From Performance to Branding with Wish

Episode · 4 months ago

From Performance to Branding with Wish


Today’s top creative directors need an arsenal of unusual skills.

In an omnichannel global market, successful campaigns have to be adaptable, vibrant, and customer-focused — and don’t always have the luxury of a huge budget.

In this episode, we’re delighted to chat with Martín Rossetti, the Senior Creative Director at Wish, who began his incredibly fun and illustrious career in the film industry.

He worked behind the scenes on Michael Moore and ESPN documentaries, was attacked by a cheetah in Africa, found himself at the Cannes Film Festival, and now helms Wish’s revolutionary and massively effective creative department.

Join us as we dive into:

  • The importance of storytelling, from filmmaking to brand trailblazing
  • Martín’s madly ambitious and wildly successful 2018 World Cup marketing campaign
  • How Wish leverages their data and in-house presence to create super agile performance marketing content that customers love

Find this interview and many more by subscribing to BRAND-SIDE on Spotify, on Apple Podcasts, or on our website.   

Welcome to brand side, a new podcast by Celtra where we interview marketing creative operations and design meters to find out what life is like in house, first agency side and how big creative ideas come to life at the world's best brands. This is brand side by Seltra. Welcome back to brandside. My name is Christine and I am your host and the Brandon communications director over at Seltra. Today I have Martine Rossette, the senior creative director at the wishy commerce platform, as a guest and I'm so excited to discuss all the work that he's done for wish and and also outside of it. Welcome to the show. How are you doing today? Good. Thanks for having me. I'm a big fan of the show. Thank you. So Nice to always hear that people are actually listening. I always sent to forget that and when I'm having these one on one conversations with talented and interesting people. And speaking of interesting, you had a quite an unusual start to your creative career. You started in film production and documentaries, so talk to me about your early career before you went into advertising and marketing. I got my starting documentary film production. It was a pretty unique perspective to what most people think. Film production is not as glamorous, not what you see at the Oscars, although maybe there's more slapping, I don't know. But yeah, I had the the honor and privilege to work on several documentaries covering politics or its culture, the sciences, and some of those went on to be screened and and even when at film vessels like cons, Sun Dance, Tribecca. So it was a huge honor. I, you know, got my start. One of my first stocks was a PA on Michael Moore documentary called capitalism, a love story, which was, you know, fascinating to be on set with such big names. And my career evolved from post production as an editor on one of the first of the ESPN S, one about narco money laundering in the Colombian... leagues of the S and S, called to escobars. Went on to win a Tribecca, went on to be screened at cons and, you know, then kind of jumped into camera and evolving from there directing and and and producing. So it was a great environment to kick off my career. I have I get this question a lot, so I'll just say that there's some been some crazy stuff on those productions. It's led me to film in a variety of continents. Let's see, I've been pepper sprayed twice on set in the middle of once in Africa, once in the United States, couple potential run INS with a Cheetah and the wildlife of Namibia. So some some unique scenarios there. But I think the the thing that kind of really resonates that I still kind of go back to his budgets and working with small budget and trying to, you know, stretch that dollar as much as possible and be as conscious about that budget as possible, learning to get the most out of you know, those small budgets. Well, I mean, after all of these adventures which side note, they could be a podcast of their own. So if you've ever consider starting that that I'm I'm sure there's a lot of stories and you know US creatives, we're always fixating on can lions, but you've actually won the real deal, so the can film film festival. So that is pretty legitimate, I got to say. So, after all of these like crazy fours into these very exciting and sometimes dangerous situations, you were looking for our more secure work environment. I guess one could say and and going into commercial work. I wanted to know what your journey has been like on the brand side and then it ultimately brought you to wish. Is that right? Yeah, I was shooting abroad a lot and weeks at a time and I was married. I'm married. I had one one child at the...

...time. Now I have to it just wasn't fair to my family to be gone for so long also to be in such risky kind of scenarios a little too often, more often than I wanted to. So I transition to doing more commercial work, working with agencies, mainly on set, but then also directing, and that's still was a lot more travel than was really kind of fair to my family. And so I transition to what I want in house and doing creative for two different brands, one based on the US, one abroad. But to my surprise, you know, I was finding the similar challenges that I saw on the agency side. And this wasn't unique to the two brands at work with this, so I saw was pretty common with a lot of the bigger brands. And and that is that, prior to my involvement any campaign, several decisions were already made from people above me and you know, sometimes you feel like maybe your pants are tied and you still have to kind of put together and make this awesome thing and you just wish that you were involved a lot sooner. And so the irony was that, you know, I was a lot closer to the campaigns being in house, but still far away from making an impact. And so, you know, these challenges, I learned a lot and I learned to make do with what, you know, I had, but I knew I could do so much more if I was involved sooner, right, and that's kind of why I was looking and and and wish came a knocking. And so what is your role at wish today? What type? What types of campaigns and projects do you work on? I'm the senior creative director on the daytoday. You know, I lead a team of multidisciplinary creatives covering photography, video, copy design and you know, we work together to advanced wish is branded right, showcase its product and celebrate its global community. You know, I spearhead the development execution of our marketing campaigns, and I'm talking about campaigns across the globe, right and and covering all sorts of channels, right from television to radio digital out of home. We have a unique customer base, right you know, we...

...are a global company and so by having customers around the globe, we have to always really consider all of these audiences, and so we have to produce content and produce campaigns that apply to Germany to make it go to the United States and beyond. Yeah, and wish is also a lifesaver in that lastminute situation when you're looking for a rare pokemon for your steps on and you can't find it anywhere else online. So I'm just speaking for my personal experience, but a really great platform for finding exactly what you need at that moment. So, coming from that film side, what learnings have you applied from your documentary days to the work that you do today? There's obviously a lot of lessons I've I've learned and I try to apply at work, but I think the one key lesson that I tap into today is knowing how to stretch a dollar as far as possible and how to do more with less. You know, it's what allowed me to over time, be able to form an inhouse creative team, you know, almost a production team within wish right, and by having that experience from my past as from PA to editor to camera to director to producer. You know, I've covered all the facets out production right again, leaning heavily on video and then slowly over time evolving into copy, into design and what but still by seeing kind of all sides of the production run, knowing how far I can go with a small crew, how far we can go with such a small budget, and trying to be conscious of that. And we've done a lot with little and over time budges have gotten bigger and we've proved ourselves and you know, but it's also how we can produce. It's also how we can produce more in house and if we were to constantly lean on agency support, which we still do from time to time, but by being able to produce in house and by managing that myself,...

...we can take control of so much more and we can produce so much more right and that's been a big help for our marketing team. The must be such a unique skill set to have to really understand the INS and outs of production, because that's often times that's the most costly part of your creative work and if you, you know, go into it like, for example, I don't have a production background. I come from a copywriting background. I don't necessarily know how big or how small a production my idea might take. So that was coming so handy when planning, but then also when you're going into the the production phase and seeing that you make the most out of the money that you're given. And speaking of campaigns, I know that you've done quite a few over and wish, but is there a piece of work that you're specially proud of? Yeah, I mean it's hard. There's been a lot of really fun campaigns and I think given the nature of our brand and, you know, entertaining and we've done some really unique campaigns, both in house and with agent to support. One of my favorites is actually one of the first that we did. You know, we launched a TV spot. Are the brand's first in Q, one of two thousand and eighteen the United States against small budgets. A pretty modest ad by but we saw success in terms of APP installs, in terms of GMB, so much so that the executive said, let's replicate this in Europe and I said, you know what, we're going to have something roughly by the end of May, right around the corners. Is the World Cup starting in June. Why don't we be a little more ambitious and, you know, have something along the FIFA World Cup? And to my surprise, they said, okay, let's let's go and and we had three months to to produce a global campaign that was at the level of brands like Nike. And as we were editing down to the wire in late May to deliver in early June, the agency that was helping us, Archer's mark, based out of London, put together brought my idea... life, and that was leaning on famous soccer players for countries that likely, normally would be in the World Cup for some reason didn't qualify and that like Italy, like Italy which, sadly, for a second World Cup in a row, will not be in this World Cup. My, My, yeah, my soul is crying. I that is my that is my team has always been. But this is not a sports podcast that we could go into this for the next half an hour probably. I'm going back to here, your campaign. You were saying, yeah, so it's we fitch fish this out to several agencies and we said look, you know, we want to produce a campaign and I had this idea, this concept of, you know, leveraging big stars that you would think would be in the World Cup, and I'm talking, you know, countries like Italy, like the Netherlands, like Chilab, like the United States. And what are they going to do over the summer if they're not going to be in Russia? Well, I'll tell you what. They're going to be learning new hobbies thanks to wish right. And so I put Genduigi buff on, Star goalkeeper of Italy, in a pastry chefs uniform and he was making cakes. Tim Howard, goalkeeper the United States, became a DJ Robin Van Percy, Dutch striker, became a gardener, and and so on. And all the agency said, you know what, know, that is the one to go with, like, we have other ideas, but no, that is the best idea. And and we teamed up with Archer's Mark and they brought my idea to life and and they did such a great job. And we then also went on to include two players that were going to be in the World Cup. So we had Paul Pogba of France. We had an am out of but a seed, and we weave the story of players taking a break during the summer and and exchanging videos of their work and enticing those who were in the World Cup named Odam Polgla, and making them jealous of that. And it was a great campaign and it proved to do really well for us over the summer and it was a huge undertaking and quite a few gray ares from the stress of...

...of producing from concept to deliverables three months, which is like so unheard of, but that's the startup kind of mentality that we have at wish and you know, we were up with a challenge, right and and that I'm very proud of. We want some awards and it still is, you know, one of my one of my favorite campaigns of all time. We are now Trent, you know, still doing campaigns, still on the TV, still in digital and all that, but we have this new project that we're working on that I'm super excited about and that is in addition to our platforms initiative will calling wish clips, right. So we recently launched this. It's a shopabile video feature in our platform and, you know, my team is working on the initiative, you know, partnering with our merchants, partnering with influencers and also producing content with ourselves and through agency support to showcase products through video, right. So you can go to an ECOMMERCE AFF and you're going to see the product in the product page, you see some photos and stuff. We're creating an actual video feed because it just speaks so much more right. You can see it, you can see it in scale and pretty soon you'll have people actually talking about the product. So it's kind of like tick tock meets the home shopping network, right, but in our APP and and that's a that's a really exciting campaign that we're working on right now. That's is now on everyone's phones. Speaking of ECOMMERCE marketing, performance and growth marketing functions are obviously crucial parts of, you know, driving growth and then drumming business. So how does your work and how does branding creativity come into play with all of that? Performance Marketing is king at wish right, it always has, and it just it does so well for us, right. I think we were certainly pioneers on facebook and we've evolved to other platforms and it's something that my team gets to work with the user acquisitions team quite a lot and it goes to kind of the two things that might that I feel at our... does really well, and that's you know, we collaborate and we test. So we are a very data driven company and we work with our performance marketing team to produce a variety of video and content and and you know, it comes back down to the fact that we have the inhouse agency, right, and so we could go and produce several versions of one campaign and test them out and and and and I'm talking about like my new changes from copy to color to order, you know, in terms of like show copy and then product and then CTA, or, you know, product first and then copy and what and the flexibility that we have and the fact that we can collaborate so easily allows us to be more involved in performance marketing, which I feel that not all you know, is not very common amongst other other brands. Right. It's to typical that we would mainly just focus on the brand marketing kind of initiatives, but we get the dabble on the performance stuff as well, because, when it comes down to it, it all is consumer facing and so we should be involved and it allows us to have us ay and make sure that we get the right message out to our consumers via all channels possible. Yeah, yeah, that's something that we've been writing about a lot of also of our Celtra, is that oftentimes there's this big investment into upper funnel and awareness and like beautifully branded creative also in digital, and then, as you move downwards in the funnel, is just only product ads, you know, white background, and there's no branding to it, also because it's really difficult to do it scale, at least manually, and so we've been developing solutions for for those types of use cases. But, like you mentioned, they really that collaboration between user acquisition is is key. What do you think makes a successful collaboration? What are your tips for other creative teams... work closer with their growth teams? Again, it's it. When it comes down to it, brand marketing and performance marketing, they're all means to get to communicate to your consumers, right, and so we should be collaborating and and yes, they're very different approaches and goals and and OK, ours are very different, right, but when it comes down to it, we should be testing these things and we should be considering how to best put our foot forward, put our best foot forward on and on all these initiatives. We have the ability to just work closely with them and we do a lot of the heavy lifting on the creative which allows them to really then just focus on the media vizze, on the data testing and allowing for more than one team that really have a say, and I think it's it's a collaboration where we different points of view, but the fact that we allow for all those points of view to have a say at the table, I think, you know, gives us the opportunity to have stronger kind of campaign, whether it be performance or a brand. All Right, I've got one more question for you. So let's hear your unpopular opinion on marketing. Is there an industry practice or trend that everyone else is on board with and agree with, but you don't? You disagree, you think it's wrong and it should just go away. Got It. Yeah, so I am on both sides of this. My prior my past self and then my current self. I disagree with the idea that only learning from data after campaign is over is the way to go, because by then it's, honestly, it's too late, and this is kind of this is me drinking the Kool lay to wish right. So again it's where I say prior me didn't really disagreed with what with what I'm saying now. I wish is such a data centric company and when I first join I would hear about this and I would see the collaboration and I started coming from agency, coming from inhouse, coming from film, data never really had as a very big impact in anything that we produce and a lot of... is intuition and what we've learned as creatives and we carry on as we know. We have the kind of gut feelings on certain things and that is true to a circumstance. But from my time at wish I've just seen that again and I think it stems from starting with performances, marketing and being able to test so many nuances right and that you can make so many tweaks and changes to your campaign in real time and you should plan for that now. You know whether it's in house with an agency, it requires more time, it requires sometimes more budget, but it's important to be able to have that flexibility to make adjustments as your campaign goes. You should be considering that and those small tweaks, smaller large, but even the small ones they can go a long way and make an impact where it matters the most right. So it's been a game changer in terms of how I view and develop creative campaigns that wish and I'm certainly will be always thinking of that in terms of the campaign development in the future. I love that because while I've heard that said quite a few times that you should be, especially in performance marketing, always iterating and being able to make those mid campaign, mid flight changes, but nobody has said that you actually have to also then plan the resources for that, because you know chances are your creative teams already working on the next campaign or working on something else. You have to plan in that time and budgets also then make those changes. So I think our audience will find that extremely valuable. Martine, thank you so much for joining brand side. It has been an absolute pleasure. If people would like to connect with you and learn more about the work you do, where can they find you? Thanks for having me. It was a pleasure to chat with you. People can reach me on linkedin or you can get email at m Rosti at wishcom and, as in Martine Mathine Ross Etti at wishcom, and thank you all so much for listening. Until next time, I'm Christine. And this is brand side.

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