Chris Boothe

President-Chief Activation Director, Starcom USA

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This year's upfront market involved radical changes, but they still weren't enough for Chris Boothe.
CHRIS BOOTHE
WHY HE WAS CHOSEN:
  • Developing second-by-second measures of viewing behavior.

  • Leading Starcom accountability push via technology.


With TV watchers increasingly able to not only channel-surf but fast-forward past ads, Mr. Boothe, 42, has been pushing for more-granular information on their habits. While many are content with Nielsen data that offer a sense of viewership for an average commercial minute, Mr. Boothe, Starcom USA's president-chief activation officer, has been pushing for much more.

On his watch, Starcom USA has signed up for data from TNS Media Research that provide second-by-second information on the behavior of a select group of digital-cable users. He also helped devise a deal with Discovery Communications that uses that second-by-second data to guarantee viewership on the Discovery HD Theater channel.

"Part of my DNA and my personality is to always strive for more and always take it to the next level," Mr. Boothe says.

Last year, when deals were still being negotiated based on program ratings, Mr. Boothe helped devise a pact between a handful of Starcom clients and the Weather Channel that called for the network to deliver specific audience levels during ad breaks.

Mr. Boothe's ideas can often force both media outlets and clients to step beyond normal practices. Some of the agreements Mr. Boothe has devised don't use data that are standardized across the industry, but he said he believes getting precise measures for clients should not be held back by lack of interest in new concepts. "He's got big ideas, but he doesn't just talk about his big ideas and go away in his fancy suit. He makes stuff happen," says Lisa Cochrane, VP-marketing at Allstate Insurance Co.

Tethering long-held measures of marketing success -- revenue, brand recall, market share -- to a venerable 30-second TV ad has never been the easiest of tasks. But technology and data of the sort Mr. Boothe touts are putting that goal within reach.

Expect Mr. Boothe to continue to work on the sort of ad pact that, as he puts it, "leads us to the most accountability and the most precision."

BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW:
Mr. Boothe can stake a claim to his own little piece of TV culture. The character Chris Boothe from the soap opera "Passions" is named after him, thanks to a college buddy who has a supervisory role over NBC's daytime programming. "I do TiVo 'Passions' because I'm on there," Mr. Boothe says.
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