The Media Management Association welcomed its first guest speaker of the year, Paul Vignau, the director of sales at Comcast Spotlight who was accompanied by Henry Ortiz, an associate account executive and University of Miami (UM) alumnus. Spotlight is Comcast’s advertising sales division where Vignau and his team monetize viewer impressions.

 According to Vignau, video is the most powerful medium and is, therefore, essential to developing an emotional connection with customers. For example, he referenced a 2014 Dick’s Sporting Goods advertisement, The Hoop, in which a proud father gives his young daughter a basketball for Christmas, one that shapes the rest of her life as a basketball player. Vignau emphasized that advertisements resonating with viewers “[have] the power not only to connect with people, but also to build relationships with people.” His logic was as follows: Even if consumers are not ready to buy advertised products, they would be more likely to make a purchase when ready after being exposed to touching advertisements than they would after being exposed to non-emotional commercial messages. The current media ecosystem, he added, has become lost in the analytics.

Vignau also discussed the advantage of using an interconnect to run local advertisements inserted on the same channel of all multichannel video systems in a particular area. The Miami interconnect consists of the cable, satellite, and telephone operators providing video services (and ads) to the community. By pooling their inventory resources together, these operators are able to attract local advertisers and compete with local broadcasters on reach. In addition, Spotlight’s use of zone maps allows local Miami businesses to focus on five-mile radius target areas and run ad campaigns on a major channel, like ESPN, at a fraction of the cost for a regular local advertisement.

Ortiz concluded the presentation with some quick insights into his journey from UM to his career at Spotlight. He highly recommended that students give sales a chance, as it can contribute to developing strong emotional intelligence skills.