Next Media Star: OMD’s Christina Calleja

MiC's continuing series spotlighting the up and comers media shops have singled out as being a step ahead of the game, turns focus on Mitsu's Going Farther catalyst.

Who: Christina Calleja, media strategist, OMD Canada (BBDO Automotive Group-Mitsubishi), Toronto

Claim to fame: She played an integral role in coordinating the Mitsubishi Motors Media Summit, an annual event that gives the media sales community insights into Mitsubishi’s objectives and encourages vendors to develop custom campaigns. The event led to over 100 proposals from media partners.

Calleja acted as the key liaison between sales and media teams for a capsule campaign conducted with Astral Media that pushed the Mitsubishi Lancer across eight stations. The goal was to position the Lancer as a stylish ride with serious substance under the hood, capturing the attention of the younger demo by showing features that matter to their lifestyle.

Channel-specific creative was designed, drawing a link between the personality of the stations and vehicle attributes with the highest appeal to viewers. A consistent look was created across all eight stations to seamlessly marry web and TV creative.

It was Astral’s first time ‘presenting’ commercial content, which created a perceived endorsement (‘Musique Plus presents the 2008 Lancer…’). In addition, Astral’s ‘Zapper Trap’ was used, which locked the commercial in simultaneously on all networks, roadblocking eight stations.

During the first half of the program, in 2007, unique visits from Quebec to spiked 341% over the previous year. Online vehicle configurations jumped 236% and requests for test drives increased by 234%. July Lancer sales exceeded expectations, growing 94% and surpassing all direct competitors.

Another example of Calleja’s work was the Go Far promotion with Citytv, a campaign that took a 360-degree approach by using a broad mix of the broadcaster’s offerings. Viewers in all five Citytv markets were invited to enter online via Mitsubishi’s microsite at for the chance to win a vehicle for a weekend and $2,000 cash. The promo was supported with a 30-second spot and a co-branded spot (with Citytv) hyping the contest. Each week, one viewer won a Go Far weekend. In-show mentions on Breakfast Television included shots of the vehicle, and over 67 minutes of editorial was delivered through BT hosts interacting with the vehicles and winners in each city. Breakfast Television also showed the vehicle pickup live to tape each week.

According to OMD, Citytv called the initiative one of its most successful contests ever, judged by repeat entries and page views. The contest reeled in over 26,000 total entries.

How did she get so good? Calleja graduated from the ad program at St. Clair College of Applied Arts & Technology, and completed her internship at Mediaedge:cia (Toronto). In 2006 she took on the assistant strategist position on Team Mitsubishi at OMD, and was promoted to media strategist in May 2007.

What media tactic is going to be the next big thing? ‘Brand/product integration will become more important as PVRs become more mainstream. Finding ways to better measure the success of placements will continue to be a challenge, so it will be up to media teams to ensure placement opportunities are achieved in properties that are on brand strategy, complement brand/product attributes and bring value.’

What’s the biggest media mistake brands are making these days? ‘The challenge is more about access to enough budget. Today, countless non-traditional media opportunities come across our desks. Limited media spends decrease our ability to execute a mix of traditional and ambient media that complement and strengthen the brand/campaign message. Media innovation is just as much about the mix of media as it is about entirely new types of media.’