We are thrilled to announce that our Sr. VP Media Director Cheryl Green has been selected as one of CableFax’s “Sweet Sixteen of Cable,” for a second year in a row! CableFAX’s “Sweet Sixteen” is an industry hot list of brand marketers and media buyers who “get it” when it comes to the power of cable as a marketing vehicle. We have to agree – Cheryl singlehandedly brought infomercial products to primetime TV, coordinating the first ever placement of an infomercial on the Discovery Channel. Check out her exclusive interview with CableFAX below!
CableFAX’s 2011 Sweet 16
Cable has more than come into its own in recent years, and advertisers are taking notice. So we’ve made a point lately to recognize people from brands and agencies supporting cable with ad buys, partnerships, brand integrations and other strategic alliances designed to get the right brand messages to the right audiences. Nowhere can you do that better than within cable’s niche universe. As this year’s upfront winds down, it’s especially important to understand that despite all the changes in how people consume video, TV brands still command considerable power. According to Nielsen, for example, 49% of social network and blog site visitors are also visiting individual TV network sites. At the same time, TV ad spend continues to trump all other media, with $69bln in buys. But mobile video viewing is up 41% over last year, and nearly 150mln people view online video every month. The execs listed below are the reps from brands and agencies that are key contacts, sounding boards and collaborators for cable as it continues to innovate into the next decade and beyond. This year, some of our Sweet 16 kindly imparted their wisdom on advertising, which you’ll find throughout this section. Enjoy!
SVP, Media Director
Green must be doing something right. Why else would she be the only person in this year’s Sweet 16 to make the list 2 years in a row? The truth is that we keep hearing raves about Green’s continued passion for direct-response advertising, which she admits was once the ugly stepchild but has lately come into vogue as viewers demand more interactivity and advertisers demand more accountability. But she credits the cable industry for “the variety of out-of- the-box opportunities and overall flexibility cable networks offer.” Music to our readers’ ears…
CF: Best thing about cable?
CG: I have found over the years that cable networks are far more open to new advertising ideas, sponsorships and packages and offer a variety of upfront and premium deals, as opposed to broadcasters. For example, Discovery Communications offers Mercury Media quarterly upfront and premium packages across all of its networks. In addition, Viacom offers DR upfront deals versus the broadcast networks, where in order to negotiate an upfront it needs to be on general advertising terms.
CF: Biggest challenge using cable to get out your message?
CG: The biggest challenge I have faced in executing a campaign using cable is the need to balance media schedules with various tiers of cable networks in order to provide the reach and frequency necessary for a successful campaign. The top tier cable networks’ rates have become very competitive to the broadcast networks; however, advertisers need these top-tier networks in order to provide campaigns with the necessary reach to become successful. In order to balance the high spot cost and CPMs, it is necessary to include a variety of mid- and low-tier cable networks to not only bring the overall CPM down on the schedule, but to also provide our campaigns with the frequency necessary to reach their overall goals.
CF: Future of ad deals?
CG: I have noticed that many network groups have begun requiring advertisers who are interested in sponsorships, upfronts, and packages to build a component of VOD into their campaigns in order to approve the deals.
CF: The biggest thing cable nets could do to better serve advertisers?
CG: The best thing cable networks could do is to stop competing with the broadcast networks. For example, in order to provide media opportunities to all agencies and clients, it would be beneficial to offer tier CPM deals versus competing with the broadcast networks for competitive CPM. In addition, as many cable networks offer B- and C-tier networks, they could continue to be out of the box by using some of this unrated inventory to bring down the overall spot costs for their network deals.
CF: Are the upfronts still useful or outdated?
CG: I think that upfronts are useful to those advertisers with very large budgets who have the demand for specific programming, networks that are difficult to obtain volume in through the scatter market.
CF: Mercury Media says that direct response is “in our DNA.” So tell us, what’s cable’s biggest missed opportunity when it comes to properly using DR?
CG: As an agency with numerous lines of businesses, it can be challenging working with the cable networks in customizing packages based on leveraging our agencies’ combined spend. For example, if we were to create an upfront deal across all our lines of business it would require various rate structures based on clients’ direct response goals. Although a challenge to create, this could become a new avenue for cable.
As Sr. VP of Media for Mercury Media Boston, Cheryl leads a team of 20 direct response media professionals. With over 15 years of experience in direct response media, Cheryl prides herself on the strength of her long-standing relationships within the industry. She has an in-depth understanding of metric analysis via direct response marketing ensuring Mercury continues to provide savvy, effective and cost efficient media plans with high ROIs across various industries. Under her leadership, Mercury Media became the first agency to provide clients with Direct Response national cable sponsorships, create quarterly media package deals across numerous networks and provide clients with guaranteed media results against their marketing objectives.