As advanced television takes a greater hold on the industry as a whole, Nicole Whitesel, EVP of Advanced TV at Publicis Media, believes that exploring unfamiliar territory is an essential step in connecting with advertisers and other networks. Whitesel was interviewed at the Beet Retreat at Publicis by Joanna O’Connell, VP & Principal Analyst at Forrester Research.

“Seven, nine years ago in digital, it was a wild wild west,” says Whitesel. “Everyone was running all these ad networks and DSPs and some people had DMP, some didn’t. The advertisers that were willing to take risks and understand that, yes, I may not understand what I’m buying right now but I need to jump in early and build learning and understanding … those are the advertisers that we’re seeing in TV that are also applying that same risk perspective.”

Whitesel notes that there is some discomfort in putting money, time and resources into methods that aren’t necessarily tried and true, but this is the thought leadership that can give companies the edge on competitors vying for the same viewers, content or ratings.

“I think you see some of our clients really setting themselves up within this Upfront to make those changes,” says Whitesel. “But it’s a three or four-year vision, and they know that it’s tiny twists of the knob each year as they can go and more forcibly ask for the things they want versus ‘I think I might want this, but I don’t know’.”

Looking ahead, Whitesel also mentioned the importance of networks viewing their specific services or focus within the greater media ecosystem, particularly as it pertains to the evolving world of advanced TV.

“What are the ways [companies] can control their content across an ecosystem to really deliver more for the advertisers as well as managing what they can control?” Whitesel says. “Even though they may not control every platform that it’s viewed on, they still have ownership over the content, which is a big piece of the pie.” 

This video was produced at the Beet Retreat leadership event hosted Publicis Media in New York. The event and video series is sponsored by FreeWheel and LiveRamp. For more videos from the event, please visit this page.