Evan Zeller joins POSSIBLE as the new Director of Strategy in LA

Industry veteran, Evan Zeller, has joined POSSIBLE as the new Director of Strategy for our LA office. Evan has worked on several notable projects such as launching the Droid brand and his work on Champion’s Hoodie Remix campaign was featured in Brandweek. He has won interactive awards such as the FWA site of the day and an OMMA. I caught up with Evan and asked him a few questions about his new role.

You’ve been freelancing for a while now — so why did you choose POSSIBLE to call home?

Evan: I’ve always loved the freedom that freelance allowed me to have in regards to the business problems I was able to solve. The variety and challenges that come from working with various brands and agencies you get being freelance, is something that you can rarely get from a full-time role. And constantly challenging myself to evolve in the digital space is super important to me. Beyond that, I’ve always been a firm believer that it’s very important to align yourself with an agency model and leadership team that shares a very similar philosophy. Until I linked up with POSSIBLE, I was often working in other cities around the country because I just haven’t felt that there was a strong enough digital agency in the LA market really pushing solutions for how consumers and brands are connecting from a digital perspective. I’ve always been a firm believer that there’s truth in numbers (aka data) that corresponds to effective consumer behavior. POSSIBLE’s emphasis on marketing sciences to develop smart and data backed worked is something that’s always gotten me really excited. I guess in the end, they’ve been creating excellent, data backed solutions that I didn’t feel any other agency in the LA market was doing.

Last week was interesting since the industry raced to have all of their Super Bowl ads online before the big game. Some brands, such as Newcastle, are skipping the paid ads altogether and are only online. Do you see the industry moving away from the holy grail of television ads and if so, what is next?

I have noticed this year that more brands are seeing the consentient value of digital outside of one TV spot. For me it all starts with defining what the goal is. For some brands, running a Super Bowl spot might give them the level of exposure (and TRP’s) in one shot that makes sense for the goal they’re trying to achieve. I strongly feel that if TV is used effectively for one goal, ex. a brand spot, then it can really be effective in the marketing mix.

I’ve always felt that the more consistent value you can provide to a consumer, the better connection they’ll have with a brand. In the end, I’m a consumer and if marketing doesn’t help or connect with me, I rarely pay attention.

My hope for what’s next is that the recent consolidation of digital channels in the past years, will force marketers to really focus on leveraging each medium for its own respective strengths.

I spent some time this summer doing research in Japan and I was speaking with a Japanese buddy who is the marketing director for Levi’s there. Hearing his perspective on that market, shed some light on what could be ahead for the marketing landscape here in the US. We all know that the Japanese culture tends to be one of the most forward-thinking cultures in the world, his take on how ‘digital’ evolved is that they’ve gone almost full-circle in terms of a marketing mix and are now leveraging each respective channel for only its strongest strengths. To me, that’s what makes strategy most effective. It’s about choices that lead toward ultimate focus to achieve a goal.

Do you have any thoughts about the future of digital and data in light of Google’s recent acquisition of Nest?

Evan: I’ve always been super fascinated with how things work and the positive affect technology can have on people. I guess it’s the nerd in me that always took apart my remote control cars when I was kid and how my parents always encouraged my pursuit of things that fascinated me- even if it meant taking apart toys just to see how the circuits, motors and gears worked together. I’ve always wondered how things really work.

One of my core tenets here at POSSIBLE will be to develop innovation strategy (new tech or channels ie; mobile, wearables, touch, etc) that corresponds to the businesses I work across and be responsible for supporting these new disciplines as they emerge.

From my Droid days when I was at mcgarrybowen, I was really lucky to have worked closely with some of the folks at Google. What I learned is they’re one hell of a software oriented bunch- hardware didn't seem to be their strong suit. To that, I think the acquisition is a smart move for them. The co-founders of Nest are both Apple design alums, so I have a feeling they have hardware design down pretty well. The acquisition gives Google a great in with a product that could align very well with the data house that is Google.

I feel that as mobile device capability continues to rise and data sharing between ‘smart devices’ become more prominent, we’ll see connected devices become much of a standard in regards to how we leverage a broader ‘connected’ eco-system within our daily routine. I firmly believe that some of the ‘cool tech’ we saw in the movie Minority Report, will become reality within the next 10 years.

And what was your last tech purchase?

Evan: I'm a beta adopter of the NYMI wristband. Which is essentially a biometric heart beat based band that allows you to forgo the need for passwords to connected devices.

Ok, if you could have just one superpower, what would it be?

Evan: It would probably be the ability to read peoples minds. I’m always curious about what makes people tick. This would answer lots of questions that I think about everyday.

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