Media Mavens 2009

Fred Sattler

Exec VP-Managing Director, Initiative Plus

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- This year was a watershed for Fred Sattler, Interpublic Group of Cos.' designated "car guy" on the pitch team to win the media accounts of Hyundai Motor America and affiliate Kia Motors America.

Fred Sattler
Fred Sattler
The exec VP-managing director of Initiative Plus grabbed media opportunities for the two car brands in the wake of Detroit's woes, landing Hyundai in high-profile places like the Academy Awards and Super Bowl. Mr. Sattler and his team launched the new Kia Soul via a multi-media platform that included an augmented-reality game on Facebook and the Hyundai Genesis launch is now an internal case study, said Mr. Sattler, 52. These successful debuts came in the auto industry's worst sales year in decades.

The native Detroiter said he quickly built his team for the new clients along with a new organization as a hub for a half dozen of Interpublic's specialty companies under its new Media Brands' group.

Hyundai's VP-marketing Joel Ewanick, praised the University of Michigan grad's strategy of buying the first ad slots in commercial pods and high-profile, single spot buys at key points of CNN's election coverage last fall. He also credited Mr. Sattler with a last-minute buy for the first slot after swimmer Michael Phelps' final appearance during the Olympics' broadcast just 30 minutes after the proposal arrived. "We wanted destination TV where people couldn't miss Hyundai, and they delivered," Mr. Ewanick added. He said big-media event buys are keeping Hyundai's momentum on the upswing.

Mr. Sattler started his career in Detroit with Campbell-Ewald and had stints in the Motor City with BBDO, JWT and his last gig at PHD, where he had been exec VP-general manager on Chrysler's account.

In 1995, he established a much-copied media philosophy of combining account and media planning functions when he became the nation's first director of media strategy during his nearly 12-year stint at TBWA/Chiat/Day, Playa del Rey, Calif.

He returned to Detroit in 1999 with the assignment of consolidating Doner, Southfield's media services within agency headquarters, a shift from letting its regional offices handle media buying and planning.

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