Rising young media star: Initiative’s Paterson

This is the 12th installment in MiC's series profiling next-gen media minds. How did we find them? MiC and strategy canvassed the industry, asking media shops to single out their top innovative and strategic recruits.

Who: Kevin Paterson, account director, Initiative Media, Toronto

Claim to fame: Paterson is currently account director on Home Depot and Maple Pictures, a recent win that he contributed to as lead planner on the pitch. His favourite campaign, ‘Moving Day’ for Home Depot in Quebec, was built around July 1 being the day that most apartment leases are signed and when hordes of people move.

‘We took advantage of this with a grassroots campaign unique to Quebec and Montreal specifically,’ Paterson explains. ‘We had street teams going out with Home Depot moving vans, dropping off packages of cleaning supplies and packing tape and helping people move. It really supported the whole Home Depot mantra: ‘You can do it. We can help.’ It helped ingratiate Home Depot in a marketplace where they weren’t top of mind, and was supported with radio and remotes, which made Moving Depot an event in Montreal.’

Background: Paterson studied English at the University of Toronto until curiosity about how media affects people’s lives led him into the industry seven years ago. His first job was working on DaimlerChrysler at BBDO Automotive, and he’s been at Initiative Media for two years.

What brand brilliantly connected and engaged the consumers it targeted? ‘I’m really impressed with how Mini’s still going so strong. It’s seven years since it came out and they’re still treating the brand like a launch with really cool, targeted magazine stuff. On blogTO.com they integrated the Mini into the header of the page, and did it very well. BlogTO.com is very indie, artistic and young and very targeted, and people feel strongly about the site. Advertising is a touchy subject because, unlike a large portal, people can feel like it’s invading their space. But people were okay with it because they understood, and it was done very tastefully.’

What media tactic is going to be the next big thing and why? ‘Targeting consumers by their interests and who they are, versus the idea of mass – being able to reach everybody and mean something to them. Advertisers need to look at people as individuals and not worry that if they don’t reach 98% of whatever demographic was targeted, they haven’t achieved their goal.

‘If you don’t create a relationship through the new media, you’re really missing out. You’re going to need to focus not on the numbers, but on the composition of who you’re trying to reach. The strongest way to do that is through digital, media because that’s where people are going to react, relate and network.’