Newfronts Founding Father John McCarus on Fearlessness and Media Buying Strategy
John McCarus, one of the originators of Newfronts and the SVP of content for DigitasLBi, touched on how media buying has changed in the past few years, as well as the concepts of fearlessness and creativity.
Just analyzing the past two years of Newfronts, McCarus saw a positive shift in the making of big bets and is pleased to see such vocal statements and commitments by clients and agencies with big partners. This supports the “fearless” event theme, for as the measurement problems of media buying are getting solved, McCarus explained that “one of the missing ingredients is that we need a push.” This would be the push towards recognizing that working with content is critical to the brand-marketing ecosystem and that high risk could mean high reward.
Using Taco Bell as a prime example for approaching content marketing in the right way, McCarus told us there were many reasons behind their Marketer of the Year win last year. Their “care to share strategy” is one of them. “It’s more of an owned to earned to amplification strategy than just assuming that if we spend enough money against everything up front that somebody is actually going to care.” There is an understanding that feeding your channel, giving the community some control, and ultimately receiving brand loyalty is necessary in success.
McCarus also divulged how the creative process has changed, with the new approach being to identify a problem within an audience and develop a solution rather than coming up with a solution and looking for somewhere to put it.