Challenging Old-School Advertising With Harmelin Media

Mary Grace Scully

Content Specialist

In an increasingly fragmented media market, advertisers are looking to their agencies for leadership and guidance. Recognizing that advertising today requires a technology backbone, agencies - especially those with strong roots in digital - are turning to Simulmedia for help with premium video. Simulmedia has partnerships with several data-driven agencies who, upon seeing the power of Simulmedia’s advanced TV tech and access to inventory, have taken the leap into TV and brought their clients with them.

TV advertising these days is more challenging than ever, but Sean McCormick, Senior Director of Harmelin Media (one of Simulmedia’s agency partners), will tell you it’s well worth the effort if you take the right approach.

In our most recent episode of Simulmedia Live, Sean joined us remotely from the Harmelin Media office in Philly to speak with Matt Collins, Simulmedia’s SVP of Marketing, about the way Harmelin guides and executes TV - and media more broadly - for their clients.

Harmelin Media is the largest media services firm in Pennsylvania and the fifth largest independent agency in the country. Harmelin Media and Simulmedia share a similar vision for the present and future of advertising and have partnered together to help brands plan, execute and measure better TV advertising.

Both agree the phenomena of fragmentation is one of the most critical issues advertisers need to understand and tackle today. For more information on the topics Harmelin considers essential for marketers to consider today, see the company’s 2019 Trends report.

Sean says a noticeable impact of fragmentation has been a change in how advertisers define “primetime.”


With all the changes impacting advertising, clients seek assurances that especially new strategies and tactics will pay off. Sean relayed this point in recalling that a client once asked him of a Harmelin recommendation, “Is the juice worth the squeeze?”

He has applied this mindset to TV buying by optimizing against past campaign results to squeeze every last drop of potential reach. In other words, Harmelin doesn’t just dust off last year’s playbook and run it again (unless, that is, there’s no way to improve upon it).


Sean says Harmelin Media has been able to shake traditional approaches to advertising and media strategy and instead implement more innovative alternatives in part as a result of technology and know-how that Simulmedia provides.


Strategic ad spend is especially critical for challenger brands. With smaller budgets and less household awareness, these brands and their agencies nevertheless still need to plan and execute campaigns that deliver measurable results. Harmelin prides itself on aligning its work to its clients’ business goals and executing accordingly. Many challenger brands and agencies are turning to technology to get better results from their TV campaigns.


Lastly, Sean says it’s imperative for clients to understand why the changes were made to the campaign so they can justify the ad spend.


By combining clear communication, progressive thinking, advocating for change, and partnerships with the likes of Simulmedia, Harmelin Media has created strong foundations with their clients that challenge traditional notions of traditional TV advertising and deliver better outcomes as a result.

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