Skip to main content

Kulesza Wants TelevisionTo Measure Up

When Jackie Kulesza graduated from Northwestern University and started working for Leo Burnett 15 years ago, there was no Facebook. Now Kulesza, senior VP and broadcast activation director at Starcom USA, wants her friends in the traditional TV business to step up and do research showing how their media measure up to digital video.

Integrating digital video with traditional television has become one key part of her job at Starcom, which grew out of Burnett’s media department.

“Viewers are now choosing where they want to watch something and how they want to watch, so it’s really important for the clients to be there,” Kulesza says. “We’ve been working hard to match up the accountability of the two pieces, and we can prove the value.”

Careful what you wish for
Starcom is big on measurement and accountability. And adding digital video to the TV mix gives the agency tons of data to sift through. But, as the old saying goes, you should be careful what you wish for.

“As there’s more data available to us, it almost becomes harder because we now have the ability to measure on very specific, client-by-client metrics,” Kulesza says.

Traditional measures such as recall and reach are still important to some clients. However, those are “just the tip of the iceberg of what we can really get in and dig into, particularly in the digital video space,” she adds.

Kulesza says she’s pushing broadcast, cable and syndicated television vendors to do more research to learn about how powerful their medium is as a marketing tool, and not just how many people are watching. But that push is meeting with resistance in some quarters.

“A number of the vendors feel that it’s their job to provide programming for us to put our commercials against,” Kulesza explains. “If we want to do different measurement against it, that’s great, but they think we should do that. They’re not sure it’s their responsibility.”

One network that is stepping up is The CW, which sold its broadcast and digital inventories together during the upfront. As Kulesza puts it: “I think that’s somewhat of a step of where things are going.”

Kulesza says that on these and other issues, she’s working more closely with Starcom’s research and analytics team, as well as the strategic intelligence team at SMGX. “We’re really yielding some fantastic data to show our clients and talk about the power of advertising in the video space,” she says.

From pre-med to media
Kulesza jokes that she went into media because she didn’t do well in pre-med. Burnett came recruiting at Northwestern, and media sounded appealing. Years later, opportunities with social media make it that much more interesting.

“My favorite part is how connected we are to pop culture,” she says. “You can talk about what new shows are coming on television this fall, and advertising is such a big part of our culture. It’s very much fun to be a part of it.”

Kulesza is married and has three children ranging from 18 months to age 8. Of balancing a tough job and small kids, she says, “Busy people get more done.”

E-mail comments to and follow him on Twitter: @jlafayette