Meet Mathias Aspvid and Menno Ovaa!
Did you know that before the merger international sales for the Nordics were managed by the RTL AdConnect team of The Netherlands? Only a year ago – with the merger in sight and a team based locally in the Nordics – initial talks began to integrate international sales within the new Nordics team.
During the last months however, the new set-up became reality. We talked to two of its masterminds – meet Mathias Aspvid and Menno Ovaa!
Mathias (Head of Sales Sweden, based in Stockholm, formerly smartclip) and Menno (Digital Director Central and North Europe, based in Amsterdam, formerly RTL AdConnect) now work together on Nordic clients active in other European markets.
Mathias studied Business & Marketing in London and interned at Universal McCann in 2001. Subsequently he returned to Sweden, where he began his career in media sales. He has worked at well-renowned media partners within print, TV, digital and CTV.
Menno studied Marketing Communication before working as a project manager for an event company. He quickly realized that sales was a better fit for him, changed jobs, and took his first of many steps into programmatic marketing. He has now been working in digital advertising for over a decade.
How do you explain your job to your family?
Mathias: I normally say that I work with video ads online, if I would elaborate, they would quickly zone out.
Menno: As RTL is a very well known brand in the Netherlands, I usually don’t need to explain that much. Explaining the international aspect of the job is trickier as many are unaware of RTL’s global footprint.
When did you start working for your entity and what attracted you to the position in the first place?
Mathias: I started as Key Account Manager at smartclip back in 2012, became Head of Sales smartclip in 2018 and now I am Head of Sales RTL AdAlliance Sweden. I initially became aware of the job at smartclip through former TV4 colleagues who took the leap a few years earlier.
Menno: I began with RTL AdConnect in February 2021 after receiving a phone call from the departing Digital Director. Telling me that this position would be ideal for me and that I would be working with some wonderful individuals. He was right – it was a good fit!
What was your initial impression when you two first met?
Mathias: My first impression of Menno was that he is a friendly guy with lots of digital knowledge. There must be some kind of madness within him though, since he is into road racing.
Menno: Mathias struck me as a no-nonsense man with a sense of humour and an extensive understanding of the Nordic business. And just great company to be with.
Tell us a bit more. What are you / have you been working on together? What works well, what is challenging?
Mathias: Collaborating on clients based in Denmark, startup phase. Sometimes it can be a bit challenging was we are not in the same office and cannot catch up in person next to the coffee machine.
Menno: We have been working on low key for some time already, but with the start of RTL AdAlliance we are able to really join forces. The Nordics are a great environment for startups, so we expect to see great new partnerships in the future. In the last week, we had our first client roadshow visiting prospects and agencies in Denmark. The overall feedback was very positive, and we are already planning a second round.
If you had one work-related wish granted, what would it be?
Mathias: Apart from our efforts to increase international sales from the Nordic region, it would be great if audience measurement in digital could progress; a lot of time and effort is now being invested regarding this issue.
Menno: Delivering on our promise of simplicity and unification. A lot of work has been put into this, and we are seeing improvement, but we must continue to improve. For us from sales it cannot go fast enough, as we sometimes tend to oversell it. 😊
Your favourite RTL brand?
Mathias: To be honest, the RTL brand is not that familiar in the Nordics. But I do remember when cable TV was introduced in the early 90s, we were able to watch some RTL channels in German, I was not binge-watching those channels.
Menno: I`m lucky to have the full range of RTL on offer. I mostly watch RTL Z, which broadcasts amazing documentaries as well as some local programmes on Videoland.
And what are you recommending to watch or listen to at the moment?
Mathias: Right now I am watching ‘The Bear’ which is pretty good, and given my Spotify wrapped playlist I have to recommend the Swedish artist Fricky and his album Horizon Inn.
Menno: I’m waiting for the final season of Mocro Maffia on videoland.
As we all work internationally – what’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited, and why was it so memorable?
Mathias: The trans-Siberian railway and the trip from Stockholm to Beijing back in 2001 was pretty interesting, mainly because of the people we met along the way.
Menno: The WFA meeting in Athens was my most memorable business trip so far. Apart from content and networking, we were the first visitors of the day to the Acropolis. My personal travel highlight was my three-month motorbike adventure from Amsterdam to Mongolia.
When offline and outside of your home, where would we most likely find you? Doing what?
Mathias: If I am not shovelling snow outside my house, I’ll be on the side-line watching my 11-year-old son play football.
Menno: Sport and family/friends consume most of my time. And then there’s road racing, whether it’s in the garage getting the bike ready or on the track for training or competition.
Since it is the festive season – what are you most looking forward to during this special time?
Mathias: I am looking forward to some relaxing time with my family in Piteå, a town in the far north where my wife is from.
Menno: Family, friends, good food. I don’t need much more.
Which duo should we interview next? Happy to hear from you via firstname.lastname@example.org! 👋