Media Strategist: Carl Fremont

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Carl Fremont

Title: Senior VP-director of worldwide media services
Company: Digitas
Location: New York
Key b-to-b clients: American Express, AT&T, FedEx, Microsoft
Years in media business: 23
Most unusual media placement in the past 12 months: Using instant messaging to create a viral campaign for American Express
Trend: “The real challenge today for marketing to businesses is integrating messages together.”

Carl Fremont, this year's Media Veteran, has had extensive experience in direct, interactive, traditional and emerging media over the past 23 years, and he believes b-to-b marketers need to use all of them to be effective.

"The real challenge today for marketing to businesses is integrating messages together," said Fremont, who is senior VP-director of worldwide media services at Digitas, New York. "It's not about optimizing a single channel in your mix. It's about synergizing and orchestrating all channels together."

Fremont has used this integrated approach with Digitas b-to-b clients including AT&T Corp., American Express, FedEx and Microsoft Corp.

For FedEx, Digitas worked with the client's traditional advertising agency, BBDO New York, and its sibling media agency OMD to create an online experience to raise awareness of expanded services following FedEx's acquisition of Kinko's.

Digitas created an online brand awareness campaign built around FedEx's sponsorship of the National Football League on, and other sports sites.

The online campaign featured a game in which users could vote for their favorite NFL player and compete in different challenges. It was tied to a TV campaign created by BBDO and featured information about FedEx ground transportation services and services available through the Kinko's relationship.

"We had FedEx messaging through the whole online experience," Fremont said. "We got users involved with the contextual part [of the game], as well as getting them closer to the brand."

In addition to the online game, Digitas created banner ads that gave users the location of the nearest FedEx Kinko's store after they typed in their ZIP code. The ad got a click rate that was three to four times higher than the average, Fremont said.

The campaign ran on news, sports and business sites.

Fremont also supervised an online effort for American Express Open: The Small Business Network.

Digitas worked with Ogilvy's MindShare media agency on the traditional side to create an online experience around the reality show "Blow Out" on the Bravo Channel, featuring Beverly Hills hairstylist Jonathan Antin, who opened a second outlet of his business. The show was the second reality show placement for American Express, following its involvement in "The Restaurant" on NBC last year.

Digitas created a microsite for "Blow Out" where users could get more in-depth information about the show, interact with Antin and ask questions about starting a new business. "The goal was to associate American Express with helping small businesses," Fremont said.

The average interaction time on the microsite was five to seven minutes.

Fremont is also working with emerging media, such as instant messaging and text messaging, for b-to-b clients. He developed an instant messaging campaign for American Express to engage users and create a viral experience for the brand.

Fremont said media buyers need to make sure they are using all available channels to create effective campaigns for b-to-b clients. "We are at the pinnacle of media today," he said. "We have more opportunities than ever before to impact and engage businesspeople."

Fremont began his advertising career at Ted Bates & Co., where he worked on consumer packaged-goods brands. He then spent 16 years at Wunderman, eventually becoming exec VP-director of media services. He joined Digitas in 1999 as senior VP-director of worldwide media services.

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