Welcome to The Point, EDO’s guest series where we’ll talk with people who represent the future of the TV advertising industry about what’s happening in the industry today and where it’s headed.
From their insights and experiences to advice for others looking to jump into the field, there’s a lot to cover – so let’s get right to the point!
Today we’re chatting with Teresa Hernandez, Research Manager, Ad Effectiveness at Disney Advertising Sales. Welcome, Teresa!
How did you get your start in the industry?
I started in the business by happenstance. In truth, I was doing admin work and was looking for a higher paid gig and landed a Research Assistant role in print for Consumer Insights. I loved it and continued to tailor my career to media and research.
What makes you most excited about your job?
Currently it’s a lot of the side projects around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that get me going. But to be quite honest, it’s just pretty cool telling people you work for Disney.
What’s the most challenging part of your work/role?
The changes. Data technology needs to keep up with the technology itself so that we can continue to capture insights to form best practices or even full picture evaluation insights for a program or advertiser.
Has the industry changed in the time you’ve been working in it? If so, how?
Absolutely. Digital was just starting to boom and shake the print industry in 2008 when I started in consumer research. Moving into TV following my tenure in print, you saw the change to a digital push and then social. And influencers… influencers used to be reserved for big name celebrities, now with social media, influencers even come in the 8 year old toy review UGC form!
What are some of the most important things happening in the industry right now, or something the industry needs to be thinking about?
Subscription VOD and streaming. These offerings continue to change the TV viewing experience.
What do you see for the future of the industry? What is going to be an important trend or conversation?
Streaming is the future. Streaming is the new “appointment viewing” without the appointment. What I mean by that is, appointment viewing generates high engagement and attention with the content being viewed, but so does streaming. Viewers are actively seeking out the content and have heightened attention, producing greater engagement and awareness.
Thanks for these insightful thoughts on the industry, Teresa. It’s great to learn from your expertise to think about what’s changed and what’s up ahead!
I’d love to hear more about your career, as well as your advice for others looking to work in TV advertising.
What advice do you have for someone looking to work in this industry?
Intern, network, or even choose a rotational entry level position as a first opportunity. Working in media or advertising, there are many job functions that people don’t know about. For example, within media ad sales, there is Sales, Research, Revenue and Inventory, Ad Operations, and Sales Communications with each division breaking down into further specialties. It’s kind of like choosing a college major, you don’t really know until you start getting into school and finding your passion.
What qualities will help someone succeed in this industry or in a role like yours?
Curiosity. “We keep moving forward—opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious. And curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney
What’s the biggest surprise you’ve had in your career
That people ask themselves “what would Teresa do” when it comes to challenges faced in DE&I and standing up for oneself.
What’s the biggest professional obstacle you’ve overcome?
Minority stereotypes of ability and unconscious bias.
Have you had any lightbulb moments in your career?
Absolutely. The biggest aha moment was seeing the true power of having a mentor in the company, a dedicated mentor to be more specific.
Is there a particular mentor, source, or author that has been an influence on you?
My mentor at Disney, Mark Gentzkow; Walt Disney for his imagination and good nature, W.E.B Du Bois and his work within Critical Race Theory, and Geoffrey Canada and his vision for communities’ success through children.
Last question – what do you hope to be doing in five years?
Changing how media companies around the US implement DE&I practices and positively influence the social psyche.
Before you go…
Favorite season? Spring
Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving, because family
Go-to comfort food? Pizza
Top 3 Musical Artists? Sade, Sizzla, The Weeknd (and really because I can listen to them on repeat all day)
Favorite TV show? The Kitchen and Married at First Sight
What’s something you love to nerd out about? Social inequities and systematic racism
Favorite hobby? My business
Cake or Pie? What’s the occasion, because my preference changes based on that factor
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Thanks for joining us, Teresa. We wish you all the best!