Matt Rayner has lived a peripatetic life as an agency executive who’s lived on three continents. He started his career in London at JWT and MEC (then CIA Media Solutions); moved to Guangzhou, China with Dentsu Young & Rubicam; transferred to Dentsu in Beijing, returned to Hong Kong with DYR after the handover; then rejoined MEC (or Mediaedge:CIA) in New York. His initial involvement with Samsung began in 2003 when he shuttled between New York and Seoul for his work with Cheil Communications, the Korean agency affiliate of Samsung.
Today he leads Starcom’s Team Samsung globally, and admits that to work with a technology leader like Samsung, it is necessary to drive a culture of innovation. He outlines: “For example, we monitor consumer trends, interrogate them and deliver a constant stream of insights in the media context to Samsung’s marketing organization to help them refine their marketing programs. We also work very closely with strategic media partners to ensure that we have early access to their product pipelines and content slates to design and deliver campaign experiences that are fresh and impactful with consumers.”
A recent example of this ethos was the summer collaboration with Jay-Z on the "Magna Carter Holy Grail" which resulted in a new commercial for Samsung. A 32-second spot followed an extended ad that ran during the NBA finals game, in which Jay-Z announced that he was releasing a new album on July 4th. The project was available first to 1 million Samsung Galaxy users, who were able to exclusively hear the album for two days before the rest of the world.
Matt says that his strength is making connections across diverse data sets. He explains: “Understanding the impact of a new feature or technology on a specific solution or media platform is fairly simple. I strive to figurie out the broader marketplace implications, making connections in the bigger picture to leverage such innovations and integrate them quickly into our clients’ marketing programs.”
So what makes his job difficult? “The biggest challenge we face is the speed at which we have to work. The pace of innovation at Samsung is unwavering. As their innovation partner, we have built our work processes and teams at Starcom with this in mind. By making a culture of “innovation at the speed of Samsung” a virtue, we have made sure that we can do this consistently and to high standards.”