Media Contacts’ Kasper Tunes in to Online Video

Aug 22, 2007  •  Post A Comment

It’s never too late to make the switch to new media from traditional media.
Adam Kasper, senior VP director of digital media at Media Contacts, the digital sister agency to MPG and is the global interactive media network of Havas Media, did it about two years ago.
He’d been working at Allen & Gerritsen, a small independent agency in Boston, and decided he wanted to move into the online space and work for bigger clients.
“Even when I wasn’t working directly in it, it’s something I always found extremely interesting and exciting,” Mr. Kasper said.
The transition was helped by the pace of change in the industry, with everyone constantly learning about the newest, hottest development.
“Things change so fast because technologies and different opportunities come and go so quickly,” he said. “It’s almost impossible not to get pushed along by the wave of it all.”
Media Contacts has been active in getting its clients involved in Web video. He said people are calling this the year of online video. That may be true, he said, but it’s also the year of creating new ad units to accompany those video streams.
Some units are more intrusive than others, he said, and big marketers are still in the process of testing to see which are best at engaging the viewer without interfering with the content experience.
While Media Contacts is a separate unit, Mr. Kasper said it is well integrated with MPG’s traditional media operation. The company has a video integration unit that consists of both national broadcast and online specialists.
“We work together for all of our clients across the board to approach the video space, and so we’ve done quite a few deals in that space that kind of sit in the middle of the video world and the TV world,” he said. “We’ve done quite a few deals with the network broadcast sites—ABC, NBC, CBS—for clients like Royal Caribbean where we’ve taken a TV buy and extended it online.”
In other cases where it has identified a network or a program that has worked extremely well for a client, the agency has built a presence around that in the online space.
Mr. Kasper said some of Media Connect’s clients were among the first to sign up for the Fox-NBC Web video joint venture, which is still unnamed. “We’re real excited about being able to bring those opportunities to our clients,” he said.
Web video has certain advantages over TV. Usually a person viewing Web video is sitting at a computer without distractions.
“It’s appointment viewing without the appointment,” he said. “Somebody is making the decision they’re going to sit down and they’re going to watch it. You don’t just throw that kind of content on and leave it on as background. The engagement factor on it, I don’t want to say it’s much higher than TV, because it’s a different experience, but it’s highly engaging for sure.”
Mr. Kasper was born in Washington, D.C., and moved to Boston when his father’s stint in the Army ended. He studied at the University of Rochester in New York, then moved back to Boston.
He got into the world of media through a friend who worked in media sales.
“He connected me with a few people in the media industry in Boston,” Mr. Kasper said. His first job, entering spot radio invoices into the billing system at ad agency Houston Effler, was “very glamorous.”
From there he moved to Hill Holliday before joining Allen & Gerritsen, then going to MPG.
Mr. Kasper has a 5-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old son.
“They definitely keep me busy when I’m not going from airplane to meeting and back to airplane again,” he said.
His daughter will soon be starting kindergarten, and he’s feeling the pangs of separation. “I’m a little bit nervous about it actually.”
With what spare time is left, he said he loves skiing and saltwater fly fishing. He also road bikes and runs to stay fit.
Who knew?: Mr. Kasper originally wanted to be a chef and his first job after college was working at the Capital Grille in Boston. “I realized that the 18-hour days and six-day weeks were a little too much for me,” he said. “I switched to something I’m not sure is any less insane, which is the world of advertising.”
This story is part of TVWeek.com’s Media Planner newsletter, a weekly source of breaking news, trend articles, profiles and data about media planning edited by Senior Editor Jon Lafayette.
(Editor: Horowitz. Correction at 3:54 pm: fixes spelling and title of Adam Kasper in 2nd paragraph.)

One Comment

  1. Adam Kasper is my hero.

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