Q&A with Lynn Chealander of Publicis’ VivaKi AOD

By Archived Rubicon Project Archives
Cover image for  article: Q&A with Lynn Chealander of Publicis’ VivaKi AOD

This is one in a series of interviews with leading buyers Down Under titled “Automation and TV in Australia.” Lynn Chealander appeared to discuss these topics with Jay Sears, Senior Vice President Marketplace Development of Rubicon Project, at the Rubicon Project Marketplace Summit Australia in Magenta, Australia on March 17, 2015

Your Name:Lynn Chealander

Your Company:VivaKi

Your Title:Director, AOD AU/NZ

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with politics, art and culture?

CHEALANDER: Flipboard, Twitter, a few blogs here and there.

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with friends?

CHEALANDER: Facebook, police blotters.

SEARS: What do you read to keep up with our industry?

CHEALANDER: My calendar is a good start!

SEARS: What’s your favorite commercial of all time?

CHEALANDER: The only ad I’ve never skipped on YouTube.

SEARS: With regards to advertising automation and programmatic, what are VivaKI AOD’s three biggest initiatives in Australia and New Zealand in 2015?

CHEALANDER: AOD has always served as an extension of our agency teams. This year we’re going to be tightening the proximity even further. It is a natural evolution. VivaKi was not created to be a media company. We need to fuse our disciplines together inside the agencies.  This will make it easier than ever to bring online and offline sensitivities to bear on every marketing and media plan. Programmatic will take its rightful place in the planning process and clients will benefit from optimized connection plans across all channels and screens.

VivaKi will be organized as a hub and spoke model for the distribution of new solutions and practices, focusing on R&D, tech, data and solutions in partnership with the agency to create competitive advantage for the Groupe.

SEARS: On average in the Australia and New Zealand markets -- out of each $1.00 spent on media (all media, not just digital) by one of your advertisers, how much today (in 2015) is spent on automated or programmatic channels?

CHEALANDER: It’s growing all the time.

SEARS: What will this number be in 2017?

CHEALANDER: Bigger than before.

SEARS: Tell us the about the Australia and New Zealand operations of VivaKi AOD.

CHEALANDER: Programmatic success and industry leadership have become more than a goal for VivaKi and AOD.  It is a business imperative for Publicis Groupe and all of its agencies.  The purpose of VivaKi is to scale Publicis Groupe’s paid media, ad tech and data power to the benefit of our clients and accelerating growth for our brands.

SEARS:How many employees are there in AUS/NZ?

CHEALANDER: Total: 19. Sydney: 18. Auckland: 1

SEARS: Draw an analogy between the automation of television and an Australian rules football game. Are we in the pre-game? Still driving to the stadium?

CHEALANDER: We’re in the beer line.

SEARS: How can advertising automation help the strategy and planning functions (directly or indirectly) at an advertising agency?

CHEALANDER: These technologies decrease the distance between the agency and the customers they want to reach, allowing for much quicker reactions to campaign insights.  And the automation of operational tasks makes granular segmentation scalable.

SEARS: Can linear TV be automated, yes or no?

CHEALANDER: Absolutely. It’s only a matter of time.

SEARS: What two or three events or happenings will accelerate the automation of television?


  1. Greater adoption of connected viewing devices by consumers
  2. Better integrated inventory/delivery management tech on the media side
  3. An improved currency for audience measurement

SEARS: Transparency -- on media costs, on data, on inventory -- has become a lightning rod issue. Should transparency be a negotiated benefit for the advertiser client, yes or no?

CHEALANDER: No.  It should be a given and non-negotiable.

SEARS: Which of the following will accelerate the automation of site direct (direct orders) budget? Pick all that apply:

  1. Dynamic access to all publisher inventory [vs. just “remnant” or “auction”]
  2. Ability to leverage publisher first party data
  3. Ability to leverage advertiser first party data [against all publisher inventory, especially premium]
  4. Availability of rich media, expandable units and larger IAB Rising Star formats
  5. Ability to more easily curate audiences for specific advertisers across the premium content of multiple publishers
  6. All of the above

CHEALANDER: F. The technology is a big part, for sure, and future innovations that bring RTB benefits (data, frequency capping, etc.) together with forward guaranteed bookings will help move us along.  But just as important is a change in thinking on all sides -- publisher and agency -- moving away from programmatic as a channel and towards a future where it’s the underlying tech layer on all media buys.

SEARS: If you could go to the airport right now with friends or family and fly anywhere in the world for vacation, who would you take and where would you go?

CHEALANDER: Vanuatu has been on the list for a while.

SEARS: If you could create an endowment to fund any existing non-profit you designated, what lucky non-profit organization would that be?

CHEALANDER: The Multiple Sclerosis Society.

SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?

CHEALANDER: Poppy, in Seattle.

SEARS: Thanks, Lynn!

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