Rising young media star: Mindshare’s Hutton

This is the third installment in MiC's series profiling next-gen media minds. Curious as to who these new thinkers are, and what they're thinking, strategy and MiC canvassed the industry, asking media shops to single out their top innovative and strategic recruits.

Who: Sarah Hutton, media supervisor, Mindshare, Toronto

Claim to fame: Hutton has a full roster of clients, including Mattel, GlaxoSmithKline and Kimberly-Clark, but spends most of her time on Kellogg. She has a reputation for being a top-notch broadcast negotiator, and has applied her innovative thinking and brand understanding toward integration and extending campaigns beyond traditional GRP buying.

One notable example is positioning Kellogg as a major sponsor of Breakfast Television on CHUM stations. This integrated effort includes having Kellogg cereal boxes in the background on the BT set. As well, online at CP24.com, the BT page drives viewers to Kellogg’s website. The brand is also part of the pre-promo announcement that BT ‘is brought to you’ by a rotating menu of specific Kellogg’s cereal brands.

Hutton says what makes these integrated elements so effective is that they’re a natural fit with the TV show and don’t look forced. ‘When we get into integrated campaigns (at Mindshare), we work very closely with our online team here as well as planning and perhaps print. So it really becomes a team environment,’ she explains.

Background: Hutton took media at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont., and interned at OMD, where she stayed for two years. She moved on for a brief stint at Cossette Media before joining Mindshare over four years ago.

What would you love to build into a plan? ‘A lot more product integration. We have the opportunity to go deeper. For example, in Ireland, Kellogg has a three-year sponsorship for Buffy the Vampire Slayer that’s far more than closed captioning. The brand – I think it was Frosties – was very tied to Buffy on the cereal packaging. I don’t think Canada is there yet, but we’re on the road.’

Are clients missing opportunities due to caution? ‘Yes, but only in terms of product integration. We’ve done some preliminary research with CTV on product integration and how consumers respond to it. It’s not measurable at this point, so some clients are hesitant to make the jump, and perhaps scratch their 30-second brand sells in favour of doing a full product integration program. There’s no research to back it up yet, but we’re getting there.’

’30-second units. They shouldn’t actually be trashed, but we should have flexibility to buy other units. In Europe, you can buy in five-second increments – 20 seconds, 35 or 40, or even three-minute ads.

‘Over here, we seem to be very 30-second-dominated. And if you do want a 15-second ad, you run the risk of having your spot pre-empted if there isn’t another 15-second one to marry it with. We should be more flexible. If we only need 20 seconds, we only need 20 seconds.’

What media vehicle or tactic is going to be the next big thing, and why? ‘Product integration. I think it’s really going to take off because there’s value in seeing people interact with your brand outside of a brand sell. Sears featured its catalogue on Corner Gas, for example, and that integration was really good. You’re going to start seeing a lot more very natural stuff like that.’