Media All-Stars 2010




By T.L. Stanley

If she weren't so disarming and down-to-earth, it would be easy to think of Beth Doyle as a shark, a creature known for being in perpetual motion.

A Midwesterner who globetrots on her down time and has a trove of hobbies, Doyle is also hard at work on finding new emerging media ad models—ones she'd like to see as industry standards.

And while Doyle's been in the working world for half her life, at 28, she's just getting started.

As associate director, innovations at VivaKi—the online ad research unit of Publicis Groupe—Doyle spearheads a project dubbed The Pool, the goal of which is to create and implement the equivalent of TV's 30-second spot for emerging media.

The Pool has corralled some 60 companies (informally referred to as "partners") to help with its research, including heavyweight publishers like YouTube and Hulu, content creators like NBC and CBS, and advertisers such as Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods. It's the first time the competitive behemoths have worked closely together. What's more, the findings are being shared with the entire industry.

"We're trying to accelerate the business [at large], and Beth manages all [our] moving parts," says Tracey Scheppach, Doyle's boss and VivaKi's svp, innovations director. "She's so passionate about the technical side, but she also has inherent people skills. She's an absolute rock star."

VivaKi recently launched  ASq, an online ad model that came out of The Pool research. Viewers pick one of three ads and watch the chosen short video, versus watching a pre-set, pre-roll commercial. VivaKi believes the ad model could become an industry standard.

Scheppach says consumer recall is through the roof, with awareness 363 percent higher with ASq than with a pre-roll ad. So far, Pool partners including AOL, Yahoo, MSN, ABC, BlackBerry and Bank of America have used it.

Doyle, who started her career as a media planner six years ago at Starcom USA and has been with VivaKi since 2008, is a new media junkie. She says she thrives on being at the center of the industry's evolution.

"It's my job to be an advocate for change," says Doyle. The Notre Dame alum, whose guitar lessons and volleyball coaching, among other pursuits, help balance days filled with addressable advertising and mobile video, adds, "At  the heart of it all is understanding consumers and their changing media habits."

Colleagues describe Doyle, who's as comfortable installing a high-tech entertainment system as she is baking an apple pie, as a right-brain-left-brain thinker particularly well suited for her multi-tasking role.

"I've never seen anyone get on the right side of everyone like she does,"says Matt Timothy, president of Vindico, an ad insertion and tracking service that's part of The Pool. "The physics of it are amazing."

Beth Doyle photographed by Rudy Archuleta