The Agency Review: Cara Lewis, EVP, Head of US Investment, Dentsu at Amplifi USA

The Agency Review: Cara Lewis, EVP, Head of US Investment, Dentsu at Amplifi USA


What are the biggest challenges facing agencies today? How is the media planning and buying process evolving, and how can sellers help that process along?


To answer these existential questions, VIZIO Head of Agency Development Allison Clarke sat down for a series of interviews with agency changemakers. Up first: Cara Lewis, EVP and Head of US Investment, Dentsu at Amplifi USA.


“Each year, another layer comes in, another complication comes in,” Lewis says. “We can't water all the flowers.” 


But Dentsu is well-positioned to deal with these complications. “While our process has evolved over the years because there's so much out there to buy, I think the one underlying thing that hasn't changed over the past several years is that we are people-based and data-driven,” Lewis explains.


This focus on people and data leads naturally to a more holistic view of the buying process. “For us, whether it's the newfront or the upfront or, now, the podcasting upfront, or local or out-of-home—we are looking at where our consumer is and basically positioning our buys against that consumer,” Lewis says. “So it's not really upfront/newfront, it's all together.” 


That brings up questions of supply, though. Is there enough? Too much? 


“Supply is a challenge,” Lewis says. “I don't only think in the linear space overall, because we have video buyers. There's also supply in terms of the connected TV space—it's not that it's somewhat unlimited right now, but it's not like a dollar moves over and it's a dollar on the other end. And it's not that it moves over from X network and goes to X networks platform.” 


What Lewis is looking for is a unique value proposition. “There are just so many vendors out there, some selling the same inventory,” she says. What can make those vendors stand out is if they are selling their own device inventory, a la VIZIO. Being able to buy direct-to-device means knowing where your audience is seeing your creative before they’ve even seen it, and it generally means a transparent partnership. “We need our buys to deliver in the time we buy them, not six months later,” she adds.


At the end of the day, though, “it's all about the content. That's what the buzz is. That's what the consumers are talking about,” Lewis says. “So aligning with the content first, and knowing that you're aligning with the right content, then gets you to the right platform, into the right area.”


Watch the full interview below: 



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