Next media star: Media Contacts’ Hervieux

Strategy has hunted out a new batch of stellar young professionals. Today, we spotlight Cesar Antonio Hervieux, search marketing specialist at Media Contacts, New York.

Who: Cesar Antonio Hervieux, search marketing specialist, Media Contacts, New York

Claim to fame: Hervieux’s work in Toronto was so good that Media Contacts New York recently snapped him up to start work in the Big Apple.

His claim to fame was working for the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration’s ‘Global Experience Ontario’ online campaign. The overall goal of the campaign was to raise awareness of the resources Ontario offers to internationally trained professionals settling in the province and re-establishing their personal and professional lives, while the online components were intended to promote

What makes the campaign stand out is that it involved approaching websites with new language-targeting ideas. Hervieux was instrumental in getting an Ontario user visiting Yahoo! India to see banners in Hindi, or Korean banners for Ontario Hotmail users who’d set their language of preference to Korean – effectively speaking to newly arrived immigrants in their native tongues.

Many of the websites approached for the campaign had never been asked to pull off such targeting. Smaller niche websites were also happy to take part in the campaign, and quite appreciative of its mission to assist recent immigrants.

A similar strategy was applied to a campaign for Air France in 2007. The client wanted to reach new audiences in innovative ways, and Hervieux and the Media Contacts team accomplished that by advertising on (a news site based in France) while geo-targeting an audience in Quebec and Ontario.

The project started with the assumption that a Quebecois audience interested in news from France would be an ideal one to target with ads, and the assumption proved spot on as turned out to be one of the most effective websites at generating conversions. The site has now become a staple for all Air France campaigns. Hervieux also worked for Fidelity Investments, Toronto Tourism, the Ontario Ministry of Health, Volkswagen, Audi, Volvo and Clearasil.

A quick study: Hervieux studied business administration marketing at George Brown College and then became a marketing major with Ryerson University’s business management program. In January 2006, he went straight from Ryerson to Media Contacts, where he was initially hired on as an online campaign coordinator. Prior to taking the New York-based search marketing specialist position in March, Hervieux had moved into the role of interactive media planner and buyer with the Toronto office.

What would you love to build into a media campaign? ‘Providing the instant download of a song in exchange for the desired response (purchase, feedback, email, etc.).’

What’s the biggest media mistake brands are making? ‘Specific to interactive media, thinking that putting anything on the Internet will work.’

What common industry belief would you love to see die? ‘Calling a campaign ‘integrated’ by reformatting creative to fit different media.’

Are advertising execs giving enough attention to media and keeping pace with change? If not, what should they start doing? ‘They’re being responsible by reading reports and case studies, but they’re not doing anything about it. It looks like it’s good enough to simply be ‘in the know.’

‘Advertisers and agencies need to start taking some risks, be it in what they’re advertising and how they say it, or in getting in front of clients and saying, ‘This isn’t working, but this will.”