havas Content printed form Havas - The Download - https://download.havas.com/posts/simplifying-media/
Ideas

Simplifying Media

Simplifying Media

Sulaiman Beg

Sulaiman Beg

March 12, 2019

“Start by talking like a person,” say Havas Media Group’s Thomas Minc and Ellen Zaleski.

"To me, “meaningful” means something that makes me stop and think—and in the best of cases, inspires me."

Thomas Minc and Ellen Zaleski recently joined Havas Media Group’s global team to co-lead its ongoing initiative to translate data into tangible next steps through updates to processes, media metrics, and tools for the entire group. We chatted with the pair about their role, meaningful media, and what it takes to simplify the media landscape.

 

What does “meaningful” mean to you?

Ellen Zaleski (Managing Director, Global Insights): To me, “meaningful” means something that makes me stop and think—and in the best of cases, inspires me. I find art and TV/film are my go-to activities when I need a reboot, to be inspired by creativity and inventive storytelling. When it comes to the day-to-day, I try to read a new book regularly so I can get out of my to-do list and start thinking about ideas and aspirations.

Thomas Minc (Managing Director, Global Strategy): What I’ll remember. Something that mattered enough that it made a long-lasting impact on me. And this can be positive or negative: a conversation, a trip, a person, etc. In the case of media: a show, a book, a movie, etc. Very often, it will end up being something worth talking about.   

Tell us a little about your background. Ellen, you worked at Nike. Thomas, you’re returning to Havas after working at Sopexa USA.

EZ: I was at Nike close to two years before meeting Chief Strategy Officer Greg James, Chief Data and Innovation Officer Bret Leece, and CEO Peter Mears as part of the Global Leadership Team. My time at Nike was filled with digital-forward learnings, from who the consumer is to how to integrate both digital and retail in order to create rich consumer experiences. But at Havas, I would have the opportunity to work with those whom I see as leading the future of media agencies. And I jumped. My time at Nike dovetailed nicely into the work and vision here.

TM: After seven years in strategic and operational roles in various agencies within Havas, I left to manage the US office for Sopexa (a food and drinks communications agency), working with clients specializing in wine, beer, and food brands. Of course, it was mandatory to try our clients’ products. It is great to be back at Havas where it is easy to feel a new energy and ambition.

What excites you about the current state of media?

EZ: The level of innovation and the transformation of the consumer experience in media astounds me. But it’s not just the media itself, it is the way consumers are changing the media themselves—from memes, to YouTube, to podcasts. Consumers are now a driving force of change.

TM: Everything can be turned into media nowadays. Anything is a vehicle for content, and consumers are willing to pay attention. But brands are not always welcome; that is the challenge. So, the goal is to create something good enough for consumers to be okay with a brand crashing the party.

"So, the goal is to create something good enough for consumers to be okay with a brand crashing the party."

One of the words that describe the current media landscape is “complex.” How can we simplify things for clients?

EZ: To combat complexity, I use two techniques: compelling visualization and simplification. With both big, data-heavy insights, tables and charts can be transformed into relatable findings drawn from experiences, which clients can easily take away or playback the “A-ha” moment. Once they do that, it’s a success.

TM: Speak about it like a normal person! Flowcharts, GRPs, and even the phrase “consuming media” have nothing to do with how people actually watch TV or read a magazine.

What’s an overlooked aspect of this industry?

EZ: The most overlooked part is how widely integrated media has become in our lives. While we speak about “fragmentation,” what we are really experiencing is so much choice—from news on the TV, to a song on the radio, to streaming games. And it is growing and changing with consumers opting in, not struggling necessarily (well not always—just don’t ask me to play my songs on the office network without help!).

TM: I like the “physical stuff,” when it happens IRL and there is no need for a device. Talk about being more “meaningful!” I like books. I like going to the movies. I receive the paper version of The New York Times on the weekend. I wish I had a vinyl collection (even if I have the musical tastes of a 15-year-old teenage girl).

On the flip side, is there an industry trend that you wish would go away?

EZ: I wish the talking heads on cable news would include new content every hour. Not the same content, rehashed by new hosts and guest speakers and largely pertaining to tweets by certain individuals of stature. It drives me to the BBC as a source of sanity.

TM: Pre-roll video ads make me want to murder someone. I also can’t help but to roll my eyes when someone in a meeting or on a panel picks up his or her phone and says, “this little thing changed everything.”

What do you do to relax?

EZ: Relaxing to me is the weekend time with my family. Cooking a good meal that everyone likes (not so easy with a 10-year-old) and watching a good movie. Or just doing nothing. That is hugely underrated.

TM: I have a 10-month-old baby. I haven’t relaxed since April…but it’s a good kind of tired!

What’s the last piece of content you binged on?

EZ: Game of Thrones has been my latest binge content, I have to admit. And I will be so disappointed when it ends. A bit like when The Sopranos went off the air.

TM: Bodyguard on Netflix. I don’t buy that British series are always better like many people keep repeating, but this one is so good!

"To me, “meaningful” means something that makes me stop and think—and in the best of cases, inspires me."

Thomas Minc and Ellen Zaleski recently joined Havas Media Group’s global team to co-lead its ongoing initiative to translate data into tangible next steps through updates to processes, media metrics, and tools for the entire group. We chatted with the pair about their role, meaningful media, and what it takes to simplify the media landscape.

 

What does “meaningful” mean to you?

Ellen Zaleski (Managing Director, Global Insights): To me, “meaningful” means something that makes me stop and think—and in the best of cases, inspires me. I find art and TV/film are my go-to activities when I need a reboot, to be inspired by creativity and inventive storytelling. When it comes to the day-to-day, I try to read a new book regularly so I can get out of my to-do list and start thinking about ideas and aspirations.

Thomas Minc (Managing Director, Global Strategy): What I’ll remember. Something that mattered enough that it made a long-lasting impact on me. And this can be positive or negative: a conversation, a trip, a person, etc. In the case of media: a show, a book, a movie, etc. Very often, it will end up being something worth talking about.   

Tell us a little about your background. Ellen, you worked at Nike. Thomas, you’re returning to Havas after working at Sopexa USA.

EZ: I was at Nike close to two years before meeting Chief Strategy Officer Greg James, Chief Data and Innovation Officer Bret Leece, and CEO Peter Mears as part of the Global Leadership Team. My time at Nike was filled with digital-forward learnings, from who the consumer is to how to integrate both digital and retail in order to create rich consumer experiences. But at Havas, I would have the opportunity to work with those whom I see as leading the future of media agencies. And I jumped. My time at Nike dovetailed nicely into the work and vision here.

TM: After seven years in strategic and operational roles in various agencies within Havas, I left to manage the US office for Sopexa (a food and drinks communications agency), working with clients specializing in wine, beer, and food brands. Of course, it was mandatory to try our clients’ products. It is great to be back at Havas where it is easy to feel a new energy and ambition.

What excites you about the current state of media?

EZ: The level of innovation and the transformation of the consumer experience in media astounds me. But it’s not just the media itself, it is the way consumers are changing the media themselves—from memes, to YouTube, to podcasts. Consumers are now a driving force of change.

TM: Everything can be turned into media nowadays. Anything is a vehicle for content, and consumers are willing to pay attention. But brands are not always welcome; that is the challenge. So, the goal is to create something good enough for consumers to be okay with a brand crashing the party.

"So, the goal is to create something good enough for consumers to be okay with a brand crashing the party."

One of the words that describe the current media landscape is “complex.” How can we simplify things for clients?

EZ: To combat complexity, I use two techniques: compelling visualization and simplification. With both big, data-heavy insights, tables and charts can be transformed into relatable findings drawn from experiences, which clients can easily take away or playback the “A-ha” moment. Once they do that, it’s a success.

TM: Speak about it like a normal person! Flowcharts, GRPs, and even the phrase “consuming media” have nothing to do with how people actually watch TV or read a magazine.

What’s an overlooked aspect of this industry?

EZ: The most overlooked part is how widely integrated media has become in our lives. While we speak about “fragmentation,” what we are really experiencing is so much choice—from news on the TV, to a song on the radio, to streaming games. And it is growing and changing with consumers opting in, not struggling necessarily (well not always—just don’t ask me to play my songs on the office network without help!).

TM: I like the “physical stuff,” when it happens IRL and there is no need for a device. Talk about being more “meaningful!” I like books. I like going to the movies. I receive the paper version of The New York Times on the weekend. I wish I had a vinyl collection (even if I have the musical tastes of a 15-year-old teenage girl).

On the flip side, is there an industry trend that you wish would go away?

EZ: I wish the talking heads on cable news would include new content every hour. Not the same content, rehashed by new hosts and guest speakers and largely pertaining to tweets by certain individuals of stature. It drives me to the BBC as a source of sanity.

TM: Pre-roll video ads make me want to murder someone. I also can’t help but to roll my eyes when someone in a meeting or on a panel picks up his or her phone and says, “this little thing changed everything.”

What do you do to relax?

EZ: Relaxing to me is the weekend time with my family. Cooking a good meal that everyone likes (not so easy with a 10-year-old) and watching a good movie. Or just doing nothing. That is hugely underrated.

TM: I have a 10-month-old baby. I haven’t relaxed since April…but it’s a good kind of tired!

What’s the last piece of content you binged on?

EZ: Game of Thrones has been my latest binge content, I have to admit. And I will be so disappointed when it ends. A bit like when The Sopranos went off the air.

TM: Bodyguard on Netflix. I don’t buy that British series are always better like many people keep repeating, but this one is so good!

Sulaiman Beg is Havas' Director of Global Internal Communications. He has never eaten canned tuna fish.

contact our office

Call:

Stop by:

Connect: