An Interview with Nick Cedar- Investment Director at Havas Canada [VIDEO]

Norbert Horvath sits down with Nick Cedar, Investment Director at Havas Canada, to explore Havas and the market in Canada.

Speakers: Norbert Hovarth, CTO, Say It Now; Nick Cedar, Investment Director, Havas Canada.

Read the full transcript of the video here:

Norbert Horvath 0:00
Today we are in Toronto and I’m sitting here at Havas media group with Nick cedar, head of investment at Havas Media Group. Thank you. Thank you. So today we’re going to talk about a bit here is, let’s just get started with with tell me a bit about the US media group in Canada and what isn’t.

Nick Cedar 0:20
So we’re a full service media agency, including creative. We, here we buy the best media. We’re an advertising agency with some fairly large clients mid mid size, purely growth mode right now in the agent in the markets and we got over under new leadership right now and we’re looking to expand and get into innovation there. So

Norbert Horvath 0:48
and your role here within the within Havas, Director of investments? Tell me a bit about this, what do you do?

Nick Cedar 0:55
So I oversee broadcast mostly. So we negotiate on behalf of our clients to get the best. But it put us in the best place, the most meaningful place we provide his mantra is meaningful media. So the right context, the right you know, make sure we’re being put in the right place, make sure we’re doing the right connection, and we’re putting people we’re getting rid of the media wastage, and really doing, you know, more connection with

Norbert Horvath 1:20
the brands, media wastage tell us about

Nick Cedar 1:23
when you’re doing demo based buying and you’re looking at, you know, say an adult’s 2554. And you’re looking at television, a lot of those viewership numbers are coming from 50 Plus, and you’re kind of wasting your, you’re just going by just number one, in the Rancor, you could be paying a lot more money for a network that doesn’t really connect with your consumer and who you’re looking for. But in a demo, and optically, when you pull a rancor, it looks like oh, great, I’m on the number one station, you’re paying more for something that’s not going to be that. That you’re paying more for something that you don’t necessarily need. So you can create more efficiencies, create better meaningful experiences, by really tapping into who your consumer is and getting rid of and not going after stations that don’t connect and make me familiar with your your your product

Norbert Horvath 2:14
smashing. So you would say that your qualitative assessment of your performance your KPIs are driven by insights, yes. And attribution.

Nick Cedar 2:26
100% Yes, data first party data. That’s why we partner with some of the biggest telco companies in Canada to attain that first party data to help better target our consumers

Norbert Horvath 2:38
mean Brockhaus historically, struggled with real time optimization, right? Yes,

Nick Cedar 2:43
100%. And I think right now with the digitisation, it’s slowly evolving, but it needs to go faster. And I think that’s, that’s what Cobots is pushing to, to really come into the market with a bang of, you know, TV still works, radio still works. But now we need to digitize it and give it more up and bring it back into the new age. It’s got an image problem,

Norbert Horvath 3:08
right? Will you see the slider between targeting and attribution in terms of relevance when you are planning your investments?

Nick Cedar 3:16
I think they go hand in hand. Yeah, if we’re targeting the right people, we should be getting great attribution back

Norbert Horvath 3:20
here enough, right? And currently, how do you measure that? With the first party data? How would you go about?

Nick Cedar 3:27
Oh, well, Avast has got their own bespoke tools. We also tap in and the way we build partnerships, not just a volume basis about building connections partnerships with with with our vendors, you know, how can we make you hit your internal goals? How can you help you? How can you help us hit our goals? And how can to combine to make what’s best for the client?

Norbert Horvath 3:50
So openly and transparently share your data?

Nick Cedar 3:53
No clients? Well, I mean, obviously, there’s walled gardens and data. And you know, there’s NDAs, and stuff we can’t share. But we do work and partner with vendors that that can provide and, you know, put it all together.

Norbert Horvath 4:07
Now, Canada, of course, is not the United States, what are the biggest differentiators between the Canadian market and the US market?

Nick Cedar 4:15
Canada is the little brother that gets the Hami downs from the United States. So it happens in the States first and then trickles down slowly coming to here, which I can’t stand. I mean, we’re a very progressive country. We’re just as technically sound. And you know, I would love for Canada to really update their offerings, what you like what you see in the States is a lot of times you can’t get here. Interesting. Yeah, it’s a smaller market as well. It’s completely different from different geographies, different, you know, where our Canadian population is, and senators are much more like, here’s Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver vs. Are all of these hubs in the United States, right.

Norbert Horvath 4:54
The two languages as well as

Nick Cedar 4:56
languages but you you know, you got to treat as two different don’t have countries and versus one of Canada that you’ve got Quebec market, and then you’ve got your rest of Canada,

Norbert Horvath 5:05
I’m sure that there’s differences in demographics as well, just because it’s

Nick Cedar 5:08
100%. And then also, when you think about Quebec, you really want to connect with their their culture, because they’re very big supporter of their own startup system versus the rest of Canada. So when you’re really wanted to make an impact and a connection in that market, you really want to get into what Quebec is and who Quebec is.

Norbert Horvath 5:26
So when you then make your decisions and build your strategies, how do you intersect that with your consideration of innovation and new technologies, what drives your selection of new technology?

Nick Cedar 5:37
Innovation is at the core of where we’re at right now. The status quo cannot be anymore. It’s, we can’t be doing the same mundane thing that’s been done. We need to evolve. We make sure when we’re looking at and we’re analyzing what’s new, we make sure that you know when is a contextually revelant vague, it goes with our meaningful media approach, is it contextually relevant for the client? Is there a huge opportunity to make this massive in the market? Is there a first market opportunity on this? Has this been done before? And if so, how can we do it better? Right? Because you’re doing the same thing over we can just change them, they play people with the amount of means and social media out there, people are gonna catch it, you need to continually evolve now, you can’t just keep doing the same thing over and over again.

Norbert Horvath 6:27
And in terms of the actual feedback loop, with broadcast, the interactivity of it all, currently, your channels for that are what social? Yeah, that’s instead. Yeah, really,

Nick Cedar 6:40
there’s not much connectivity. I mean, now there’s QR codes, that in your connected TV that you can do that. But it’s very still you see it on TV. And if you’ve got a call to action, and the new user search or on your phone, right, it’s in there, there’s nothing really happening together that, you know, allows you to lean back and, and connect with either the brand or what you’re seeing on TV.

Norbert Horvath 7:00
I mean, it is ambient enjoyment, whether it’s radio or TV with radio, particularly, you’re always doing something else while you are listening to radio and a call to action is expected to me. Yeah. And then kind of stepping into the next question for this one. What is the first radio ad? That you actually remember? What was the one that still is in your ear?

Nick Cedar 7:27
Oh, there’s a couple. And so it’s important, especially for radio radio. I love radio. It’s true to my heart. If you’ve got great Sonic branding, then it’s a great campaign for radio. So there’s McDonald’s about a Peppa I’m loving it and you can hear it every single time you don’t even need to say the words anymore just a jingle and that sticks. But the one for Canada specific sleep Country Canada

Unknown Speaker 7:49

Nick Cedar 7:50
yes right

Norbert Horvath 7:50
so it’s gotten to a country can add

Nick Cedar 7:54
a mattress anywhere else. Now they don’t even use the words it’s literally the sound and you can identify that as asleep Country Canada and I think as strong for me that to this day. That’s one of the strongest jingles I know if you’ve got a strong sound Netflix as well if they were using radio all we’d have to do is put them yes even know on radio right away because it’s it’s all about your sonic branding. How does your brand sound and I think so many brands need to, especially with the rise of audio, the revamp of radio and you know, I think if you need to properly utilize that medium you need to how does your brand sound

Norbert Horvath 8:30
you notice is the last interview actually on this interview series across the US and Canada

Nick Cedar 8:35
favorite best freelance?

Norbert Horvath 8:37
No, and what we found out but when he asked about the most memorable and everybody said jingle because you are prompted to engage and sing along and move the air. What What’s your take on that? And how do you see that evolving?

Nick Cedar 8:52
Yes, yes. But I don’t think just jingles it doesn’t just need to be some corny advertising jingle.

Norbert Horvath 8:57

Nick Cedar 8:58
memorabilia. Yes. 100%. Yeah, yeah, but I don’t think it doesn’t just need to be jingle even for memorability. You got to have just sound What do you sound like, doesn’t need to be jingle Netflix. To them. It’s not a jingle. But it’s a sound and that really resonates with you, right? So sometimes people think all you need to have a jingle, which is great, especially if you do it. Well. It’s great. But it can be an epic fail too. It’s really just making giving your spin on the sound and having the consistency of that sound across all of your mediums. But

Norbert Horvath 9:31
as you know, we are an interactive voice. And we in fact, are doing this interview series to kind of frame up how best to bring this new product to market. What is your view of interactive voice and actionable ads and you know, kind of attaching itself to what we just talked about the memory and the brand awareness. It’s about time. It’s about time.

Nick Cedar 9:52
It’s about time wonderful. It’s phenomenal. You know, radio right now, you know, especially in Canada, it gives you that Look at that reach and that local connection. But it’s been the same since 1902. Well, how can we evolve that? And that is the next step. Right now it’s radios being able to connect with each other, you can connect with DJs, you can do brands, you can just that get you can make radio clickable now, which you can never do before.

Norbert Horvath 10:20
Yeah, no, I’ve actually heard that radio now has a click. And then also, in terms of remaining in the Leanback position, and still yet perform the call to action.

Nick Cedar 10:32
Exactly. And the fact that, you know, when you think about the evolution of cars, and then becoming more smart speaker enabled, that leanback experience, that you’re driving to a store, and you’re like, Oh, we’re driving away, and like, Oh, I forgot to order a kid’s gift, you can just order on your car while you’re driving. Right for the party next week, you know, so the convenience is there.

Norbert Horvath 10:53
And it’s actually from from understanding the data perspective, understanding the, you know, the, the assessment of the audience, and then from there and the targeting, and then the attributes, what, where do you see that improving for how us with, you know, using interactive voice,

Nick Cedar 11:14
interactive voice really goes with our meaningful media approach. It really goes hand in hand and creating that connection with your brand, one on one, and it can either be an ICA in like ecommerce space, or creating something as cool as just an experience of going through something with the brand, a story, a survey a game, you know, and I think it will allow people to really, you know, when it comes top of mind, if you have that connection with your consumer, you’re going to be the first one top of mind.

Norbert Horvath 11:43
Oh, for sure. And in terms of where do you see the future of the commercial mechanics of interactive voice? From your vantage point? How would you integrate that?

Nick Cedar 11:52
I think started with question.

Norbert Horvath 12:01
The commercial mechanics, what do you see the commercial mechanics of voice in the broadcast arena? Because it’s so highly digital, yet? It’s me, it means to cover the rest of the broadcast as well. What do you see that evolving?

Nick Cedar 12:13
I think the vendors gotta get involved in making space for it in their their repertoire. Especially during especially how, you know, can you create with it, you know, does the creative just kind of have a call to action from a creative from client? Or can you actually put, say, like the tool in and carve five seconds out of your overall schedule to be able to have those actual models and actual actual audio? Yeah, drives in there. And instead of just being creative being sent over, can they put it into their, their actual system? Right,

Norbert Horvath 12:51
right. And then, of course, I mean, something they’re also trying to figure out here is the actual future of the role itself. And what would you recommend to an entrant in the in someone who wants to enter the fray of agency agency world? What would you recommend for someone who’s interested in becoming one day?

Nick Cedar 13:16
Connections, connections, you always do to make the partnership and that connection, it’s the biggest thing. Media is an ever evolving, ever problematic fire putting out high pressure type of business and sometimes making those connections with who your reps are, and you know, who has the best tools out there, they can really help you. They can pull you out of some some tough spots and just creating annual it’s very small industry. So taking you take care of, you know, I scratch my back, I scratch yours, there’s going to be times both you need that. And so really coming in, it’s reconnecting and making those personal relationships is definitely something you need to do.

Norbert Horvath 13:57
I think in that regard, we’re gonna be using these in a separate little video reel. So thank you very much for talking to us today. No problem. And I’m looking forward to the the brownies and the carrot cakes that you brought to

Nick Cedar 14:15
the bakery. It’s coming out it’s gonna be huge. Thank you. Yes. Perfect. Did I answer Okay,

Norbert Horvath 14:22
yeah. Yeah.

Nick Cedar 14:27
Okay, that was my very first interview.