Brand alignment, augmented reality, and chicken Parmesan
Editor's Note: "Meet a Media Planner" is our ongoing series of Q&As where we find out what's on the minds of media planners at agencies across the country. Today we're chatting with Meg Molnar, a senior digital media planner at mediahub/Mullen in Boston, MA. Meg has been working for mediahub/Mullen for just over a year, having a high-flying good time with client JetBlue Airways.
Yahoo! Ad Blog: When you think about your job, what really makes you feel like it was the right career choice?
Meg Molnar: The biggest things are seeing what I do when it's online and being recognized in the industry. We did a live streaming game show campaign in June for JetBlue Getaways called "Get Away with It." It was featured in New York and Boston, and we recently won some awards from the Boston Ad Club. I think that's just the coolest thing---to have the media I chose for that initiative be awarded and recognized in the industry.
YAB: What's top of mind right now for your clients?
MM: Brand safety. They want to be in the new digital spaces, but it's challenging because they also have to keep their brand image in mind and make sure they're not aligning with something they're not comfortable with. We try to help them understand how they can be innovative and do new things but also keep within their comfort zone.
YAB: Are there any new trends or new technologies out there that you feel are especially promising or might work well for your clients?
MM: I'm really interested in augmented reality. I've seen few advertisers really utilize it---so I think the jury is still out on it---but I'm definitely interested in learning more about how advertisers can use it successfully in case there's ever a possibility I can suggest it to my clients.
YAB: Can you explain a little bit about how augmented reality works?
MM: It uses a specific app and when you put your smartphone over an image, you'll see something on your phone that you can't see on the ad itself. It kind of unlocks different content on your phone. I saw an ad for Volvo where they had someone put their smartphone over a computer screen and then the phone brought up an interactive experience where they were driving a car. It's like having the consumer take a further step to interact with your brand.
YAB: When you think of digital media campaigns from the last year or so, what's one of your personal favorites?
MM: I really like Heineken. They do a great job of integrating multiple mediums. Their most recent TV spot to promote the new James Bond movie incorporates a treasure hunt online where you have to find James Bond's suitcase. I think it's cool because it combines both mediums and has people do something more fun than just see an ad.
YAB: What do you think people who aren't in media misunderstand about your job?
MM: I think everyone thinks advertising is a really glamorous job---like Mad Men---where we're all partying and drinking. But they don't understand how much work actually goes into it. Sometimes it's really long days and there's a lot going on. We definitely get to work hard and play hard, but it's not the glamorous advertising world people think it is.
YAB: What do you do to de-stress from the job?
MM: I really love kayaking and I also love cooking. When I was in high school, I used to cook with my dad every Sunday in New Jersey. My dad is known for his chicken Parmesan---that's his famous recipe. People don't realize how much goes into it when you make it from scratch. I've attempted it before and I sent my dad a picture; he had some critique but was satisfied with the final product.