While change is the only constant, Jeanie Caggiano believes that, in some ways, advertising hasn’t changed at all. At its core, advertising is still about how we influence people to buy a product or service. But, how we do it in terms of its delivery and the agency process has changed quite a bit. In the past, there were five ways to reach consumers, but now there are literally thousands of channels through which to reach them. The disintermediation of media and new digital standards have resulted in a breakdown of messages into chunks due to the large number of tiny audiences which demand customized work. However, in order to create the best customer experience, the voice with which a brand speaks still needs to be the same – irrespective of how customers interact with the brand.
To further illustrate this, Jeanie describes how her recent award-winning campaign for United Healthcare titled “Ways In” was instrumental in creating brand preference for United Healthcare. The team discovered that entry into the healthcare system was confusing and, hence, burdensome for consumers. Based on this insight, they created a campaign around the 76,000 medical codes used by doctors and insurance agents to classify ailments. They simplified the complex process of entering the medical system by creating stories around the central theme of the “ways in” and brought these medical codes to life. Through this engaging and single-minded integrated marketing communication effort, the campaign was successful in changing consumers’ attitudes towards the brand.
Jeanie further describes how, in terms of process, even though advertising has always been a team sport, it has become even more so in recent years. Team structures have changed considerably. Teams today are more cross-functional, more integrated, and require more specialists than ever before. There are different players with different experiences that come from so many different backgrounds like theology, business, film, and more. But the one thing that everyone has in common is curiosity. The biggest thing that hasn’t changed is the need to have an incredible curiosity about people, what makes them tick, and how to influence them. According to Jeanie, if you want to get into the business and succeed, you need to have that curiosity.
What IMC Means To Jeanie:
“An idea that changes minds, hearts, and actions. Something that makes me go “I never thought of it that way before.” Creative ideas that do that stick indelibly in our brains; the gleeful menace of the Mayhem that awaits if you don’t have Allstate car insurance. The hard, proud truth of Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit.” The realization that young girls have no idea the words “Like a Girl” could possibly be an insult in the brand work for Always. Who cares where you encounter it? Without a strong, mind-changing, heart-changing central idea, integration is useless.”
Jeanie Caggiano is a member of the Medill IMC Class Of 1983
Profile by Rujuta Gandhi, Medill IMC Class Of 2017