Melanie Deziel – Creative Strategist, Time Inc.

In this episode, Nick Cicero and Nick Robinson interview Melanie Deziel, Content Strategist at Time, Inc. and Founder of The Overlap League.

Interview with Melanie Deziel

Melanie graduated from Syracuse Newhouse School and moved immediately to New York City to work in the big leagues of media. She started her career at Huffington Post, moved to the New York Times, and is now at Time Inc. At Time, she mainly focuses on native advertising strategy, and because Time has so many different media properties, she acts as a traveling consultant to all the different brands.

She then she explained how creators are organized at the company. Basically she works with the creators of each individual brand, and periodically she pulls in an internal group that creates on behalf of all the brands. Even though Time has its own staff on the payroll, the strategy group also works with outside creators to complement programs (which ultimately get monetized through native or other ad methods).

We asked her how creators should craft their own strategies for hitting the mark with audiences. She said:

  • Identify what you want to talk about. Determine  whether people would want to hear something like this (aka
  • Decide Who you want to consume your content.
  • Make sure the style of your content meets the channel’s culture.
  • Stay Nimble. Come up with mile markers to continually optimize how you deliver content experiences. Pivot based on what the data tells you.

We ended the interview by asking her what she thinks about the future of native advertising. She said:

There are two ways this can be done – To sell a product, to tell a great story. True loyalty comes from what the company stands for through quality story telling. Audiences want more jabs and less right hooks!

To learn more about Melanie Deziel, you can go to, and follow her on Twitter.

GOAT of the Week

This week we talk about Chuck Norris Facts. The legendary Mr. Norris has been a staple of internet memes for more than a decade, starting in 2004 when NBC merged with Vivendi Universal Entertainment. Remember the Conan O’Brien Walker Texas Ranger lever?

Then the movie, ‘The Pacifier’ hit the market in 2005, and a couple of people posted a Vin Diesel facts thread in Something Awful (because the movie wasn’t that great apparently), and it caught fire. Taking advantage of the popularity, a forum member created a Vin Diesel fact generator website. When the fact generator died down in popularity, the original tool creator, opened up a vote on Something Awful forum, and Chuck Norris won. Now the website exists!



Now politicians and brands have used Chuck Norris facts within their marketing and advertising.

Have feedback or want to be a guest on the show? Send us a Tweet using the hashtag #CreatorsClass to @nickcicero and @socialrobinson.

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image credits: knowyourmeme

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