Five Questions For Palisades Interactive's Arthur Chan

  • by December 15, 2005
Arthur Chan, 30, is senior vice president at Palisades Interactive Group, a division of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Palisades Media Group. Previously, Chan was a director of marketing at Sony Connect, a media supervisor at Suissa Miller, and a print media planner at Saatchi & Saatchi. While at Team One Advertising in 2001, Chan earned a Cannes Gold Lion for Lexus' IS3000's "Pick Your Won Commercial" campaign.

At Palisades, Chan is responsible for managing the company's digital marketing division, which offers research, marketing strategy, content and partnership development, media planning, buying, and creative services for online and other forms of new media. Tobi Elkin checked in with Chan recently.

Tell us what you're up to lately.

We've been busy doing great work with New Line Cinema, as well as our other clients. I have a great team. We have our hands in everything from strategic planning to post-analysis, and I am still very much involved in it all. Creative media is still the heart of what we do.

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What recent account work are you most proud of?

We're doing a promotion with MySpace for the movie "Just Friends," which is pretty damn cool. New Line came up with the idea: We asked bands to cover a song from the movie, and whoever did the best cover would win $10,000 to launch their music career. Music execs picked the finalists and MySpace users choose the winner. The response has been overwhelming. The diversity and creativity of the music we received has far exceeded expectations. I've always been a big fan of user-based creativity, and this is a pure example of it.

What are the hottest trends in online media, marketing, and advertising now?

That is a big question. It's all relative to what you're marketing, but I do believe video content is starting to take center stage. From what Viacom and AOL are doing, you can see that video content is becoming more prevalent, and yet there is still a ton of room for growth. Also, take a look at viral video right now. It's really getting hot. I see a few advertisers doing a decent job with it, but the way it's executed, kids still see a corporate lining. Within the next year, you'll see a "breakthrough campaign" that changes the scope of how it's used as a marketing tool. Mobile marketing is really going to benefit from video as well, especially as 3G [3rd generation wireless networks] adoption grows. Look at what Amp'd Mobile is doing. It's a no-brainer. Giving people an easier, cooler, more dynamic way of getting what they want is the best way to create a loyal audience. And, of course, we can't forget social networking.

What keeps you motivated in your career? And what is your biggest complaint about the online media space?

Being creative and the next big idea. What more is there? Biggest complaint? Right now I keep hearing from publishers that there is a "market tolerance" for increasing rates. Yeah, right. I understand that they are trying to make more money, but that's still a big load of crap. Publishers need to be more creative as opposed to relying on competition between advertisers. I don't believe there is such a thing as "we don't have the inventory."

You always hear excuses like that until the next upfront season when revenue goals have increased. Then all of a sudden, there are twice the investment opportunities. Our medium is so dynamic that anything and everything can be done, yet we are still playing by a set of rules that mirror traditional media. Behavioral targeting is a great step, but we still need to be more innovative and dynamic.

What keeps you up at night? What would you be doing if you weren't involved in online media?

Maintaining an advantage and finding new, innovative ways of delivering a message. You guys [in Media magazine] wrote about "Hitting the Wall" recently. Well, yes, we are. I bet you there are a hundred advertisers who would put an ad on the side of a church if they could. Creating an emotional connection is now more than ever the most important part of advertising. If I weren't in online media, I'd either be a professional Mt. Everest guide, or I'd be researching a way to make sleep a lucrative profession.

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