Media Planner of the Year 2020: Jason Pope, Havas Media

Jason Pope, SVP biddable media at Havas Media, joined the firm in 2017 after more than a decade in the digital and mobile media spaces at Spring Marketplace and at VivaKi. That experience is a large component of what makes Pope qualified to help both legacy brands and newcomers navigate the growing array of media channels. 

His expertise proved invaluable for one major retailer when Pope advised, at the beginning of the pandemic, that it withdraw all its flexible dollars, adjust its messaging and push a drive toward online purchasing and buy-online pick-up in store (BOPUS) options. The media mix that Pope recommended included a major podcast, online radio, online video and other OTT channels. The strategy paid off with the retailer achieving record sales by May and the highest quarterly same store sales growth since 1991. 

Pope’s strengths were also demonstrated through his work for Epic Games. To challenge market leader Steam, Pope leveraged takeovers on TikTok and Reddit, and arranged direct partnerships with Spotify, Imgur, IGN, Twitch and Hulu. The strategy was successful at reaching an audience that, according to research, is especially resistant to advertising. In all, 33 million site visits, equivalent to 18% of site traffic, was directly attributable to the campaign. 

Pope’s contributions to Havas, and Chicago broadly, go beyond his media planning savvy. He has also been central to Havas’ ongoing partnership with Off the Street Club, Chicago’s oldest boys’ and girls’ club serving some 3,000 kids in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. 

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