It was different at first, for sure. There were a lot more steps between A and B. At Say, we started with five people, so you just did what you needed to do. I think that’s changing here a lot, but I would say there are more stakeholders in every decision. Making our guiding light the user. The business. But there was a lot done before I arrived. I want to be clear: I’m just writing a second chapter.—had digital backgrounds. Do you make an effort to hire people who are digital natives? First, it’s about finding great people. I think there are wonderfully talented people in print, but you’ve got to be able to live in the moment. The young, modern digital editor doesn’t just think about content, they think about content and distribution. When you sit with a group of young editors, you’ll hear them say, “Oh yeah, that worked, that was cool; that didn’t work at all.” When you sit with other editors, it’s like, “That’s a good idea.” The difference between those two things is massive.Everyone’s trying to find the key to successful native advertising. What’s Hearst’s approach?, our content is about being hot and being empowered—and we put together extraordinary writers and create a platform for consumers to participate in that content, and we package it and get it distributed and get people to read it. What native represents to me is that all the tools we use, marketers want to use, too. They want us to help them create content that has a point of view, that is associated with our brands, and that in a safe and respectful way, rents our audiences. When we create conversations with the consumer, they want to be part of that. Do we have the facility to literally run content in the content well and call it Cosmo times L’Oréal? For sure. That’s easy. What’s harder is creating something that people want to read and creating a conversation around it. Marketers have to pull away from talking about themselves. It’s like going to a cocktail party and just talking about yourself incessantly. It’s more interesting when you have an idea about something. sides of the digital media group report to you, unlike print, where the two often report to different bosses. Why do you think this model works for digital? Because digital takes three minds. Meeting the needs of the modern marketer requires a different type of collaboration internally. In print, it wasn’t so dependent and so immediate. We need to bring a whole bunch of groups together to help brands, and that’s creating pressure for the business side and the edit side to work together like they never have. And it’s not just here. We saw it at Time Inc. We see it at Refinery29 and at places like Vice and Say Media.Your management style has been described as brusque. Is that fair? My wife would say the same thing. The thing is that I’m really passionate, and I really want to succeed, and I’m impatient. The other side of it is that I really care about people and I really love having informal interactions with people.
Hyundia Motor America typically eschews celebrities in its Super Bowl ads. Not this time. One of the two 30-second ads that lead creative agency Innocean USA is developing for the Feb. 3 game will feature three celebrities, according to Steve Shannon, the company's vp of marketing. Shannon declined to identify the stars but nonetheless described the ad they will appear in, showing Adweek storyboards in a computer file to illustrate the action. (Hyundai's two ads have yet to be shot; one shoot is scheduled for this weekend, and the other the weekend after that. Both commericals will be shot in the Los Angeles area.) In the celeb ad, which will air in the fourth quarter of the game, two silver Hyundai Elantras stop alongside each other. A man drives one (with a friend in the back), and a woman the other. "Hey, nice ride," the guy says. "Nice try," the woman replies. The "nice" banter continues back and forth, with the guy, a bit distracted by the woman, facing progressively more difficult road conditions—from an explosion on up to a steep ramp that he takes off from at the end. The brand's tagline remains, "New thinking. New possibilities." In January, when asked about the use of celebs in the run-up to this year's Super Bowl, Shannon told Adweek, "Hyundai, wanting to be different, would probably not go in that direction." So what changed his mind this time around? "This was just a fun idea that we sparked to, and it happened to have celebrities in it," Shannon said. "We think it's a good use of them both with the main guy and there's a very a funny little bit—almost a cameo—with the second guy." Hyundai's other Super Bowl ad will air during the first quarter and feature the company's luxury Genesis car, which is being relaunched next year, six years after it was introduced. That ad centers around a father and son and the dad's sixth sense-like ability to catch his son just before he falls or gets into trouble. A series of vignettes show just-in-time saves as the child grows up. In the last vignette, the son, now a teenager, is driving—with his dad in the passenger seat. Something distracts him from the road, just as a truck stops in front of him. In the end, though, the car's braking system prevents a crash. Historically, Hyundai has used music to great effect in its big game ads. The "Team" ad from this past Super Bowl, for example, featured Quiet Riot's "Bang Your Head." The automaker is mulling several song options for the father-son ad, including a George Harrison version of Bob Dylan's "If Not For You." The upcoming Super Bowl will be Hyundai's seventh in a row, and planning for the game began just six weeks after this year's, when Hyundai bought the ad time. Accordingly, the automaker got a discount on the $4 million average cost of 30 seconds this year, though Shannon declined to say how much less Hyundai paid. The company picked the cars for the ads during the summer, and in September, Innocean started pitching creative concepts. To arrive at the final two ads, Shannon estimated that he saw maybe 15-18 different executions during a two-month period. Jim Jenkins, the director on last year's "Team" ad, will direct the celeb ad, and Frank Todaro will direct the father-son spot.