Media All-StarsA dozen of the most talented, innovative media point people for leading brands
Kate Melville, VP, Associate Media Director, mediahub, Mullen
As vp, associate media director at Mullen’s media buying and planning unit mediahub, Kate Melville has surely overseen some impressive marketing projects over the past year, including the “Personalized Closet” campaign for Zappos that won her agency an Adweek Media Plan of the Year Award.
For Zappos, Melville and her team came up with an idea that turned an in-book gatefold into an individualized shopping piece by using subscribers’ names printed on front of the women’s lifestyle magazine Real Simple. It was one of the first instances in which Time Inc. let a brand send personalized messages to subscribers using ink-jet technology.
The core of the campaign relied on a medium some have written off. A self-described magazine obsessive, Melville is frustrated by print’s bad rap. “Every single day, we have clients asking us if print is dead,” she says. “It makes me kind of angry.”
Whether working with accounts Zappos, Bose or JetBlue, Melville is bullish on the value of the medium. “There’s still a huge potential in impressions through print,” she notes. “And there’s still a certain cachet with print titles that advertisers can tap into.”
Her love of the printed page doesn’t mean Melville is ignoring the future. “We have to prepare for tomorrow, and tablets are the future of magazines,” she says. That embrace of digital has secured Melville a spot as adviser to magazine trade group MPA’s Tablet Task Force, which aims to standardize magazine readership measurement on tablets. Melville is pushing the group to provide more metrics supporting reader engagement with tablet ads. In addition, she sits on the 4A’s Next Generation Publishing Committee, which tracks changes in publishing practices for the benefit of agencies and brands.
All that cheerleading for magazine brands should help publishers rest easy, knowing they have an unwavering, vocal advocate among media buyers. As Melville puts it plainly: “My goal is to be able to tell my clients that print is not dead.” —Emma Bazilian
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