‘C3’ a Good Start, But We Can Go Further

Oct 7, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Jackie Kulesza, VP and broadcast activation director at media agency Starcom, has moved up the company ranks since she began her career as a buyer/planner in 1995, supervising the agency’s broadcast-investment group before taking her current position. At the helm of Starcom’s broadcast-buying unit, Ms. Kulesza has been a strong advocate for accountability, granular measurement and proven engagement. She talked with Advertising Age’s Megan McIlroy about the current TV landscape.
AdvertisingAge: What are your thoughts on the impact of commercial ratings, otherwise known as C3, for live plus three days of DVR viewing?
Jackie Kulesza: Well, we think they are great. It is a big positive change for our industry. We don’t want to just stop here, though. We think that commercial ratings are a very important stop on the road to accountability. We want to get to accountability and precision. Right now, our network deals are based on average commercial rating. But we think there’s already more-granular data available to do deals on. For example, Starcom was the first to own Nielsen minute-by-minute ratings. We’ve already done a number of deals on those minute-by-minute ratings. We know that’s not the last stop, either. We’ve done deals using some of the other data that we’ve purchased, including set-top-box data. We were the first to participate with TiVo and their StopWatch program, and we’re utilizing that data because we really feel it’s important to keep moving along toward precision. … The more data we can get and analyze, the better off we’ll all be.
Ad Age: How well do you think the networks are doing integrating online offerings with on-air ad time?
Ms. Kulesza: Clearly the networks want to sell more of their online offerings to their on-air partners. In fact, some of the networks are starting to restructure, at least informally, to bring ad sales managers back into having responsibility for the online and offline offerings. Some networks have started to leverage the fact that we are in a strong scatter market to get online spending. Their hope is that by leveraging clients who need to get on air into giving them online commitments, that they’ll be able to show those clients how strong the online offerings are so they can spur additional spending in the future. The networks need to be careful and we need to be careful in how we manage our clients to make sure this doesn’t backfire and clients don’t feel like their arms are being twisted into getting into online. The networks are really trying to show that integrated campaigns do better. So if we work with them, we want to make sure that we are putting the right research and accountability metric into the mix so that we can come out of there with some proof about what the value of what we did was.
Ad Age: What network do you think is doing the best job and why?
Ms. Kulesza: Every network is doing it a little differently, so it depends. Especially when you are going into a scatter market, you might want to use one network over the other for a variety of client-objective needs. So it’s not necessarily about who is doing it better than someone else.
Ad Age: What’s the most innovative deal you’ve heard of?
Ms. Kulesza: I don’t want to continue to beat this accountability horse, but some of the deals that Starcom did in the upfronts have been some of the more innovative deals. Really drilling down into more than just average-commercial-rating accountability—it must be innovative because we are the only ones doing it. A lot of the innovation is being driven by the data. We’ve talked a lot this year about how the researchers used to sit in the back corner—and that’s not the case anymore. [Research] is clearly important.
Ad Age: What would you like to see more of from the networks? Ms. Kulesza: Accountability is one of the big things I’d like to continue to see more of. Additionally, I’d like to see a continued willingness to work with us to solve these changing consumer-viewership patterns, so learning more about them together and how we can take that data and really reach our consumer in the most engaging way. Additionally, from a network perspective, we’d like to see more network control of content. There are a number of networks where, if it’s not their own studio, it’s difficult to work with them, to immerse our brand into the show. It’d be great if the producers and the networks could work better together with us to continue to find opportunities to immerse brand in the content—with the end goal of making sure this immersion enhances the viewer’s overall experience.
Ad Age: What would you like to see less of?
Ms. Kulesza: We would like to see less cookie-cutter ideas from the different vendors. We would really like to see ideas that are customized for our clients. An idea that my competitor could just put their logo on and run the next week without any viewer knowing the difference—we’re not interested in that. 


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