Barry Eitel

Watching earlier episodes to gear up for the new season of Mad Men, it’s shocking to realize what a huge jolt to the advertising industry the advent of television was. Fifty years later, we live in a world where we are saturated with media at almost every moment of our waking lives. We consume media while using other media—one of the best times to cuddle with the iPad is while watching TV.

Marketing campaigns, then, have many opportunities to exploit all this screen time. However, there is a real risk of overexposure, consumers “tuning-out” and the campaign dying on the table. Integrating digital, traditional and the far-out really increases the effectiveness of a campaign and creates brand loyalty.

At ad:tech, the session addressing this strategy was “The New Marketing Mix: Integrating Digital Into Traditional and Vice Versa.” Led by Rebecca Lieb of Altimeter Group, each presenter had a unique success story. Jeanette Gibson and Julia Mee created Cisco’s most recent “Human Network” campaign, Kristin Carroll worked on the Sony Walkman in the age of the iPod and Stephen Malbon made Toyota’s Scion the car brand with the youngest audience ever.


Embracing the medium was a huge takeaway from this event. Print, television, mobile, social and digital are all completely different platforms. What works in a magazine can’t just be slapped on YouTube. Gibson and Mee’s strategy with Cisco, for example, was to create different, but connected, ads in The Wall Street Journal, CNN and LinkedIn. Each ad presented a simple yet detailed explanation of Cisco’s product with a link to the website where consumers could explore deeply. By embracing the different forms, the Human Network Campaign focused their strategy on their key demographic and eliminated wasting time and money on dead ends. Some of their content, specifically an infographic entitled “The Internet of Things,” went viral and the company is receiving 5-7,000 mentions a day in the social media sphere.


Traditional media like newspapers and television may be in a slump but they are in no way dead. Consumers still engage with traditional media everyday, oftentimes in conjunction with digital media. Gibson and Mee’s strategy was so streamlined and effective because they went where their business customers were watching—The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, etc. Through LinkedIn they launched an email campaign to the inboxes of 140,000 CXOs. This extremely targeted email campaign had a 13 percent open rate when most LinkedIn email campaigns average around 5 percent. About 5 percent clicked through to the landing page. Targeting may take more effort but it’s well worth it.


Carroll had a monumental task in front of her when she took on Sony Walkman as a client. The iPod had revolutionized mobile music players and Sony was falling way behind Apple. In response, Carroll responded and targeted. She focused on what made the Walkman better than the iPod, specifically that the Walkman is waterproof while the iPod dies a nasty death if introduced to H2O. Athletes were a demographic that would naturally benefit from this feature so Carroll gave athletes from around the country, big names and small, the opportunity to use the Walkman. Bouncing from this targeted engagement, these athletes went to Amazon, Facebook and Twitter to sing the praises of Sony. Sony can now boast 164 glowing product reviews all around the web from this small group of vocal consumers that tried the product.

Get Creative

There is far more media out there than online, television or print. Malbon and Scion focused on sponsoring up-and-coming artists to reach a younger audience. They hosted parties, gallery openings, concerts, festivals—pretty much anything cool. Through the power of the social media, these small gatherings reached millions of buyers by video, tweets and blog posts. Scion also created hours of content for youngsters looking to break into movies, art or music, as well as sponsoring indie films and bands. Artists created interactive games and 3D movies. In one of the most daring moves, Scion created a promotional print magazine for dealerships that was half car catalogue and half lifestyle magazine. While in lesser hands ideas like this could come off as hokey, because Scion’s focus was on quality content they are enjoying a lot of buzz even though product launches sometimes happen two years apart. Sixty percent of Scion buyers go on to buy another Toyota or Lexus.

This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest digital marketing and technology conferences and expositions. Check out for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech San Francisco event coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.