Watson Advertising Promotes Jeremy Hlavacek Sales Head
"Watson Advertising needs a fearless leader who will inspire sellers to think differently and find creative ways to secure new business, and I can think of no one who fits this description better than Jeremy Hlavacek," says CRO Carrie Seifer. "
As marketers’ demands increase for tools to navigate artificial intelligence, IBM Watson Advertising Jeremy Hlavacek to head of sales.
Over the past five years at Watson Advertising — formerly known as The Weather Channel’s advertising arm since rebranding last fall — Hlavacek has held a variety of positions related to automation and programmatic ad sales. In his new, expanded role, Hlavacek will oversee revenue for Watson Advertising’s premium and programmatic media products, data products as well as tech products.
He will continue to report to Carrie Seifer, chief revenue officer at Watson Advertising.
“Watson Advertising needs a fearless leader who will inspire sellers to think differently and find creative ways to secure new business,” said Seifer. “A thought leader who anticipates and pivots in advance of marketplace changes. Someone who motivates their team to achieve far beyond what they think might be possible. I can think of no one who fits this description better than Jeremy Hlavacek and I am excited for him to bring his Midas touch to all of Watson Advertising sales.”
Watson Advertising’s offerings include a portfolio of media, data (WEATHERfx, JOURNEYfx, etc…), and AI Tech solutions (IBM Marketing Planner with Lucy, Watson Ads, Bidding Optimization, Audience Targeting) for marketers and agencies.
In general, Watson Ads are AI-powered ad units. While separate from other IBM Watson initiatives like the voice-activated “Watson Assistant,” which was developed outside of Watson Ads, the company has used AI and voice to power boundary-pushing marketing efforts for brands as varied as Campbell Soup Company, Unilever and GSK Consumer Healthcare.
Launched in June 2016 just a day after venture capital analyst Mary Meeker heralded the greater importance of voice-activated interactive advertising in her annual state of the internet report, Watson Ads was billed as the is the world’s first AI-powered advertising creative that leverages machine learning and natural language processing to make sense of unstructured data sets (ie: text and voice), and enables brands to have two-way conversations with consumers.
“The Watson Ads helping people prepare meals, which is something we did for Campbell’s, or started the car shopping process, as we did for Toyota, or enabling people to relieve allergy symptoms, like we did for Flonase,” said Jordan Bitterman, when he was The Weather Company last fall. He has shifted over to serving as VP of sales and strategy in the IBM Digital Business Group.
Helping to identify and execute those kinds of wide-ranging and unique ad opportunities for those major brands and others are what Hlavacek is charged with now.