Mr. Spengler, who has worked for Initiative, a unit of Interpublic Group of Cos., since 1993, said the position will allow him to present consumers with more multipronged opportunities, such as those created by ESPN 360 and the Scripps networks in the past.
"Hopefully, what we'll be doing is going beyond buying into exploiting the medium and instead get consumers to be more engaged and more embracing of the brands we're selling actively in a crowded market," Mr. Spengler said.
Just hours after being named to his new position, Mr. Spengler took some time to speak with MediaWorks about his plans for changing the way Initiative approached media buys.
MediaWorks: Is it harder to reach people these days when media has been moving to more digital platforms?
Tim Spengler: It's no different today than it was in 1950. It's still going to be about getting consumers engaged with brands via content.
MediaWorks: In addition to your broadcast background, what will you bring to your new position?
Mr. Spengler: I have a pretty good knowledge of content and I'm passionate about all media. Not just TV, but also magazines and Internet and radio. I consume a lot of media and I'm enjoying it. We want to take what those mediums are and a good understanding of our clients' brands and marry those two. The Home Depot deal [with cable network TLC] sort of exemplifies having knowledge of both sides.
MediaWorks: Based on your experience in TV, what have you learned about its effectiveness in reaching consumers?
Mr. Spengler: I don't think TV is the only way, or the best. What I keep being reminded of is brands that advertise aggressively and have a competitive offering seem to do well. I hear that all the time: "We didn't spend a lot of money last year and sales kind of trailed off." Advertising in media, when done right, is very impactful. It works. It's not just about traditional media anymore. It's a combination of traditional media and extensions. Oftentimes new media is an extension of traditional media being a little more platform agnostic.
MediaWorks: Where do you see digital initiatives going from here?
Mr. Spengler: This restructuring that our company is taking is in response to what is now the digital era. There's all this talk about [how] tomorrow consumers will be able to do this. Well, "this" is already here. Today is tomorrow. I see it as the digital world now -- content is able to be shared and moved and experienced in a number of places.