2020 marks the 20th year of Expedia Group Media Solutions connecting advertisers with travel audiences across the globe. To mark the occasion, we’re highlighting the most important part of our business, our people.
We’re featuring the people who power our business so you can get to know the faces behind Media Solutions, or “MeSo”—as we refer to ourselves internally. Our team of digital marketing and travel industry experts spans the globe, from the company headquarters in Seattle to offices in Dubai, London, Tokyo, Toronto, and beyond.
In this post, we’re featuring Macarena Montesinos De Saracho, a senior creative strategist within our Creative Partnerships team. Macarena, aka ‘Maca,’ resides in Madrid and has been with MeSo for nearly eight years. Shortly after Creative Partnerships was established, she moved into that in-house creative agency, with a focus on marrying data and creativity to deliver unique and compelling media experiences. Maca was involved with bringing the new Travel Spotlights product to life, offering advertisers highly visual creative campaign elements in a premium experience and was named Creative Partnerships Employee of the Year in 2020.
How has your role evolved during your time at MeSo?
In 2013, I started with MeSo as a campaign manager based in the London office, working mainly with Mediterranean and African partners. A year later, Angelique Miller joined Expedia Group and the Creative Partnerships team was born. The more I heard about this new team, the more I wanted to be a part of it, as it fit my personal passion for creativity and innovation. It wasn’t long after that when I officially joined them, making us a team of three. Since then, we’ve developed and brought to life so many exciting campaigns. Today, we’re a team of 17—with our growth we’ve been able to further diversify our offerings and specialize our products, allowing us to better address the needs of our travel advertisers.
What is one of your favorite things about the MeSo culture?
What stands out to me about the team is that it is multicultural; there’s not a day that goes by where I don’t learn something new from a team member in a different country or exchange fresh ideas and new perspectives with the broader team. MeSo has a mentality of ‘work hard, play hard,’ and a great spirit overall to succeed in work and life.
MeSo conducts a large amount of research. How does data help inform the solutions and campaigns you help create?
Research is key for MeSo, as all of our solutions are based on data. It’s important in all aspects of my role, from developing a campaign strategy to brainstorming and defining creatives. Insights from data allow us to build strategies and solutions that better-engage our audiences. We like to say that ‘our solutions are led by creative and confirmed by science.’
New technologies such as VR and facial recognition play a large role in Creative Partnerships campaigns. How do you help develop and lead production of these custom concepts?
We are constantly looking at the latest technology trends and releases, and as a team, we love uncovering and sharing different ways of using technology (check out the Discover Your Aloha campaign or the Sound Travels campaign I got to work on). We are really excited about finding fresh ways to engage travelers. It’s important to not just use new technology for the sake of using it, but to identify how we can use it to make the travel shopper’s journey easier and more engaging– from inspiration to consideration and through to booking. We are a passionate team that works very closely from ideation to delivery, ensuring different minds and expertise come together to produce the best solution for advertisers’ specific objectives.
What are your thoughts on Travel Spotlights, how will this new product impact advertisers?
We’ve worked hard to deliver this new product and we think it will have a great impact on our advertisers during this recovery phase and beyond. Travel Spotlights are essentially native advertising landing pages that can host videos, quizzes, tons of images, listicles, and they are really elegant. They’re super engaging because they support captivating visuals and powerful content. I’m very proud of this product and happy to see it in campaigns that help brands stand out in a competitive landscape.
What about your work inspires you?
There’s nothing better than a job that combines your main passions, and for me, that’s a passion for travel and for advertising. Every day I learn something new about a country, a culture, or a language, which is not only enjoyable, but inspiring. And when your team is fun, positive, and vibrant, it makes your work life even better. Also, our new Creative Partnerships video really captures the inspiration and excitement that our team gets to be a part of.
When travel returns, where do you want to go?
My list is endless! Every time I tick off a location, I add 3 more. Pre-COVID, I said that this year I was going to do 12 different countries in 12 months. This plan is obviously paused for now, but as soon as travel returns, I’ll start going through my list again, starting with the Philippines.
Want to learn more about the MeSo culture and the individuals who comprise our teams? We’ll continue to feature employees and offer a glimpse inside their roles regularly on our blog. Subscribe to our blog to get reminders in your inbox when we post new insights, research, product features, and employee spotlights.