Author Archives: Julie Block Padden

Media Spotlight: Julie Block-Padden, Senior Media Buyer

julie1Editor’s note: “Media Spotlight” is an ongoing series where we interview the wide range of professionals that make up our growing office. From the traditional media planners to our digital buyers, you’ll gain insight into the many levels that make up Media Works Ltd. This week we interview Senior Media Buyer, Julie Block-Padden

How long have you been in media?

A long time! I started in 1988 out of college with Macy*s in New York City. They had an in-house advertising department at that time for all their stores. I started out buying and negotiating print for the store in Albany NY. I moved my way up the ladder into bigger markets and into broadcast and magazine buying then became a manager and eventually the Media Director managing the media buying and planning department.  It was really a great start to my career since Macy*s was such a heavy advertiser and I was exposed to all media and so many markets. They didn’t separate the planning and buying departments like most major agencies so I was fortunate to learn both. I moved to Baltimore and after having a baby I started at Media Works – I’m going on 10 years here!

Can you describe a day in your life at Media Works?

My days are spent working on various plans and buys for the clients I handle or managing the media schedules I’ve placed.  The day may include preparing a media plan or recommendation, negotiating rates, placing buys or attending client meetings or meetings with the media vendors we work with.

What are some of the challenges of your position?

It is challenging to stay abreast of everything happening in the industry. Over the years the landscape has become more fragmented and there are so many ways to reach our client’s potential customers. We need to be aware of how customers are consuming media and find the most cost efficient methods to reach them and deliver our client’s message.

What is your all-time favorite ad campaign?

I can’t say I have a favorite. But so many times you see or hear an ad and you can remember the context of it but not the advertiser. I think an effective campaign will have recall in both – you remember the campaign and the product or advertiser.


What advice would you offer someone looking to get into the industry?

I learned a lot in the early days of my career by listening to others more experienced than me and by asking questions. I also read a lot of trade articles and still try to. Now the digital space is expanding at such a rapid pace that anyone starting out should learn as much as they can and personally use some of the social media that is out there to become familiar with it.


Top 101 TV Shows Of All Time

Earlier this month, the Writers Guild of America announced its list of the top 101 written television shows ever.  The list was compiled by votes cast from the East and West Coast Writers Guild members. Given the endless hours of programming the past 70 years includes this seems almost impossible and of course can spark endless hours of debate over which shows belong on the list and at what rank.

HBO’s The Sopranos was number one followed by a diverse set of classic shows. The top fifteen in order include Seinfeld, The Twilight Zone, All in the Family, M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mad Men, Cheers, The Wire, The West Wing, The Simpsons, I Love Lucy, Breaking Bad, The Dick Van Dyke Show and Hill Street Blues.

There are many shows from recent decades in the top 101, several on the air now and nods to classics from years past many of us may have never seen and have only heard of. Alas, no reality shows made the cut.

Apparently 100 shows wasn’t enough, and even though the list is for the top 101 shows  there are there are several ties so more than 101 shows are represented.  For example, Downton Abbey, Law & Order and ThirtySomething all ranked at #43.

Given the recent passing of James Gandolfini, otherwise known as televisions legendary mob boss Tony Soprano, having The Sopranos place at number one is a timely and fitting tribute to the actor and to Jean Stapleton, AKA Edith Bunker from All in the Family, who also passed away right after the release of the list.

Given the passion many feel about “their” shows, check out the list and see if you agree, disagree and what shows should have made the list that didn’t.  The full list is available on the WGA site:

Cartier Brings The Bling

The most interesting film I’ve seen lately is technically an ad. A 3 ½ minute film called “L’Odyssee de Cartier” as the luxury jeweler refers to their commercial that has recently run on National TV.

When I saw the spot first I didn’t even realize it was a commercial. It is so long in regard to commercial standards and there are no words. Nothing about the spot is hard selling or even selling at all.

Several things caught my eye but none of them were really the product. First and foremost the cinematography; it is beautifully filmed, featuring a jewel encrusted panther as it comes to life and travels across the globe passing by The Great Wall, The Taj Mahal and jumping on a Wright Brother’s style airplane. Several iconic Cartier products are cleverly incorporated throughout the film as it traces the company’s 165 year history.

Second is the length, clocking in at 3 ½ minutes; a rarity in television advertising.  I do not recall ever seeing a spot that long. Even more amazing, the spot ran on a Sunday night in a prime ‘roadblock’ across all three major networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) and in network morning news shows.

And lastly is what I have learned about it afterwards. Cartier has dedicated a website to the project.  Interestingly the cost came in at $5.2 million shot in multiple countries, the music score was recorded with an orchestra at the legendary Abbey Road and the panther was actually 3 different live panthers.

Cartier says the spot is airing on TV in 12 different countries, in cinemas and as display and takeover web ads on the NY Times website making the cost to run the spot unimaginably expensive.

What I don’t understand is the logic. Although Cartier is well known worldwide I fail to see the mass appeal or the strategy in running National TV in the US where I would have to guess their sales are concentrated in select markets. I’m glad they did though or I may not have seen the spot at all.

Happy 100th Blog Post!

We started back in 2008 with a commitment to blogging and today we have reached our 100th post! Never at a loss for topics; we have written about events in the advertising industry, current events and events here at Media Works. Giving you some news, some facts and always our take on things.

Thank you to all who have been reading, commenting and hopefully enjoying our blogs. Whether you’ve read 1 or 100 we hope you come back. We will let you know when we hit 200!

Media Coverage of the Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding, now almost forgotten after Sunday’s breaking news about Bin Laden, turned out to be a pretty big draw, spread across several platforms.

Before Friday, it seemed maybe we had had enough or did not want to admit our interest.

A study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, in a weekly news interest index survey conducted April 21-25, found that 53 percent of adults said they were not following news about the upcoming royal wedding closely.

Eight percent said they were following the preparations very closely, with another 13 percent saying they were following it fairly closely.

Twenty-five percent said they were following it not too closely.

But it appears there was interest; and a lot of it. Nielson reports that an average of 22.8 million Americans tuned in between 5am and 6:15 am to watch the actual ceremony. Eleven U.S. networks carried the entire wedding festivities including E!, TLC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, Telemundo, Univision, Fox News Channel and BBC America.

Twitter has reported there were 2.6 million Tweets on Friday about the wedding.  Facebook estimates that 1.953 million U.S. users and 1.004 million British users posted updates about the wedding.  I’m sure it is safe to say nearly every print and on-line newspaper covered the story in some way.

Viewing online saw a spike too early reports are showing. Yahoo! reported its video viewing hit a new record, up 21% from previous top spot, the Michael Jackson funeral. reported the highest traffic since the 2008 Presidential election.

You Tube had a live feed as did the You Tube “Royal Channel”. Stats on the Royal Channel page now show over 24 million upload views.

Maybe now that the world is focused on Bin Laden’s death the media will lay off a little on the honeymoon coverage.

2010 Upfronts

It appears after the conclusion of the 2010-2011 broadcast upfront market this month, the broadcast industry has managed to revive itself and advertisers appear more confident in locking in their budgets early. The 5 major networks reportedly charged more than last year for their ad time and sold more of it.

According to estimates, roughly $8.7 billion (yes billion) dollars was committed by advertisers to the five major networks. This, when compared to the dismal upfront last year when commitments were estimated to be just shy of $8 billion, gives the impression things are slowly turning around.

The upfront, an interesting tradition when broadcasters pull out all the stops serving up celebrities and cocktails along with their new programs and fall schedules to the buying community, is really a measure of the health of TV and the willingness of advertisers to spend. Since the amount committed is not necessarily the end result (cancellations, program changes etc have an effect on the total), the upfront indicates advertisers interest in TV and their willingness to commitment their money early.

In 2009, the upfront stalled, with commitments made well into August as advertisers were unwilling to part with their money and insisted on rate discounts before even entering negotiations. With the economy still uncertain and the increasing array of choices advertisers now have competing for their marketing dollars; predictions were moderate for the 2010 upfront. But, according to the network executives, the return of automotive, retail and financial dollars indicates advertisers are somewhat more confident in spending and are acknowledging TV is still a major part of their media mix.

While this year’s totals were up from 2009 and deals done at a much faster pace, there still was not enough money in the upfront market to reach the levels of 2008 or 2007 when levels were above $9 billion in commitments, impressive numbers for sure.

Introducing LPMs and PPMs

LPM. PPM. We have been hearing these acronyms quite often in the Media Works office. The LPM, otherwise known as a local people meter, is a device for electronically measuring television viewing. This process is scheduled to roll out in Baltimore in July 2009. The PPM, portable people meter, is the electronic measurement device for radio and is about to go live in Washington DC.  Both devices will change the way TV and radio is measured – for the better.

Since Media Works’ clients are very active in Baltimore and Washington, we have been attending various educational seminars in both markets. Nielsen has had two presentations so far to educate the Baltimore media community on what to expect in the LPM transition.  No longer will paper diaries be driving the TV ratings for Baltimore. Electronic “boxes” will be installed in Nielsen family homes to record what is being watched and by whom. Nielsen explained in detail the methodology of meter placement in the market and the lengthy process of how they get and maintain a Nielsen family.

In Washington there have been several panel discussions and educational presentations to prepare the media community for the PPM, or portable people meter. This electronic measurement system requires people to wear a small device that will record all their radio listening.  So like LPMs, the PPM will record what is being listened to and by whom.

At Media Works, we feel both systems will provide more accurate viewing estimates and demographic data. Lets face it, recording everything in a diary you have watched on TV or have listened to on the radio leaves a lot of room for error. With hundreds of channels available on TV and radio and the increasing use of DVR technology and radio station streaming, even people with the best intentions of keeping their diaries accurate can forget to log in everything.

We are pleased to see this new measurement technology that should help us in making even more refined and efficient broadcast media buys for our clients. Undoubtedly LPMs and PPMs will be an ongoing topic of conversation in the Media Works office. We will continue to post udpates on LPMs and PPMs. Please your thoughts in the comments section.