The Guardians of the Galaxy not only save the universe, they help sell Dairy Queen desserts – with an assist from Rebecca Haber (BA/PRA ’15), manager of Digital Operations and Planning at Marvel Entertainment.
In the digital universe that Haber oversees, Marvel films are tied to promotional partners and licensees to promote products directly or through product placement, to create digital ad campaigns through Instagram and other platforms and to coordinate with offline advertising and facilitate on-site activations at fan events such as Comic-Con. The results are fun and quirky, create fan engagement and extend both the Marvel and the partner brands, but they also require careful planning, timing and project management.
For Haber, who is involved in the entire digital campaign from ideation through execution, the process begins with an RFP (request for proposal) from a member of the sales team. She then works with her team members in new media marketing and sales integration, as well as yield management, to create and price a media plan based on the client’s needs and Marvel’s available inventory. With client approval, Haber is then tasked with managing timelines, asset quality and campaign launch, and reporting metrics to the client along the way and making sure the client is properly billed. With numerous campaigns in various stages running at once, the job demands that she be “extremely organized and detail-oriented to stay on top of everything.”
The Dairy Queen campaign, built on a multimillion dollar deal with Marvel and including both product placement in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and a social media campaign, was one of Haber’s favorites. The work included going to a local DQ store to film the making of a GOTG2 blizzard featuring the brookie (brownie/cookie pieces). The spot “performed extremely well and was highly received by our audience,” she says, and opened the door to the impact of Instagram Stories as a powerful engagement tool.
Although Haber had several internships and was heavily involved in extracurricular activities at Chapman – from the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and the National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC) to service as president of Hillel – she struggled finding a job after she graduated. After searching for eight and a half months, she landed a position at CBS through an online application. Later, she moved to Marvel by applying through a LinkedIn jobs app.
Haber attributes part of her success to her selection as a O.L. Halsell Scholar at Dodge, where she was mentored by former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President and adjunct faculty member Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Not only did she help guide me through my ad campaigns capstone project and show me how entertainment and advertising collide, she also wrote me a heartfelt letter of recommendation that I’ve been told played a major role in landing both my jobs at CBS and Marvel.”
She also credits the leadership skills she developed through PRSSA to helping her navigate her managerial role at Marvel and the projects she worked on through NSAC with giving her a deep understanding of the ins and outs of creating a full-fledged digital advertising campaign. She brought the NSAC book created for Pizza Hut to her job interviews, where it proved to be “a great conversation starter when vying for the given roles.
“Because I struggled especially after graduation, I made a promise to myself that I was going to do whatever it took to help other recent grads avoid what I went through,” Haber says today. So, when she left CBS, she helped Kira Weiner (BA/PRA ’16), land a job on her team. “Fast forward to my role at Marvel,” she says, and “I was able to help Joel Koch ‘17 land an internship on my team, and most recently, in June, I helped Sarah Rose (BA/PRA ’18) land a full-time position on my team as our digital advertising operations coordinator. It’s rewarding to not only pay it forward, but to also grow the alumni community here in the NYC-area.” Or, as she might say, making the digital world better, one Chapman grad at a time.
This article was originally published in our Fall 2018 In Production Magazine. This issue focuses on exploring identity through filmmaking, alumni honing their skills on the latest CFE production, Chapman’s third Student Academy Award-win, and a spotlight on our Screenwriting program. Check out the full magazine on issuu.