WHOSAY CEO: Establishing a Brand Is More Important Than Targeting

In many cases, brand awareness is more important than targeting,” WHOSAY CEO Steve Ellis told Variety Studios at Cannes Lion.

“I read a great Q&A this week by the founder of BBH taking about how establishing a brand is more important than targeting, and he’s right,” Ellis said. “He made the point in the interview that everyone knows what Rolls Royce is even if only a few people would ever buy one.”

He continued by explaining that well-established brands “mean something to people” and that establishing that awareness requires “a certain amount of presentation.” The WHOSAY CEO added that for a platform like Instagram, “where even personal content is shared at a certain high bar,” is ideal for the kind of premium advertising that WHOSAY powers. “It’s a more effective place for high bar advertising.” 

Ellis talked about Viacom’s acquisition of WHOSAY back in January as something that has allowed the influence marketer expand options from social media alone and into the world of linear television. “Now, as part of Viacom, we’ll be expanding the distribution options and the creative options by that business which was very successful up until they acquired us and it continues to be even more successful in the six months we’ve been with them, thankfully.”  

“I wanted to be part of a television upfront, which is a remarkable learning experience for me in terms of the history of advertising,” Ellis continued. “it’s just hard to cut through [the clutter] today and just thinking about media or something you buy as cheaply as possible for the biggest reach is not good enough today.” 

Ellis added that WHOSAY is part of a trend and a process that means better, more creative ads that are served to the right people the right way “especially when half the time is [on] a six-inch screen.” ‘You don’t have to use your mobile phone to realize that, for a long time, we consider the banner on a mobile phone an effective piece of advertisement. You can’t even see it what’s in it, even if you wanted. We still have pop-ups, which is staggering and makes you hate the website and the advertiser at the same. We can do a lot better."