"The reason so many people get into content is to tell a story that traditional media can't," says Claudia Cahill, Chief Content Officer, OMD, where she works on PepsiCo, GE, Lowe's State Farm, JC Penny and Walgreens, adding, "It gives you the flexibility to go deeper on the story, and to go directly to the consumer."
A graduate of Tulane and a New Orleans native, for Cahill, content is something of a family business. Her father was an art director at the now defunct Jackson's Brewery. "He was a real Don Draper-type working with Mike Nichols and Elaine May," she says. Her son works as a creative at Bento Box Entertainment, an animation production company.
Today, Cahill divides her time between her home in LA, right behind Fox, and in New York's SoHo. Something of home cook, she compares her work to making a nice Paella for friends and family, "You have to take the temperature of everything, and get it all on the table at the same time."
Cahill's Rules for Hiring an Agency:
1. Audience!--"Do they understand your consumer? It all starts there," says Cahill.
2. Can they think strategically and creatively?--"Do they understand the business objectives as well as the creative objectives?"
3. Frequency of communication - "How often do you want to touch your audience? Is it daily, weekly, monthly? Different partners at different companies perform at different levels."
4. Budget--"How much of your overall marketing budget is going to go to this?"
5. Measure!--Cahill says: "Can this partner help you measure success? The content must be informed by data, and the data you get on the back-end is important to understand how it works," says Cahill.
Cahill developed and leads OMD's entertainment and content division, The Content Collective, which recently hosted its second annual Final Front event where a dozen media partners (listed below) present original content concepts to OMD clients. Here's Cahill's take on what each brings to the table.
1. Sony/Crackle - "Reinventing. They were the definition of convergence, maximizing across their portfolio. Creative use of assets," says Cahill.
2. DreamWorks/Awesomeness TV - "Laser-focused on a void in the market with huge assets."
3. Turner--"Mass and targeted on specific verticals like sports and music."
4. Vice / Fremantle / AOL--"Interesting new programming approaches like food for millennials. It's a whole culture that's completely underserved. Fremantle is a really brilliant pairing."
5. NBCU--"Big, integrated, multichannel, creative thinking."
6. PopSugar - "It's in the authentic voice of the consumer"
7. Viacom--"Creative executional brilliance with access to huge talent assets."
8. Discovery--"Unique programming and flexibility for our clients to work with that. It tells a bigger story and that's something these brands want."
9. Maker/Disney - "Huge potential in the early stages, nascent right now, they aggregate all of the big YouTube channels. It's a whole new business model."
10. Clear Channel / Twitter--"Experiential plus social."