Stephen Paez


TOTAL MARKET – WTF?  Will be an Interactive Whiteboard Session with Agency and Brand Stars at our upcoming Portada17 Conference in NYC’s Yotel on Sept. 13 and 14. Stephen Paez, VP, Director Multicultural at Mediavest | Spark, Jose Velez Silva, ‎VP  Multicultural Marketing Communications at Comcast , Jose “Pepe” Gil, Multicultural Marketing Manager Hispanic Consumer, B-F Brands, Brown Forman will be participating. The session is designed to provide a high quality setting for attendees and panelists to listen, reflect and gather insights on the main trend facing the multicultural marketing industry.

Portada is readying a program with uniquely curated content, best-in class networking opportunities and even comedy sketches! Plus a wonderful space and rooftop, ideal for two days out of the office!

REGISTER  for only US $549! (Early Bird ends Friday August 4!)

TOTAL MARKET – WTF will be a highly interactive session where the above brand marketing and agency executives will answer attendees questions on the opportunities and challenges presented by the Total Market approach, (from a marketing, strategy and media perspective) and discuss the viability or not of alternative approaches. Attendees will be prompted to ask questions on an interactive whiteboard.

Confirmed Participants at #Portada17 Include:

Mike Tasevsky, SVP U.S. Sponsorship, MasterCard
Jorge Inda Meza, Marketing Director Region West,  Anheuser Busch
Michael Neuman, EVP, Managing Partner, Scout Sports and Entertainment
Jill Leccia, Marketing Director, Gatorade
Daniel Keats Director Sports and Sponsorships, Consumer Marketing Allstate Insurance
Sherwin Su, Director Social Activation, Essence
Dan Donnelly, EVP, Managing Director at Publicis Media Sports Publicis Media Sports
Gonzalo del Fa, president GrouM Multicultural GroupM
David Chitel, CEO/Founder NGL Media
Maria Albrecht, Hispanic Marketing Manager Rent A Center
Cynthia Hudson, VP, General Manager CNN en Español
Pedro Rodriguez, Director, Co-Lead Multicultural Social Strategy Social: Horizon Media
Brian Quarles, SVP of Creative rEvolution
Rachel Strauss Muniz, Comedian Room 28
Stephen Paez, VP, Director Multicultural Mediavest | Spark
Jose Velez Silva, ‎VP Multicultural Marketing Communications at Comcast
Jose “Pepe” Gil, Multicultural Marketing Manager Hispanic Consumer, B-F Brands Brown Forman
Peter P. Snitzer Jr. CEO Conffianz
Jose Manuel Montenegro SVP, Group Partner, Multicultural Planning UMJ3
Nelson Pinero Senior Digital Director, Senior Partner GroupM-MEC
Eduardo Perez Partner PM3    Hundreds of additional executives will register in the next 7 weeks!

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“I am a Salvadorian at home and an American at work.” This is how Trisha Ranes, Senior Marketing Manager-Latino, H&R Block synthesized the life and media consumption habits of many bilingual Hispanics  at the session “The Unending Quest:The latest on how national brands should reach out to local multicultural audiences”, the panel that kickstarted the second day of #Portada15 in New York City’s Yotel.

TrishaRanes (1)As Ranes, photo, put it. “It is crucial to look closely at the media habits of bilingual consumers.” Stephen Paez, VP Director, Multicultural, Spark SMG added that he tries to merge media placement (choice of media and creative) with demographic data. The challenge, Paez noted, is to have campaigns with enough scale.
Laura Fernandez, Head of Sales East Region, MaxPoint claimed that her company facilitates to engage with Hispanic audiences, and the different worlds they live in, in a programmatic way. Fernandez noted that in programmatic hyper-local targeting “in Culture and In-Language can coexist. They are complements.”

The panel was moderated by Ana Crandell, Group Account Director, OMD Latino.

#Portada16 will take place on Sept. 21 and 22, 2016.

In our new agency profile feature, Susan Kuchinskas writes about Spark’s origin, key clients, its multicultural offering, main decision makers, cool upcoming campaigns and more…Spark’s Elevator pitch? Boutique services with the clout of Starcom Media.

Origin story

Chris BootheThis Chicago-based, full-service media agency is the smallest in the StarcomMediaVest Group, but it aims to be, well, the sparkiest. The company’s genesis was in 1999 as Starlink Worldwide, a media agency aiming to serve independent agencies with a more creative approach. In 2007, it rebranded as Spark Communications, with a digital focus. Chris Boothe, formerly president of Starcom, came aboard in 2012 as the agency’s first CEO.

“We created a model based on the best of both worlds: boutique but backed by a global agency network,” he says. Boothe is emphatic – if a bit vague – about how collaboration with its powerful media parent works, but he notes, “If SMG has a strategic partnership with Univision and SMG, all our clients can benefit from that.”

Spark logoMedia plans are architected and executed by Spark, informed by the agency’s insights as well as those stemming from SMG research partnerships and findings, and they also benefit from the parent’s preferred pricing.
Key Clients: ConAgra, Red Lobster, Kao, Taco Bell

Secret sauce

Spark works with clients large and small. Boothe says, “We work best with clients that are seeking to do things differently and want to develop programs that are content-, data- and analytics-driven; delivering precision targeting and making realtime decisions.” Efficiency and precision come from a scientific approach to campaigns that provides maximum impact with minimal waste – and that’s of interest to every client these days, Boothe says. “All clients now are trying to outsmart versus outspend. You have to have a challenger brand mentality.”

Multiculti beat

Multicultural marketing is built into Spark, which takes the total market approach for all media strategies. That said, Stephen Paez, vice president and director of multicultural, is aggressively going after multicultural accounts, having grown total multiculti revenue by close to 20 percent in his 18-month tenure. Spark Multicultural is part of SMG Multicultural, the nation’s largest multicultural marketing agency. While it has its own internal resources, it also can leverage the resources of SMG MC in the same way that other brands within the parent agency do.

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Media decision-makers

Media plans are architected and executed by Spark, informed by the agency’s insights as well as those stemming from SMG research partnerships and findings, and they also benefit from the parent’s preferred pricing. The lead media planners on client teams make key decisions in collaboration with the client, and they’re responsible for making sure the specific client gets the best pricing, best activations and added value, Boothe says.

Shelby Saville, EVP of digital, oversees close to half of all agency billings. Stephen Paez oversees multicultural media and John Muszynski, chief investment officer, leads all investment, total market, negotiations on behalf of Spark’s clients. 


European Wax Center will launch a campaign with the release of 50 Shades of Grey. The in-cinema TKs place with NationalCinemedia Networks allows ECM to target this movie only, running in 1,500+ theaters across the US. A partnership with Fandango lets Spark serve online ads to women who have purchased 50 Shades of Grey tickets or reviewed the movie.

Cool Campaigns 

Treehive BeehiveTo launch Delta Faucets’ new HappiMess campaign, Spark collaborated with Animal Planet marketing and Discovery Communications ad sales marketing to create multifaceted brand integration centered on a custom, content-driven contest. The partnership in the TV show Treehouse Masters includes custom, on-air vignettes; passive product integration; in-program mentions and bumps; and forefront integration in the show finale.

Digital dimensions include a digital landing page on Animal Planet for contest submissions, co-branded banners on Animal Planet and Discovery Digital Network; a co-branded Rich Media Video Box that features the custom vignettes; co-branded homepage road blocks on Animal Planet and Discovery Digital Network; and a sponsored, “behind-the-build” digital episode.

MontanaA campaign promoting skiing in Montana used location-based mobile ads to reach people in the Midwest who were at ski resorts, top skier airports and other outdoor areas. The idea was to target people in markets where there are lots of skiers but the local skiing is not so good. Spark also geofenced the entire state of Montana to allow the Montana Office of Tourism to track the percentage of people who received a Montana ad and later actually visited the state during the ski season. The estimated $25,000 budget resulted in an incremental lift of 4,752 visitors and an incremental $6.9 million lift in visitor spending — returns of $276 for every ad dollar spent.
[vimeo 105771261 w=500 h=281]

Montana Sparks Tourism with Innovative Geofencing Campaign from SMGSource1 on Vimeo.

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