Title: Chief of Horizon Media's Where Group
Hometown: Glen Head, N.Y.
College: George Washington University
First media job: Assistant buyer at Vitt Media, working on accounts including Macy's, Dow Chemical and L.A. Gear footwear.
Buyer jealousy: "I knew very quickly I didn't want to be on the buying side and moved to the planner strategy side. I always was a strategist at heart and it was nice to be the guy talking about ideas."
Favorite TV show:Top Gear on BBC.
Key client: Where Group helps all of Horizon's clients find the most efficient environments.
Cool way to use TV: Integrated the Geico gecko into footage being shot for History's series Vikings. Geico was a presenting sponsor and had exclusive first-pod advertising, Blankfein says. Geico buys a lot of sports and Vikings provided a chance to expand its audience. "Both from a cost perspective and from a content environment perspective, to get something that truly immersive it was a great deal for us," he says.
Title: Senior VP, group account director, PHD
Hometown: Washington Township, N.J.
College: Fairfield University
First media job: National buyer at BBDO on Pepsi.
Buyer jealousy: "If you would have asked me back then if I would ever be a planner, I'd probably say not in a million years," she says. But after doing movie marketing both at a studio and doing buying and planning at an agency, she couldn't turn down an opportunity to head planning and strategy on the HBO account.
Favorite TV show:Veep. "This season is hysterical," Cardamone says.
Cool way to use TV: HBO created a half-hour making-of special for Game of Thrones that aired as a roadblock on TV stations in major markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, on some cable channels, local cable and on in-hotel networks. "Because it's a competitive network we don't have the luxury of planning TV the way other categories can," Cardamone says. "The people who weren't watching it had these pre-conceived notions that it was just about fantasy, it was just a genre they didn't like. You can't expose people to much in a 60-second spot, so we thought this would be a great way to expose a mass audience to the show." The campaign helped make Game of Thrones a ratings winner in its second season.
Title: Senior planning director, Maxus
Hometown: Bergenfield, NJ.
College: University of Delaware
First media job: Cioffi studied to teach French and Italian, and started her job as assistant media planner on the Cover Girl account at Grey Advertising while waiting for her high school teacher to retire. "It was a great experience and I never looked back," she says.
Buyer jealousy: "One thing I do like about a lot of what we do is negotiate and talking to different reps of different vendors, so yes I did think about it," she says. "I also enjoy having the relationship with the client."
Favorite TV show: Cioffi can't get enough of procedural crime dramas. "You name it I watch it," she says, ticking off NCIS, NCIS: LA, CSI and Criminal Minds. "Even if I've seen the episode five or six times, I will still watch it again," because sometimes she forgets who done it.
Key client: Panera Bread
Cool way to use TV: Panera has a program called Sandwich Showdown done in conjunction with Discovery Communications' networks TLC and Destination America. The networks created content designed to get viewers to create their own sandwiches and enter them in a contest and then vote on their favorites. The winner was announced in a vignette on-air and was featured in Panera cafes. The sandwich, turkey, white cheddar and apple on asiago bread, was the chain's most popular panini, Cioffi says.
Title: Senior VP, strategy, Zenith
Hometown: New York, N.Y.
College: Penn State
First media job: Assistant media planner at Creative Media, which later became PHD. Worked on the Discovery Communication account when Animal Planet was launched.
Buyer jealousy: "I never wanted to be a buyer I always like to complete the project rather than one aspect of the project and strategy has allowed me to get into the process early from day one and really see how it comes together," Hagel says.
Favorite TV show:House of Lies, though the "first season was better."
Key client: Chase banking, credit cards and corporate initiatives.
Cool way to use TV: The agency arranged a large multiplatform integration for Chase's mortgage business with HGTV's House Hunters that ran online and in the HGTV magazine, as well as on TV. "We were trying to move into content and content distribution, so we had a partnership where our app is actually featured in the episodes during the house hunting process. At any point in time, the broker or buyers could get a mortgage quote, see what houses are available in the market using the app," Hagel says. Chase was able to use the video content and distribute it on its own platforms as well.
Title: Senior VP, managing director, Optimedia
Hometown: Santa Rosa, Calif.
First media job: Assistant buyer, at California agency Davis- Elen, which did regional buying for McDonald's and Toyota.
Buyer jealousy: "Being a buyer back in the day, I always felt was very transactional and I really wanted to get into the bigger- picture, strategic angle of things," Harrington says. "There's a little more client interaction, and that was just cool to me."
Favorite TV show:Breaking Bad
Key client: T-Mobile
Cool way to use TV: "Right now we're really big on leveraging data from TV, so we rely a lot more on social data to inform our decision as opposed to relying only on Nielsen to become part of the conversation, those virtual water coolers that are appearing through second screens and Twitter and Facebook," Harrington says. For a T-Mobile product launch, the agency bought a 20-network road block, leveraging old-school tactics and new-school data to create greater accountability. "The biggest thing to take away is we've moved from using ratings points to using conversations and making decisions based on what people are talking about," he says.
Title: President, Human Experience Strategy, MediaVest USA
Hometown: Birmingham, U.K.
College: Manchester University
First media job: Started at a Birmingham TVconsultancy that critiqued agency media plans. He had no experience, so the agency execs "got very annoyed by me," Hartell recalls. "Eventually I realized it would be much better to be on the other side of the fence and actually producing plans rather than criticizing them."
Buyer jealousy: "When I first started, we used to have planner-buyers," he says. "I was a fairly poor buyer so they made me become a planner. I was reasonably good at that."
Favorite TV show: The old British comedy The Morecambe & Wise Show. Also: The Sopranos, before he became James Gandolfini's neighbor in Tribeca. "He was a lovely man," Hartell says. The actor invited Hartell to a New Year's Eve party and "his Jersey born and bred family looked like they could have been in The Sopranos."
Key clients: Heineken, Coca-Cola, Mondelez
Cool way to use TV: When Tide was used to clean up an oil spill resulting from a crash at the Daytona race track, the agency worked with Procter & Gamble to mount a campaign. In two hours, the cleanup was Tweeted all over the place, within 48 hours a TV spot was create and within 52 hours, it was on the air, Hartell says. "That shows the way that you can use real-time topical news around events now and get them onto television in a very quick and topical way."
Title: VP, planning director, Initiative
Hometown: The Bronx, N.Y.
College: Colgate University
First media job: Assistant planner at American Express account at Mindshare, working on everything from local co-op business, to SkyMiles and Small Business to the Green card.
Buyer jealousy: "The beauty of being a planner, at least on the non-TV side, is you get to do a little buying when it comes to print, out of home, and some digital," Hernandez says. "So we do get a little bit of that. I never wanted to go over to the buying side."
Favorite TV show:Breaking Bad. Also Dexter, Game of Thrones, Veep.
Key client: Hyundai
Cool way to use TV: A Hyundai Tucson is integrated into one of the hottest shows on TV, The Walking Dead. "It's a true partnership and the car is really integrated into the story line," Hernandez says. "They're running away from zombies in the car, running over zombie heads. We have a ton of passive and active integrations on the show and it really feels like one of the characters." The partnership has grown beyond TV with the vehicle having a role in The Walking Dead comic book, making the integration a full 360-degree deal.
Title: Senior VP, client business partner, UM's J3 unit
Hometown: Sparta, N.J.
First media job: Assistant media planner on Kohl's at UM. "I am still here. I'm a lifetime UMer," Hukkanen says.
Buyer jealousy: "No I don't think I have that in me. I'm more of a seller than a buyer," she says.
Favorite TV show: "I'm embarrassed to say, but it's The Bachelorette," she says.
Key client: Johnson & Johnson's McNeil division
Cool way to use TV: "In the first quarter, we were coming back to market for the Children's Motrin brand. We developed a really great partnership with Live! With Kelly and Michael," Hukkanen says. The campaign was about celebrating moms and it culminated in featuring three real moms and their families and the things that make them "Unstoppable" being featured on the show. "We worked with the producers to have our campaign idea be rooted in the spirit of the program," she says. "When you bring the personality of the brand to life through a program deeply integrated into the show, it's more meaningful to consumers and it brings your brand to an elevated place with the consumer."
Title: Managing partner, client lead, MediaCom
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
College: St. Thomas Aquinas College
First job in media: Owned a dancing school, but turned to media after getting a degree in both English and math and started out doing buying and planning at Tatham-Laird & Kudner, N.Y.
Buyer jealousy: Before joining MediaCom, McAteer was hired by Initiative to work with Bayer in a buying capacity and had to learn buying at a relatively senior stage in her career. "Now I feel I have a much more balanced approach to the business," she says.
Favorite TV show: "Impossible to choose," she says. Some picks; Revenge, NCIS, Warehouse 13, Rizzoli & Isles and King & Maxwell.
Key client: Bayer
Cool way to use TV: We always look to go beyond just the 15-second or 30-second spot and we spend a lot of time looking for the right integration," McAteer says. "One of the things we're most proud of is the Aleve sponsorship of Jeopardy!." The Aleve name appears on each player's podium at the end of the game, alerting intelligent viewers to the best analgesic, she says. "We find that if we direct people to a particular URL and you change it on Jeopardy!, sure enough they come."
Title: Partner, communications planning director, Mindshare
Hometown: Jericho, N.Y.
College: Buffalo University
First media job: Started at MediaVest, working on communications planning for Continental Airlines, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Wal-Mart.
Buyer jealousy: Walters says he never thought about being a buyer. "I was more attracted to more of a hybrid role that focused more on understanding that taking a consumer-first mentality is important in creating impactful media programs," he says. "I've always felt more like a marketer being on the strategy side."
Favorite TV show:Breaking Bad
Key client: American Express
Cool way to use TV: Mindshare helped Amex launch an interactive brand channel in 58 million homes over DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon FiOS, AT&T Uverse, Cablevision and Samsung connected TVs. The channel has been adding entertainment programming, including the American Express Unstaged series of streamed concerts pairing musicians with a well-known director, such as Vampire Weekend and Steve Buscemi. "It's really been an interesting way to position the brand and reach consumers in a new way, make them look at American Express in a different light," Walters says.
Title: Managing Director, OMD
Hometown: Rockville Centre, N.Y.
College: New York Institute of Technology
First media job: Assistant media planner at Y&R working on brands like Dannon, Guldens and Chef Boyardee
Buyer jealousy: "Figuring out how to connect consumers with the exploding media landscape really excites me," says the new mom. "I think it's creative and different every single day. Buying could never excite me in the same way."
Favorite TV show:Mad Men
Key clients: J.C. Penney, Discovery Communications, Monster.com
Cool way to use TV: "More and more we see unique content being developed online to reach new audiences and build up engagement," Weeks says. The agency helped create a tweet-powered moonshine distillery to promote the show Moonshiners on the Discovery Channel. Viewers were able to suggest various flavors of moonshine they'd like the distillers to produce by interacting with a special Twitter feed. Some of that content ran in the show. And in its second season finale, Moonshiners was the second-highest rated show on TV in its time slot.
Title: Senior VP/strategy director, Starcom
Hometown: Beeville, Texas
College: Duke University
First media job: Media assistant at GSDM account supporting planner-buyers on the Wal-Mart, Dreamworks and AT&T accounts.
Buyer jealousy: "I'm very analysis focused. I like solving problems," says Williams. "I think that planning was a direction that very much suited my aptitude. I like communicating with the client. As I've grown into a more strategic senior role, I really enjoy getting into client business and understanding when media decisions influence the business and where business decisions should start to influence the media."
Favorite TV show:Homeland. "I can't miss it," she says. Other favorites: Downton Abbey, Inspector Lewis and Scandal. Also Law & Order. "I've seen every episode like three times," Williams says.
Key client: Best Buy
Cool way to use TV: "For Best Buy in the holiday season last year we did a big partnership with The X Factor on Fox," Williams says. "We did an on-air live integration where we brought a lot of the electronics that we sell to the show and integrated it into the story line on Thanksgiving, just before Black Friday. We got to showcase a lot of the hot products that we sell while making it very tangible for the contestants." Online sales were through the roof. "Everything suggests that what we did last holiday was positive," she says.