While rarely a month goes by without headlines trumpeting the decline of traditional television networks and their programming, count as a decided naysayer Colin Kinsella, who recently took over as President of Havas Media North America.
On the heels of the 2016 Upfront TV negotiating season, “I think this year feels like the return of TV,” Kinsella says in an interview with Beet.TV.
Among other evidence, he cites presentations from networks showing the power of TV in driving brand awareness and the willingness of some to reduce their advertising loads. As International Business Times reports, Fox, Viacom and Turner, among others, have announced plans to reduce the number of ad breaks during programming.
Kinsella goes a step farther in his TV renaissance scenario, saying the industry has learned a lot from the digital side and questioning the latter’s ability to do things that TV programming can.
“In some ways, it’s almost an indictment on the brand-building power of digital,” says Kinsella. Although he acknowledges the direct-response, lower-funnel attributes of digital advertising, “It’s the brand-building stuff I think gets a little more interesting and less clear on digital’s role there. I think some of that is coming out in a lot of the presentations that I have been seeing.”
He sees the upcoming Cannes advertising confab “as much a media event as it is a creative event. I think in many ways, people are really coming to grips with the fact that these two things need to be together again somehow, some way.”
In that vein, for Kinsella, moving to Havas represents a sort of full-circle moment in a career that began in the 1980’s at Foot, Cone & Belding, a time when creative and media still resided within the same agency walls. As some marketers began to shift their media assignments to what were then known as “buying services,” agencies followed suit by unbundling their media departments into “media agencies.”
He credits a large degree of Havas’ wins of a global client account every three months for the past three years to the company’s efforts to reunite creative and media in such markets as Boston, Chicago and New York. “I think the answer is connecting the creative and the media together as two equals and going to the market in that way,” Kinsella says.
This interview is part of our series “The Road to Cannes”, presented by FreeWheel. Please visit this page for additional segments.