Best Media Planning: MediaVest

From Microsoft’s Bing to Barbie’s Ken, MediaVest matches innovation to strategy

While there’s no shortage of data on consumer behavior, breakthroughs in media planning can only happen when strategists “distill what is really meaningful and powerful,” says Bill Tucker, MediaVest’s CEO.

At MediaVest, which takes Agency of the Year honors especially for its strategic and innovative approach to cross-platform campaigns, Tucker says that alchemy requires “a special ability to understand human beings and to gain insight on what is most relevant to them at a certain point in time.” MediaVest asks, “What is the relationship with the brand to consumers and how does the brand enable consumers to get where he or she wants to go?”

The agency translates those answers into powerful campaigns because of its “Cross Athletes” who specialize in all types of media. Amanda Richman,  president of digital says they want to know where consumers find “gaps in the content they are seeking, what are the motivators for them to share, and where are there opportunities for their brand to bring value to their experience?”

For Kraft’s Triscuits MediaVest had dill and chive seeds inserted into four million Triscuit boxes, encouraging people to plant the seeds and track their growth on Triscuit’s Facebook page. Interstitials promoting home farming and the Triscuit initiative were featured on the Ellen DeGeneres show and in Real Simple magazine, allowing experiences “travel across different screens and platforms,” Richman said.

Another hit came from a comprehensive campaign with Microsoft’s Bing and the CW TV network called “TV to Bing About.” 13 interview  “vignettes” with the actors, creators and producers of CW’s six most  popular shows, along with Bing bumpers and a “TV to  Bing About” bug — were featured on the network and the shows’ Web sites, as well as a cobranded Web site, in order to build brand affinity between Bing and CW.

“MediaVest shows us how to look at media in a new evolved word,” says Eric Hadley, Bing’s general marketing manager. The agency is focusing on tools that mine the way consumer behavior is evolving in response to enhanced technologies and media, such as exploring the way smartphones have become consumers’ “remote control” for learning about brands while on the run. The firm also launched Paid, Owned, Earned Methodology (POEM), a tool for identifying what is truly earned media as well as the ripple effect of paid media on owned and earned.

Tucker says MediaVest is a “human experience company” that’s constantly looking for ways to strike a chord in people while connecting them to each other and to their clients’ brands; this strategy has sparked a 42 percent increase in digital revenues.

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