Initiative’s Kris Magel: Goodbye Age/Sex Demos, Hello Passion And Partners

May 23, 2016 | Share this article

Having long said goodbye to digital and television media buys based purely on age/sex demographics, the more pertinent parameters are now passion and partnerships. So says the president of U.S. operations for Initiative, the media strategy and investment unit of Interpublic Group.

“I don’t think we’ve made a decision about linear TV buying or digital buying based on age/sex demographics in many years,” Kris Magel says in an interview with Beet.TV. “What’s really fascinating in the business these days is that there’s a wealth of data available now for us to go a lot deeper than we could in the past.”

This deep dive typically involves building proxies for the target audiences of Initiative’s clients with first- and third-party data and marrying it with information from set-top boxes and digital device usage. “As a result, we’re able to identify areas of passion and develop strategic partnerships with linear TV and digital companies,” Magel says.

To Initiative, if a client has a specific customer audience totaling anywhere from one to perhaps four million, addressable TV ads “can be very useful,” according to Magel. For clients with a much larger target audience, “Addressable can be useful but I think it’s better to go to market with a combination of addressable, which is pure and very measurable, and also a larger, scaled approach using high-composition audience buying,” Magel says.

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