In a business where job hopping often plays like a game of musical chairs, Tyler Schaeffer, senior VP-director of brand media planning at Foote, Cone & Belding, New York, has an unusual distinction—he’s been with the same ad agency for 20 years.
Rising through the ranks at FCB over the years, Schaeffer began his career at the global agency in 1981 as assistant media planner. He’s worked on accounts on both the consumer and b-to-b side, spanning everything from microchips (for Lucent Technologies Inc.) to potato chips (for Frito-Lay Inc.). His current mission is to work with media planning across multiple communications disciplines and integrate the best of strategic planning with media buying.
"The title [director-brand media planning] was created to try to infuse media with account planning and stimulate integrated ideas and collaboration throughout the agency," Schaeffer said. He achieves this with three basic principles that he tries to incorporate into all work: customer insights, creativity and innovation, and accountability.
"You must be able to identify and understand insights about the consumer and the customer through proprietary tools and techniques. That is the beginning of the creative process for the agency," Schaeffer said. Then, to create successful campaigns, an agency must devise differentiating strategies and tactics, employing unique and exclusive relationships with partners, he said.
For client Compaq Computer Corp., Schaeffer forged a strategic alliance with AOL Time Warner Inc. that leveraged Compaq’s technology sponsorship of a Formula One car racing team across television, print, Internet and events. The campaign, with a tagline "Inspiration technology," is designed to showcase Compaq’s strength in technology by providing an enterprise system that helps the car run better. "It demonstrates Compaq’s positioning, not just as a technology provider, but as an innovator of technology that helps businesses succeed, " Schaeffer said.
For client Avaya Inc., Schaeffer spearheaded the convergence communications sponsorship of the 2002 World Cup event. The media plan for the event has not been set, although advertising this year has promoted Avaya as an official sponsor of the event.
"It integrates with [Avaya’s] product and positioning goals—which is bringing the World Cup to the world via voice and data networking equipment," Schaeffer said.
Avaya’s technology will be used to sell tickets, keep track of scoring and handling press communications needs during the event. As for the final step in Schaeffer’s media strategy, accountability: "We have a results orientation to everything we do," he said. "We have a clear mission upfront, we build campaigns that are trackable and definable that we can learn from, and we adapt on the fly."