Through our ‘Think with Innovators’ series, we’re interviewing leading minds from the world of digital marketing. Today, we present Maria Tudor, Chief Media Officer at Publicis One, whose role sees her collaborating with leading brands to inspire consumers through new means such as video and virtual reality.

Although Maria Tudor studied computer engineering at university and worked as an engineer, her passion has always been communicating with people. A role in advertising at Saatchi & Saatchi led to a promotion to media director, followed by the opportunity to launch Romania Zenith in 2003. Today Zenith is part of Publicis Group and the country’s leading media agency, while Maria is Chief Media Officer of Publicis One.

“Publicis One is a new enterprise, a new organization that’s transforming the way we do business,” she explains. “We say Publicis One is the agency of the future, because we have all the media brands and all the creative brands under the same umbrella.” Uniting media and creative skills into one central body of talent means that Publicis One can adapt quickly to changes and developments in technology and behaviour.

This includes seizing the latest opportunities to tailor the creative to the platform. For example, Maria notes that a few years ago creative agencies were only able to choose between TV commercials of 30 seconds or 15 seconds or one minute, with the decision often coming down to price. Longer spots simply weren’t economically feasible in many cases. For her, online video offers a terrific solution. “Video today is going to so many platforms and so many devices,” she says. “The evolution and further development of video is so much about interaction and consumer expectations, which will move it forward.”

I honestly believe that creativity is the root of innovation. It’s not enough to have the idea – you have to give life to the idea

Think with Innovators, Maria Tudor, Chief Media Officer, Publicis One

Last year we convinced a big client, Reckitt Benckiser, to run a small but impactful campaign for Cillit Bang where the creative was 90 seconds long. “You know, that category isn’t fun or exciting,” Maria observes. “Usually you do a spot with a lady cleaning and then you show the product, which is the miracle.” The team took a dramatic departure from that well-worn formula to show Cillit Bang in a new light. “The product worked the miracle here as well, but the character was actually one of the dancers for Madonna’s team. You can imagine the beauty of the video, and you can imagine the type of reactions we got from people.”

Departing from the safety of routine is a key part of how Publicis One drives success for clients. “I honestly believe that creativity is the root of innovation,” Maria reveals. “It’s not enough to have the idea – you have to give life to the idea.”