single commercial break for the Honda Fit. “It’s a quirky-looking car and a different use of traditional media,” she said. “It is a learning process for both sides — the media and us.”
There have been other changes for Ms. Campe at RPA. The agency has added MGM’s theatrical division, Lenox Financial and Village Inn Restaurants as clients. And Ms. Campe has added the direct response media group to her responsibilities. “They’re keeping me busy,” she said.
Peter Olsen, 2003
Media Buyer of the Year in 2003, Peter Olsen left MediaCom to move to the sales side at A&E Television Networks, where he oversees sales for A&E and The Biography Channel.
“What was most enjoyable on the buying side was being in a position to understand both client objectives and the vast array of choices in the media industry, and then find the optimal solution for our clients,” Mr. Olsen said. “At A&E, we are transforming our sales force into a solution-based selling organization. We have negotiated several deals in the two years I have been at AETN that, I believe, demonstrate this approach.”
One example is a deal with Pontiac to integrate its Torrent model into a special episode of “Criss Angel Mindfreak.” KFC has been incorporated into several episodes of “Driving Force” and Pier 1, the d%E9;cor chain, is cast in “Sons of Hollywood” as part of a multimedia integration.
A&E has also found ways for several advertisers, including Ford, Paramount, BMW and Sonic, to partner in the network’s presentation of “The Sopranos.”
Pam Zucker, 2004
Since winning TV Week’s Media Buyer of the Year Award in 2004, Pam Zucker has received an interesting new title at MediaVest. As of last year she is senior VP, marketplace ignition.
“It’s working with clients and media partners to create new opportunities in the marketplace,” she explains. It’s something she used to do for MediaVest client Procter & Gamble. Now she does it for all of the agency’s clients.
The innovations fall in two areas: One is looking for opportunities to create greater engagement between consumers and the client’s ad message. The second is about creating new financial structures when business deals are struck. In both cases she’s looking for situations that can work for multiple clients. “The goal that I am working toward is scalable opportunities,” she said.
That’s the ways it’s working with MediaVest’s deal with The CW for a unique set of “content wraps,” interstitial material designed to reinforce the advertiser’s message and hold onto viewers during commercial breaks. Clients who have taken advantage of the wraps include P&G’s Herbal Essences hair products, Cover Girl makeup and the video game Guitar Hero II from Activision.
MediaVest also created an arrangement with Turner Broadcasting to sponsor a “Very Funny Mondays” block of “Everybody Loves Raymond” episodes with shorter-than normal commercial pods.
Mike Rosen, 2006
Last year’s Media Buyer of the Year, Mike Rosen of GM Planworks, had a big moment when Oprah Winfrey and her friend Gayle King drove cross-country in a Chevy Impala last fall.
“It was very special for us,” Mr. Rosen said. Those old “See the USA in a Chevrolet” ads had an impact on Ms. Winfrey as a kid, which gave the promotion weight. “There was such a genuine connection between Oprah, who is one of the world’s great icons and influencers, with an iconic American brand in Chevrolet,” he said.
Mr. Rosen said that at GM Planworks content is king, and the agency is organized around the content for which consumers have passion. So there’s an entertainment group, a sports group, a self-enrichment group, a multicultural group. And each works across media platforms — and sometimes media companies — “to make sure that we engage, interact with, the consumer anywhere that content might show up.”
For example, when GM sponsors football, the sports group pursues deals at the network level, at the local level, online with fantasy football, in print, out of home and radio.
GM is also exploring new digital marketing solutions, such as the GM Showroom, a video-on-demand channel that brings the interactive experience of shopping for a car online to the TV environment. “We hope we will help set some new standards in using the TV screen in new ways to market to the consumer,” Mr. Rosen said.