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HOMER GETS A PROMOTION: 20 YEARS OF MARKETING “THE SIMPSONS”

NETWORK YOUTH MINISTRIES GO HI-TECH MEDIA BUYING IN A DIGITAL LABYRINTH THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MEDIA MARKETING, PROMOTION AND DESIGN

WINTER 2010

PLUS “GOSSIP” KING JOSH SCHWARTZ PLAYS TO THE CROWDS


KIDSCREEN PRESENTS…

<ek\ikX`ed\ek DXib\k`e^ <oZ_Xe^\

February 9th, 2010 Hilton NY, New York

AT KIDSCREEN SUMMIT

The Entertainment Marketing Exchange is a fast-paced learning and networking conference designed to provide kids marketers with the tools, insights and connections required to enhance their brands and drive product activation through entertainment partnerships.

IDENTIFY TOMORROW’S HITS AS LEADING KIDS CONTENT PRODUCERS PRESENT THEIR PIPELINES

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: JEFF GOMEZ, PRESIDENT & CEO, STARLIGHT RUNNER ENTERTAINMENT

CONNECT WITH THE SENIOR EXECS WHO MAKE DEALS HAPPEN LEARN ABOUT THE BRAND-BUILDING PRIORITIES OF TOP KIDS PRODUCT MARKETERS IN A CLASSROOM SETTING AT OUR “30 MINUTES WITH…” SESSIONS DISCOVER WHAT POWERED THE TOP ENTERTAINMENT-DRIVEN PROMO CAMPAIGNS OF 2009

Jeff conceived, co-wrote and produced one of the most successful transmedia storylines of the decade with Mattel’s Hot Wheels comic books, video games, web content and animated series. He has since gone on to work with such franchises as Fairies, Pirates of the Caribbean, Prince of Persia and Tron for Disney, Halo for Microsoft, Happiness Factory for The Coca-Cola Company and, most recently, Transformers for Hasbro.

CHECK OUT WHAT WE’VE GOT PLANNED!

ADVISORS Jackie Fradin Director of Global Consumer Insights, Toys Hasbro

Paul Kurnit President and Founder Kidshop & Kurnit Communications

Laurie Klein Vice-President Just Kid Inc.

Mark Levine SVP Marketing MTV Networks Int’l

Presented by

E-POLL TO DECODE THE INGREDIENTS OF KIDS ENTERTAINMENT HITS Drawing from its highly respected E-Score Character Kids research product, the team at e-Poll will kick off the Entertainment Marketing Exchange with a presentation that explores the character equity behind some of the biggest kids entertainment hits currently in the market. For kids product marketers, this in-depth forensics report will identify the themes and attributes that most hits have in common, leaving you with a deeper understanding of what you should be looking for as you evaluate promo tie-in opportunities. And for entertainment brand marketers, you’ll come away with plenty of valuable intel to make your pitches and proposals more effective.

Association Partners:

ONLY $695 FOR THE FULL-DAY CONFERENCE! Contact Joel Pinto for more details at 416-408-2300 x650 Visit us online at www.kidscreen.com/exchange *Payment in full must be received by February 9, 2010. All pricing is in US dollars. Our full registration rate is $695. ™KidScreen is a trademark of Brunico Communications Ltd. ™Entertainment Marketing Exchange title, tagline and logo are trademarks of, and the event is produced by Brunico Marketing Inc.


CONTENTS

BRIEF WINTER 2010

UPFRONT 8 OMFG! Josh Schwartz Comes Clean p. 10

Fall’s Cream of the Crop p. 20

Art Gallery Openings p. 26

Marketing’s Royal Family p.34

Watch Dog

10

Creative Brief

12

News Brief

14

IN FOCUS Brand/Rebrand

16

Executive Summary

20

Spot Watch

21

Media Brief

22

Brief Encounters

24

Design/Dissect SPECIAL REPORTS

26

Main Titles

34

The Simpsons: 20 Years

40

Digital Media Planning

48

Kids’ Media Marketing

LAST LOOK

Community Properties p. 56

54

News and Events

56

Picture Tube

58

Shuffle

60

Viewpoint

ON THE COVER Design by bpg Photograph by Kevin Lynch www.kevinlynchstudios.com


PromaxBDA Staff PRESIDENT/CEO

Jonathan Block-Verk jbv@promaxbda.org GENERAL MANAGER

Jill Lindeman jill@promaxbda.org CFO

Randy Smith randy@promaxbda.org SVP OF GLOBAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS

Lucian Cojescu lucian@promaxbda.org

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

VP OF CONTENT INNOVATION

It’s been joked that I tend to pepper everything with an infectious enthusiasm that borders on dramatic hyperbole. After all, at the close of a year like 2009, how can I maintain an unflinching grin and a jump in my step? The truth is, PromaxBDA has never been stronger. Certainly it was a tough year, but as an entity, we’ve been preparing for this economy, focusing on building PromaxBDA into a strong, reliable, valuable resource 365 days a year. As you know, in the last 12 months, we’ve launched brief magazine, daily brief and the new PromaxBDA.org — a vast content-driven, professional networking platform that allows you to upload your portfolios, share your work with peers (and potential clients) as well as search a database of spots 5,000 strong and growing. We’ve also created new networking opportunities to help creative agencies and vendors build their businesses. We’ve designed events to provide entertainment-marketing professionals with tools to help them maintain the trajectory of their career — despite the economic downturn. We’ve established new forums for inspiration, social networking and interaction. With the establishment of a new, and spectacularlychaired diversity council (launched and supported by Fox, NBC, Turner and Viacom with others joining soon), we’re working to help the industry truly integrate diversity as a fundamental tool to help drive business and strengthen the bottom line. With a mandate of sourcing, identifying, cultivating and celebrating diverse talent, we’re working to drive fundamental change throughout the fabric of our community. The council has already celebrated its first success — a $50,000 grant to develop a fully integrated PromaxBDA certification program, targeting at-risk youth looking to enter the entertainment marketing, promotions and design industry. The program is in full development and another major implementation grant is on the horizon! There’s a lot of exciting things happening at your organization, and as members, it’s yours to be proud of. And that really is something to smile about! All the best in 2010! Cheers, Jonathan Block-Verk President/CEO, PromaxBDA

Chris Pursell cpursell@promaxbda.org EDITORIAL MANAGER

Shanna Green shanna@promaxbda.org SPONSORSHIP & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Laura Coones laura@promaxbda.org AWARDS MANAGER

Stacy La Cotera stacy@promaxbda.org AWARDS COORDINATOR

Jessica Kaiserman jessicak@promaxbda.org MANAGER OF MEMBER SERVICES

Anush Payaslyan anush@promaxbda.org CIRCULATION MANAGER AND RE-VERIFICATION COORDINATOR

Eileen Rasnake eileen@promaxbda.org ACCOUNTANT

Wolfgang Thiele wolfgang@promaxbda.org EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT AND OFFICE MANAGER

Jessica Henning jessica@promaxbda.org CREATIVE AGENCY OF RECORD

bpg www.bpgadvertising.com PromaxBDA is a global, non-profit association dedicated to being the leading resource for education, community, creative inspiration and career development for marketing, promotion and design professionals within the entertainment and information industry.

BRIEF


Series Premiere

Friday Jan 22 at 9/8c Watch the extended version on DVD and syfy.com/caprica

Presented by:

A Division of NBC Universal


Winter 2010 Volume 2, Issue 1 EXECUTIVE PUBLISHER Jonathan Block-Verk GENERAL MANAGER Jill Lindeman EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Chris Pursell EDITORIAL MANAGER Shanna Green

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Welcome to the new Brief magazine! After a terrific first year, we, like many of you, are constantly striving to improve and refine our look and content to meet the needs of the industry. In its infancy, Brief served as a report on the ongoing trends and hot personalities driving the marketing, branding and design business in our industry. Now, as you can see by the cover alone, we enter our second year with new sections and new designs, but still maintain our core values of showcasing the best and brightest in the business while analyzing the trends and technology that impacts us all. Thanks to the careful eye of the design and production team at bpg, who put forth an incredible amount of passion into the redesign of the magazine, I can now present you with Volume 2 of Brief, and in my humble opinion, it’s stockpiled with insights not only into the business of the executives driving this industry, but also into entertainment’s iconic legends and the up-and-comers you need to know. In addition to the insightful profiles and analysis we normally feature in the magazine, you’ll find some great interviews with “The Simpson’s” Al Jean, MTV’s Kevin Mackall, legendary titles producer Pablo Ferro, as well as “Gossip Girl” creator Josh Schwartz. Add those to our special reports on the keys to success in digital media planning, how to market to the Millennial generation, our look at the top title sequences of 2009 as well as a celebration of two decades of marketing “The Simpsons,” and you’ll find that Brief projects the community and issues facing our membership in a unique way. We’ve set standards high for 2010, and I hope you enjoy reading the issue as much as we did putting it together.

Chris Pursell Editor-in-Chief and VP of Content Innovation

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Hillary Atkin, Kate Bacon, Wayne Friedman, Michael Goldman, Daisy Whitney SPONSORSHIP & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Laura Coones EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Jessica Henning DESIGN COORDINATOR Jim Mulvey MAGAZINE DESIGN

bpg www.bpgadvertising.com CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Kevin Lynch www.kevinlynchstudios.com William Lee

All letters sent to Brief or its editors are assumed intended for publication. Brief invites editorial comment, but accepts no responsibility for its loss or destruction, however it arises, while in its office or in transit. All material to be returned must be accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisher. US Postmaster: Send address changes to Brief, 1522e Cloverfield Blvd., Santa Monica, CA, 90404. Printed in the United States. Brief is a quarterly publication, plus special issues as a part of member outreach for non-profit organization PromaxBDA, which publishes this magazine. For a membership to PromaxBDA, please contact our main office in Santa Monica, Calif. email: anush@promaxbda.org. Brief 1522e Cloverfield Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90404-5567 (310) 788-7600 www.promaxbda.org

BRIEF


N0 01252010

NATPE Questionnaire One simple question to determine if you belong at NATPE 2010

See And Be Seen By: (Circle all that apply-you might need a new pen) Paige Albiniak Alex Albrecht Chris Albrecht Omid Ashtari Neal Baer Mike Bailey Lincoln Bandlow Maryam Banikarim Justine Bateman Jim Beddows Kevin Beggs Lisa Berger Frank Biancuzzo Richard Blais David Bloom Alex Bogusky Rich Bressler Brady Brim-DeForest Colleen Brown John Brunton Drew Buckley Brandon Burgess John Burrud Claudia Cahill Emiliano Calemzuk Anthony Caporale Emily Caron Anna Carugati Albert Cheng Leslie Chesloff Frank Chindamo Chris Coelen Andy Cohen Emerson Coleman Sean Compton Raphael Correa John Couch Nathan Coyle Mark Cronin

Sean Dicicco Elise Doganieri Scott Donaton Illeana Douglas Nancy Dubuc Mike Duffy Andy Duncan Michael Eisner Nick Emmerson Neal Fraser Brent Friedman Barrett Garese Jeff Gaspin Aamer Ghaffar Miguel Gonzalez Irwin Gotlieb Chris Grant Brian Gratch David Gregg Melissa Grego Ben Grossman Philip Gurin Chris Harrison John David Heinsen Keith Hindle Dave Howe Lisa Hsia Brian Seth Hurst Katie Jacobs David Jenkinson Harry Jessell Marc Juris Michael Kassan David E. Kelley Roma Khanna Bill Kispert Bruce David Klein Jeff Knowlton David Kruis

Hugh Laurie Bill Lawrence Amber J. Lawson Esther Lee Jordan Levin Ross Levinsohn Steven Levitan Gary Lico Cynthia Littleton Dave Logan, Ph.D Jim Louderback Brian Malarkey Brandon Martinez Curt Marvis Michael Mathieu Kevin Mayer David Mazur John McCarus Shishir Mehrotra Scott Messick Ken Mok John Morayniss Kim Moses Elisabeth Murdoch Jonathan Murray Peter Murrieta Jason Nadler Michal Nashiv Spencer Neumann Kim Niemi Rob Norman David Norton Ryan Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Hara Sebastian Ortega Howard Owens Cristina Palacio Charlie Palmer Shelly Palmer Rod Perth

Contents#Ommerce s Connections For the latest in NATPE news go to www.NATPEmarket.com * Speakers as of 12/02/09, subject to change. Š 2009 NATPE. All rights reserved.

Melissa Pillow Jonathan Prince Daniel Punt Jesse Redniss Keith Richman Will Richmond Marc Robertson J. Max Robins Douglas Ross George Ruiz Neal Sabin Tod Sacerdoti Yaron Samid Ian Sander Kirk Schenck Dave Schiff Eric Schotz Douglas Scott Karl Seelig Dan Servos Josh Shabtai Levi Shapiro Judge Judith Sheindlin David Shore Kerry Simon Tavis Smiley Matthew Snyder Anthony Soohoo

Perry A. Sook Kris Soumas Andy Stabile Scott Sternberg Mara Sternthal Tim Street Diego Suarez Fernando Szew Christy Tanner Liz Tobias Pedro Torres Bertram van Munster Gary Vaynerchuk David Verklin Ben Weinberger Daisy Whitney Marc Whitten Brett Wilson Ed Wilson Karrie Wolfe Kevin Yen Tom Zappala David Zaslav Vivi Zigler


WATCH DOG

Mad Men

The Vampire Diaries

Network: AMC

Network: The CW

Date: August 16, 2009

Date: September 10, 2009

Viewers: 2.8

Viewers: 3.1

Key to Success: Integrated media promotions.

Key to Success: Understanding the audience.

UPFRONT

From a partnership with clothing retailer Banana Republic. a show website full of interactive resources including a cocktail guide of retro drinks to a “Mad Men Yourself” avatar application, AMC has stayed closely attuned to what engages their viewers off the screen. “At the end of season two, you had Jon Hamm hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’ and ‘Mad Men’ spoofs in ‘Saturday Night Live,’ and you had ‘The Simpsons’ spoofing ‘Mad Men’ as part of the opening to their Halloween special,” said Linda Schupack, SVP of marketing for AMC. “We wanted to take advantage of that momentum and that status.” Building on their outdoor media campaign in Los Angeles and New York, including billboards, phone kiosks and bus sides, Schupack said online was a significant addition to the formula, especially the avatar application, which was hosted on the

With the success of “Twilight” in theaters as well as “True Blood” on the small screen, executives at The CW were immediately presented with a challenge when they learned that the network had picked up “The Vampire Diaries” for its fall schedule. show’s Facebook and Twitter pages as well as the AMC show page. “We designed it with the hope that it would go viral, that it would be so inherently entertaining, and that it would be passed on because it was a lot of fun,” she said. “But also for ‘Mad Men’ fans, it just gave them an unexpected, but highly appropriate way to interact with the series.” The promotion paid off. The show’s season three premiere saw a 34 percent increase in viewers from last year’s launch of season two.

“There was a lot of vampire going on,” said Rick Haskins, EVP of marketing and brand strategy at The CW. “With ‘Twilight,’ we had to make sure we didn’t become a wannabe, but we wanted to use their success to our advantage. In ‘True Blood,’ there was a terrific show already doing well for HBO, but (it) appealed to a different audience. We quickly realized that ours was a unique niche involving a love triangle. So once we got our bearings, everything started to fall into place.” With the trio front and center in campaign materials, Haskins and his team quickly analyzed

its potential audience, reviewing traditional and non-traditional ways to reach out to them. On the interactive side, the executives empowered The CW’s five million Facebook fans with links to promos and quotes from critics. Within an hour after announcing the series, the show’s Facebook fan page boasted 5,000 fans. In addition, executives also took to mobile with apps and advertisements on the popular iheartradio application for the iPhone. “It’s all about knowing your audience and where your audience is, and we are continually monitoring the media consumption patterns of our viewers,” said Haskins.

national broadcast ratings week 50 08.31- 09.06

week 51 09.07- 09.13

week 52 09.14- 09.20

week 53 09.21- 09.27

week 54 09.28- 10.04

week 55 10.05- 10.11

week 56 10.12- 10.18

week 57 10.19- 10.25

week 58 10.26- 11.01

week 59 11.02- 11.08

week 60 11.09- 11.15

9.0 8.5 8.0 7.5 7.0 6.5 6.0 5.5 5.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 3.0 2.5 2.0

BRIEF 8

1.5 Average Ratings, Live + SD, Household. DATA: NIELSEN MEDIA RESEARCH

week 61 11.16- 11.22


CAMPAIGN SPOTLIGHT: TRICIA MELTON SVP OF ENTERTAINMENT MARKETING FOR TBS, TCM, TNT Lopez Tonight Network: TBS, TNT, truTV Date: November 9, 2009 Viewers: 3.2 With late-night programming in a flux on the broadcast networks, TBS executives pounced into the mix with their own take on the genre in “Lopez Tonight.”

V Network: ABC Date: November 3, 2009 Viewers: 14.3 Key to Success: A fresh start. For the reboot of popular 1983 miniseries, “V,” ABC’s marketing department didn’t rely on the original for reference, instead choosing to treat the mid-fall series launch as they would any original program. “We knew that people who loved the series would be there, and our challenge as marketers is to get people who would maybe not watch the show or are not automatically predisposed to watching the show to watch,” said Michael Benson, EVP, marketing for ABC Entertainment. ABC used a combination of traditional media including radio, print and on-air ads with stunt marketing such as having a show presence at Comic-Con. Benson also said the marketing department took a different approach to their outdoor strategy. “It wasn’t about mass exposure everywhere, it was about where there was exposure, we wanted it to be big,” said Benson.

“We saw a big opportunity in late night, especially since there wasn’t a place that was attracting a young, diverse audience,” said Tricia Melton, SVP of entertainment marketing for TBS, TCM and TNT. “So when George Lopez came along at the right time, we knew we had the right show and worked closely with George and Telepictures to convey to audiences that there was a new energy coming to late-night, and we were going to bring the party back.”

“George had broad appeal, and we wanted to make sure we were marketing the show that way to present him as every man’s host.” Because the network was in a position to reach new and more diverse audiences, Melton noted that the marketing strategy behind the show needed to offer a broad appeal but focus on the sense of having the audience involved with the series. That’s why, in addition to a print campaign in magazines such as “Rolling Stone,” “Playboy,” “Maxim” and “In Touch,” a large chunk of marketing efforts went to creating engagement with potential viewers. “George had broad appeal, and we wanted to make sure we were marketing the show that way to present him as every man’s host,” said Melton. “Great campaigns look to the consumer and tap into what they love about a show or genre and are able to do this organically by understand-

Melton

ing their audiences. With Lopez, we intentionally came up with interactive ways to push out to those audiences and invite them back to the party.” One of those ways involved a digital billboard in Times Square, which broadcast live tweets from Lopez and people tweeting with him or about him to potential audiences below. “George became interested in Twitter back in the summer and had a lot to say, so we took that passion and escalated that and audiences loved it because it brought an immediacy to the mix, and they were able to see on the show whether or not their Tweet made it up on the board,” Melton said. In addition, the company utilized photobombing through a Facebook application that allowed fans to insert a picture of Lopez into their own picture as another way to engage potential viewers. They also created a party bus that traveled across the country to football games, malls, Hispanic festivals, etc. as a way to bring the party atmosphere to the fans.

WINTER 2010

In addition, alien leader Anna directly addressed audiences through different channels of media from news websites to football stadiums with a personalized message stating what the Vs would be bringing to earth when the show debuted. The result helped “V” score the highest rated premiere of any fall launch.

The series launched in November in a massive simulcast effort between TBS, TNT and TruTV, and scored 3.2 million viewers and earned mothership TBS 1.7 million alone. More importantly for the channel, the debut drew more than a million viewers between the ages of 18 and 49, and more than 600,000 of them were between 18 and 34.

9


CREATIVE BRIEF UPFRONT

Spreading Good ‘Gossip‘ Josh Schwartz Commands Loyalty from Legions of Fans and Followers


The CW’s “Gossip Girl” and TheWB.com’s “Rockville CA”

Few shows on the air have developed the passionate following of Josh Schwartz’s series duo of The CW’s “Gossip Girl” and NBC’s “Chuck.” Perhaps grabbing just as many headlines as the shows themselves have been the marketing campaigns behind the series. Whether it’s “Gossip Girl’s” famed OMFG billboards or the Subway campaign to save “Chuck” via Facebook, it’s clear that the shows and the marketing behind them have found a way to speak straight to the passion of the viewers. Brief Editor-in-Chief Chris Pursell spoke with Schwartz about the keys to feeding a loyal audience, how television has changed since he created “The O.C.,” the role of music in his TV series as well as TheWB.com venture “Rockville CA” and how social and digital media are changing the definition of success in programming. How closely do you work with marketers? Schwartz: As closely as I can. They are collaborative, but at the end of the day, it is the network so you have the ability to have conversations and help shape those conversations. In the case of “Gossip Girl,” in the initial marketing campaign we weren’t as excited by it because we thought it was generic and not really the voice of the show, and we came out and voiced that, and they took our feedback and ran with it. They took it to the whole next level with the OMFG campaign that got a lot of press, and that really captured the show. On the “Chuck” side, “Chuck” is a really difficult show to market, because it’s got a high concept, and it’s very character driven. The elements that make it feel really original also make it a really challenging show to market. It’s been an evolving process; the NBC marketing team has been extremely collaborative as well and has really locked in, especially this season. I look toward this season and wonder how we can open up the storytelling and make it more accessible to sell. I think it’s bigger this year than ever before and, I think the marketing campaign really reflects that.

What is the effect of social media now in terms of engaging audiences?Schwartz: People are paying attention. I always said that “The O.C.” was the last show where the DVR and the iTunes audiences weren’t really counted. They always said that the audience for “The O.C.” was always bigger than the straight Nielsen ratings, but “Gossip Girl” was really the first show to benefit from those audiences. A big part of the narrative of “Gossip Girl” has always been the iTunes phenomenon of the show, the online feeling, the DVR numbers, leading to the sense that there is a much bigger audience watching the show than the Nielsen numbers would dictate. The “Chuck” save the show campaign last year also really represented that, as we were a show that was on the bubble, and yet we had this huge online fan base that really got motivated, came up with this inspired Subway campaign, had the social networking tools to be able to spread that idea around and really helped motivate and inspire not only the fan base but the network to take notice, and it’s a big part of why we are back. But I think the biggest thing about social networking is how it allows audiences to connect with each other and drive that passion. There’s a home for that passion, there’s a network for that passion. You’re with like-minded people and ideas can really take root.

WINTER 2010

Music has always played an important role on both your broadcast as well as your Web series. Why is that, and how does it help the show? Schwartz: Music has always been important to me. I’m not a musician, just a fan. But it all really started with “The O.C.,” and I wrote songs into the scripts that were songs I was listening to at the time that were reflective of Newport Beach music. The idea was really to let music be a character in the show. It was fortuitous that the show launched at a time when MTV wasn’t really playing a lot of videos, radio was consolidating and there was all this great indie music out there that had no outlet. So bands that weren’t going to put their music on a teen drama on Fox were suddenly very open to it because it was the only way to get their music heard. So music has remained integral to “Gossip Girl,” “Chuck” and, obviously, “Rockville,” which is the Web series I did for theWB.com that was about the music business.

With “Rockville CA” where do you see the future of Web series going, and how will that affect TV series in the future? Schwartz: I did it because I was curious about the form and trying it, and I was lucky enough to have Warner Bros. offer to foot the bill for it. I was proud of how it turned out, and I loved the actors on the show and the bands we got. But I don’t think Web series at this moment are any real threat to networks. It is hard to say, but I would definitely do it again. I had a great time, and it was like guerrilla filmmaking. We did 20 episodes and 20 bands in about three weeks.

11


NEWS BRIEF “When Ninjas Attack”

UPFRONT

FCC Kudos to Video Game Marketers

15 Gigs Incubating Digital Brands

After years of being the focus of the government’s concern about violent images in media, the video game industry recently received some surprising praise. In a report to Congress on the marketing, advertising and sales practices across the entertainment industries, the Federal Trade Commission lauded the video games industry as being the best among all entertainment producers at keeping violent and explicit content out of minor’s hands.

It’s still the elusive dream in Hollywood; the nut yet to be cracked. Can a Web show be branded online and then successfully make the leap to television?

The FTC’s report noted the video game industry has done an impressive job of limiting on-air ads for video games with a Mature rating to after 10 pm, and enforcing its voluntary ratings for games through the Entertainment Software Rating Board, stating that of the music, television and video game sectors, the gaming industry “continues to have the strongest self-regulatory code.” In recent years, the video game industry has worked directly with retailers to publicize game ratings in stores and enforce stores to require photo ID before selling M-rated games, and it seems to be working. Citing the result of underage mystery shoppers’ efforts to purchase games with a Mature rating from retailers, the report showed while only two out of every 10 underage shoppers were able to buy Mrated games, seven out of 10 of the shoppers successfully purchases music with parental advisory warnings and five our of 10 were sold R-rated films from retail outlets. “We were glad to see that the FTC recognizes that the video game industry continues to lead the way in responsible marketing and advertising,” said Sarah Anderson, SVP of marketing for 2K Games. “We are proud of the entertainment experiences that we create at 2K and recognize that not all games are appropriate for all audiences. We believe in marketing our games responsibly, and we are not alone.” Still, the report did warn of the challenges new trends in gaming, such as mobile phone and social network aps, pose since these games are often not rated through the ESRB or sold through retail outlets. —Shanna Green

There have been attempts, most notably “Quarterlife,” which famously failed when NBC launched the Web show as a mid-season replacement two years ago. Now, the scrappy Web studio Fox 15 Gigs is taking its chance at the brass ring of a Web-to-TV hit. 15 Gigs launched quietly last summer as part of Fox Television Studios, best known for USA Network’s “Burn Notice.” The modus operandi of 15 Gigs is to use the Web as an inexpensive proving ground to brand concepts, ideas and talent. The good ones might graduate to TV. “Most of the stuff we have done is done for less than the cost of a script,” said Gabriel Marano, VP of programming at Fox Television Studios. That’s the point of the studio experiment without breaking the bank. That’s also what makes 15 Gigs a different beast than other network-owned digital studios like Disney-ABC’s Stage 9, which laid off most of its staffers earlier this year. 15 Gigs is not aiming to make a big Web hit, but rather to nurture Web talent for the TV. One of its most popular shows so far has been the online series “When Ninjas Attack,” which is currently being pitched to networks as a “Wipeout”-style game show. “The word incubation is an important word for our digital content, and we are also experimenting with business models like trying the piloting process in new ways and trying to experiment with bringing brands on board and new types of interactivity,” he said. As part of its incubation approach, the digi-studio inked a development deal with Web producers Black20. The creative shop is best known for edgy comedic videos as well as ongoing Web series like “The Middle Show.” Black20 is working with 15 Gigs to test ideas for possible TV development. 15 Gigs also has another Black20-style development deal in the works, and Marano said they are aiming to be the goto development studio for creative talent that knows how to leverage the Web. —Daisy Whitney

BRIEF 12


Comcast/NBC Looking Strong as Brand Haven NBC Universal’s engagement to Comcast is poised to boost more than content for the new media behemoth. Analysts as well as insiders at NBCU and Comcast note that the newly combined assets will leave a profound impact in the marketing and branding communities as well with one executive dubbing it a “branding Nirvana.”

“Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”

CBS, Macy’s “Believe” in Branded Content When Macy’s looked to expand its “Believe” campaign for the holidays, the company turned to a format almost as old as the classic “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” newspaper editorial that inspired the promotion — branded content. The department store chain teamed up with New York-based JWT, The Ebeling Group and MEC Entertainment to produce an animated Christmas special for CBS that ran in December, which tells the story of young Virginia O’Hanlon and the letter she wrote to “The New York Times.” The result saw 5.23 million people tune in with the program placing second for the night. “As marketing executives, we intrinsically understand how to engage our audiences,” said Ron Scalera, EVP and creative director of CBS Marketing Group. “And as marketers, we are helping brands like Macy’s craft

their stories and messages in a way that fundamentally resonates with audiences we’ve successfully harnessed.” With marketing driving the project for Macy’s, the retailer also bulked up its campaign with tactics that included “Believe stations” for children to write letters to Santa, as well as spots, a microsite, and contests. “Macy’s whole brand this holiday is about believing, and we felt like this was an opportunity to put out a wonderful story with a beautiful message that was able to delicately and organically integrate Macy’s into the storyline,” said Mick Ebeling, founder and executive producer of The Ebeling Group. “Consumers don’t want to be clobbered over the head, and when branded content is done right, it succeeds.” —Chris Pursell

TV Promos Remain Most Promising Platform Network marketers should take heart. In the age of social networking and online influencers, a good old-fashioned TV promo is still the top source for viewers to find what to watch on TV. That’s the conclusion of a new report from Knowledge Networks. The research firm found that promo ads and messages are still powerful tools to drive awareness, followed by the all-important word of mouth from friends and family, and both trump social media when it comes to influence on what to watch.

When it comes to finding Web video, word of mouth ranked tops. Understanding how viewers discover programs is increasingly

But despite the fragmentation, or maybe because of it, talking to someone on the phone or in person is still vital to the discovery of new video content. “Verbal still has a power that social networks on the Web can still only aspire to. We also found that, not surprisingly, social media itself is clearly delineated between friends and ‘others’ – crowd sourcing media recommendations from strangers does not appear to be a strong driver,” Tice explained. Interestingly, Knowledge Networks found online and TV viewers are both deliberate when they sit down to watch. About 44% of TV viewers say they tune into TV with a specific program in mind, while 56% of online viewers know what they want to see before they fire up a Hulu or other site for premium content.

Obvious brand pairings in the new company include the likes of “Access Hollywood” and E!, as well as NBC Sports and Comcast’s own sports channels including Versus and its regional outlets. Under the terms of the agreement, GE will contribute to the joint venture with NBCU’s businesses valued at $30 billion, which includes its cable networks, filmed entertainment, televised entertainment, theme parks and unconsolidated investments, subject to $9.1 billion in debt to third-party lenders. Comcast will bring its cable networks to the table including E!, Versus and the Golf Channel, its 10 regional sports networks and certain digital media properties, collectively valued at $7.25 billion and make a payment to GE of approximately $6.5 billion subject to certain adjustments based on various events between signing and closing. One area many analysts expect to see growth as a result of the merger is digital marketing. By combining the company’s slew of assets, its Web rank would rise to as high as number six of comScore’s list of sites in traffic, with most delivering demo-specific targets for company promotion as well as advertisers. According to experts, doors would also open for a strong mobile play. —Chris Pursell

—Daisy Whitney

WINTER 2010

“The power of the TV ad or promotion is still very strong for generating awareness of programs and in influencing decisions at the time of viewing,” said David Tice, VP and group account director at Knowledge Networks, who led the study of about 600 consumers about how they discover and decide what to watch online, on TV and on mobile phones.

vital in today’s fragmented world, where consumers are bombarded with messages to watch this show, check out this video, play this game and so on.

“Both of these entities are two distinct brands, but when you look at their cable networks especially, you’ll find that some of them are quite complimentary, and the combination of those assets cannot help but extend audience knowledge, recognition, as well as the extension of those brands,” said Bill Carroll, VP and director of programming at Katz Television Group. “If you look at what happened to NBC and Universal and their cable operations, the ability to go across platforms, broadcasts, cable and Internet clearly worked in their favor.”

13


BRAND/REBRAND

Cartoon Network EMEA Reface cartoonnetworkeurope.com | stardust.tv

Creative: Concept by Cartoon Network Europe with design and production by Stardust Studios Campaign led by: Raf Gasak, creative director, Cartoon Network & Boomerang, Russia, Northern, Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa and Chiara Gatti, creative director, Creative Services Central Kids Target audience: Kids 6-12 Objective: To give the network a branding update to reflect its wider content offering. “This is part of this overwhelming transition from ‘We show cartoons’ to ‘We do all of this stuff,’” said Stardust executive producer Mike Eastwood. Gasak explained that some of their shows run slightly older like “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” so the reface was also designed to be aspirational and appeal to older viewers without alienating a younger audience.

IN FOCUS

Steps taken: Stardust has been working with Cartoon Network EMEA on their reface for the last couple of years, providing the network with an overall design, bumpers and IDs, all born from the idea of an energetic stream reflecting

BBC Knowledge Singapore Launch

singapore.bbcknowledge.com super-sonic.com.au | resolutiondesign.com.au

Lessons learned: An open brief offers companies a chance to showcase their skills. “They take the gloves off and let you run with projects,” Eastwood said.

Dusk Rebrand

dusktv.ca | imaginaryforces.com zigideas.com

Creative: BBC’s in-house team with post production by Resolution Design and sound design and composition by Supersonic

Creative: Corus teamed up with Imaginary Forces, New York for the on-air design package and zig for the radio spots and theatrical teasers.

Campaign led by: Gus Gordon, creative director for BBC Worldwide Channels Singapore

Campaign led by: Dolores Keating-Mallen, VP creative director, and Vince Robles, design creative director, and Jim Johnson, VP of marketing, Movie Central and Encore Avenue, for Corus Entertainment

Target audience: Adults 25-45 with a male skew Objective: To launch the non-fiction and documentaryfocused channel in Singapore and roll it out in other international markets. “We were very clear that we wanted an emotional response from the campaign we have created, to make it exciting and show consumers that we are news, but we’re also (entertainment) as well,” said Garry Sinclair, SVP of creative for BBC Worldwide. Steps taken: BBC Knowledge marked the launch with an on-air campaign titled “Amaze Your Mind,” featuring imagery from the channel’s programming as well as historical figures and events. A key design piece of the campaign is the BBC Knowledge logo, which has an upside down question mark where the “g” should be. “We wanted to use the question mark because obviously it’s the heart of what BBC Knowledge is, but we wanted to be a little more playful in terms of the relationship of knowledge and questioning,” Sinclair said.

BRIEF 14

different components of the channel’s content, such as action and comedy, that emerges from Cartoon Network into the real world bringing chaotic fun along with it. The team’s latest work is a winter update to the package. “CN is a place where normal rules do not apply,” Gasak said. “It’s a place where reality is suspended, and it’s a home for everyone with an imagination and who thinks differently. It’s all about fun, adventure and pushing the limits of fun and excitement whilst looking sleek and sophisticated.”

Lessons learned: Leave some questions for the audience to answer. “Viewer feedback has been really positive so far in terms of getting to the essence of what BBC Knowledge is,” Sinclair said.

Target audience: adults 18-49 with a female skew Objective: To more closely align the thriller, suspense and supernatural-themed DUSK (formally SCREAM) with the Corus line up of channels and make it more female-friendly. Steps taken: A mostly black, white and grey color pallet touched with a blood red was woven together with suspenseful imagery that suggests the channel’s genre including dark forests and flocking ravens, to represent DUSK as not only a time of day, but the transition between the light and the darkness. The on-air television campaign was combined with print, radio and online as well as theatrical preshow and teaser spots. A video installation was set up in an empty Toronto storefront as well, and when pedestrians passed, it activated a projection causing ghosts to appear and breathe on the window leaving the DUSK logo. Lessons learned: Know your audience. “‘Twilight’ and ‘True Blood’ have really opened up that genre to women in a very acceptable fun, sexy way and it was a great time to introduce DUSK,” Keating-Mallen said. —Shanna Green


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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY IN FOCUS

Photography by William Lee Creative Director, Off-Air, Syfy


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5IKSITT 0796&5($7,9(',5(&725),1'6,163,5$7,21)5201(:&+$//(1*(6

By Chris Pursell

For a bass player who came to New York City in 1989 to make his mark on the music business, Kevin Mackallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s art is now experienced by millions, just not in the way anyone expected at the time. As SVP of on-air

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I still try to keep that ethos that attracted me when I ďŹ rst started here, as we are a tight team and function like an in-house agency or a creative shop.â&#x20AC;? promotions for MTV and MTV2, Mackall now serves as the de facto voice of the channels, where he is responsible for overseeing all on-air promotion, working directly with the marketing, pro-social and programming departments and serving as overall creative director for MTVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s multi-platform brandworks. Indeed, for up-and-coming directors and DPs, the opportunity to work with Mackall and MTV is the career equivalent of performing with U2, igniting careers in commercials and music videos as well as television and ďŹ lm, thanks to the exposure given to them by the watercooler promos that have given MTV its voice.

Among the names whose careers have taken ďŹ&#x201A;ight since working with Mackall include the likes of Brian Beletic, Ted Pauly, Laura Murphy, Aaron Stoller and Georgie Greville. â&#x20AC;&#x153;MTV Promos has always been a great launching pad for many young directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s careers because weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always been somewhat of a creative colaboratory,â&#x20AC;? said Mackall. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our fast production pace and streamlined approval process, coupled with relative creative freedom, has always attracted innovative and inspired people with passions for music, art, production, design and general experimentation.â&#x20AC;? With two generations of youths now raised with MTV as a media beacon, the task of creating the channelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s messages remains no small challenge. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I still try to keep that ethos that attracted me when I ďŹ rst started here, as we are a tight team and function like an in-house agency or a creative shop,â&#x20AC;? said Mackall.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;We tackle so many creative problems, and there is so much R&D going on at any given time as well as new business opportunities that I continue to live and breathe this,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The promos group here has a


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY IN FOCUS BRIEF 18

legacy of being that voice and the message of the channel, that’s what kept me focused and kept me here for so long.” Since joining MTV in 1992 after a run as a freelancer for the network, Mackall has overseen some of MTV and MTV2’s most memorable projects and campaigns as the company’s scope grew wider, including groundbreaking programming campaigns for “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica,” “The Osbournes,” the channel’s award shows and “The 10 Spot.” He was also responsible for coordinating MTV Films on-air promos, which have included the “Hustle and Flow” and “Longest Yard” campaigns, as well as “Jackass: The Movie” and “Napoleon Dynamite.” Later, the digital revolution only added to the scope of work being utilized and, ironically, reinvigorated an old school tactic. “We are definitely using online from a promo perspective, and we are getting smarter on how to do that and find the audience who is not on TV all the time and drive them back to the brand or the show,” said Mackall. “One method we are having a lot of success with in order to hyper-target and create customized elements for those bases is the revival of the shortform work that we do. While 30 seconds is premium on-air, the director’s cut has to be a place for online because it’s a place where you can tolerate the 90 (second) or a two-minute movie.” He points to the recent success of the “VMA Side Story” campaign used to promote the Video Music Awards as an example of longer promos being effectively utilized to drive the brand. The campaign featured 11 spots and a three-minute music video developed as a modern take of the song “Tonight” from the musical “West Side Story.” Leonard Bernstein’s music was updated by Bill Sherman and Lin Manuel Miranda, the Tony Award-Winning musical team behind the Broadway musical “In The Heights.” “We killed it with that one online,” said Mackall. “There were

millions of hits on each one of those pieces in a very short amount of time. It’s probably the campaign that best defines me. There were lots of great meetings and a collaborative energy from all the different departments; everybody gravitated on this idea. That’s what so awesome about MTV; when we are at our best is when we understand how to get out of the way of the idea and instead support it.”

CAREER SPOTLIGHT Kevin Mackall picks some of the favorite promos from his career

APRIL 2005

Dedicated to All the Kids

JUNE 2006

Define Yourself DIRECTOR: TED PAULY

DECEMBER 2006

Blame MTV

Another factor in his position that Mackall is proud of is his work in the network’s famous pro-social campaigns, which have included the likes of “Choose or Lose” and “Fight For Your Rights: Take a Stand Against Discrimination” and the current “GYT” (Get Yourself Tested) promotion. “These issues are such important work, and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” he said. “We speak to our audience in a way that no one else can, and I was just thinking last week how far we’ve come in driving awareness for these issues. I’ve been involved with the Kaiser Foundation since ‘96 for the safe sex campaign, and the fact that it was so successful especially in a time when the Bush administration was preaching abstinence is astounding.”

NOVEMBER 2007

Artist Week: Alicia Keys APRIL 2008

Artist Week: Mariah Carey

SEPTEMBER 2008 OCTOBER 2008

Truth– The Blaze

Pro Social: Choose or Lose– Locksley

DIRECTOR: ALAN HARRIS

NOVEMBER 2008

Pretty Toney

FEBRUARY 2009

See You Sunday APRIL 2009

Pro Social: GYT– Perez Hilton

In an era when lifers are few and far between in the entertainment industry, Mackall stays inspired by relying on what drove him to New York in the first place — music. “Anyone who plays the bass will tell you how instrumental it is to the propulsion of a song,” he said. “You are rhythmic, but you are also harmonic, and it gives you a lot of control to setting the groove for a song. I try to bring that to my work and my relationship to the creative process in advertising and in television. It’s also how I function with my team, playing to the song or idea. I rely a lot on my team, and I try to propel them to go to even greater heights, and that’s part of the reason I’ve been here for so long.”

MAY 2009

2009 MTV Movie Awards– Andy Samberg & Anne Hathaway

MAY 2009

Artist Week: Eminem SEPTEMBER 2009

Star Trek: Austrailia World Premiere

America’s Best Dance Crew: Season 4 Premiere DIRECTOR: EVAN SILVER

SEPTEMBER 2009

2009 Video Music Awards: VMA Side Story DIRECTOR: SEYI PETER-THOMAS

TO BE AIRED 2010

Pro-Social: Digital Abuse


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SPOT WATCH

Dexter’s Private Life sho.com

IN FOCUS

Watching a Dexter action figure murdering a shrinkwrapped victim that suspiciously resembles a Barbie with chest hair may sound disturbing, but with its staggered stop motion and sultry soundtrack, the viral for the show’s latest season is dementedly awesome. Anyone who grew up torturing Mattel’s most famous doll with botched hair cuts and Bic ink tattoos will experience a special nostalgia from this.

Client: Showtime; Production Company: In-House; Creative Director: Trevor Noren; Producer: Gisela Aydin; Art Director: Alexis Ames; Animator: Mark Auleta

As inky Koi delicately swim across the screen, their tails flutter and leave a smoky wake before the fish spring from the water to transform into a soaring crane whose body then evolves into a dragon. This spot is a case study in beautifully done particle effects.

Producer: James Hagger, Troublemakers.tv and Andreas Lampe, weareflink; Creative Director: Zhou Jiahong; Art Director: Wu Hao; Copywriters: Zhou Jiahong and Sophia Xu; CG & Compositing Artist: Alexander Heyer; Compositing Artist: Martin Hess; CG Artist: Philipp Von Preuschen and Timo Schaedel

Ink troublemakers.tv | weareflink.com

Client: CCTV - Central China Television; Agency: MMIA - Mass Media International Advertising Co. Ltd (China); Production Company: Troublemakers and weareflink; Director: Niko Tziopanos

DJ Hero framestore.com | warp.net

In this epic music journey across the gritty industrial CG landscape of a giant turntable, DJ hopefuls armed with vinyl and courage must do battle for the love of the fans. Many will try, but there can only be one DJ Hero. Client: Activision/Freestyle Games; Production Company: Framestore in association with Warp Films; Director: Marco Puig; Executive Producer: Simon Whalley; Producer: Diarmid Scrimshaw

BRIEF 20

Nitro Circus amautalab.com flamboyantparadise.com

The unstoppable motocross claymation rider is as tough as the desert, lake and snowy terrains he faces in this series of promos for MTV’s “Nitro Circus.” He may lose his arm to a shark, be set on fire by a dragon and have his head explode from a ramp jump into space, but he just keeps on going. Now that’s resilience. Client: MTV Networks; Production Company: Amautalab and Flamboyant Paradise; Director: Martin Jalfen and Javier Lourenco; Executive Producer: Guido Rutenberg and Antonio Vallarta; Producer: Delfina Chiesa; Creative Director: Juan Frontini; Art Director: Nacho Gil; Copywriter: Nico Sommer

Italian Serie A brokendoll.com

The spirit of the football field comes to life on the TV screen in a symphony of light. The graphics package combines motion capture of the players with 3D elements that animate the heat emitting from their bodies. The combination is a spritely sports match infused with energy. Client: Kanal 9; Production Company: Brokendoll; Director: Brett Richards; Producer: Adam Wittsell; Art Director: Roi Sabarov —Shanna Green


IN FOCUS

DIGITAL BILLBOARD INNOVATIONS ALLOW MARKETERS TO REACT AND CONNECT, BUT THERE’S A DOWNSIDE

MEDIA BRIEF

TIMES By Wayne Friedman

TV networks such as CNN and CBS have embraced digital outdoor signage over the last couple of years, and recently other networks have rushed in. Now, improved technology is allowing audiences to truly interact with ads, propelling the platform even while controversy surrounds it. The new wave of digital outdoor media — high quality graphic messages lasting three to four seconds, as part of a seven or eight message loop that can be found in one outdoor location — has drawn the fascination of advertisers and viewers alike. The ability to interact with the medium, such as TBS’s “Lopez Tonight” billboard in Times Square, which displays Twitter posts from fans, creates new opportunities for marketers. “Aside from being able to take static creative and animate it in a way that’s fun and unexpected, the technology has allowed us to incorporate things like an RSS feed of CNN headlines,” said Jennifer Boardman, CNN’s senior director of marketing. On Election Night, the channel turned the Spectacolor screen in Times Square into a giant TV with a live feed of CNN’s Election coverage. “Without a doubt, there will be more interactivity incorporated into boards as brands look for additional ways to connect with consumers,” said Boardman.

But some TV marketers say there are already downsides to the new marketing platform. “Actually, it is a cluttered environment,” said Tim Farish, SVP of brand management and media for NBC. “Often times, you’ll see an NBC message, followed by CBS, followed by Fox.”

Digital billboard for Fox’s “Glee.”

While NBC is cautious, ABC isn’t even interested. Though ABC uses traditional outdoor signage, it doesn’t use digital billboards. One obvious question for digital outdoor is what about full-motion video? For safety issues, full-motion video is not available in major automobile commuting areas, but in pedestrian-heavy areas, such as New York’s Times Square, billboards with full-motion video have been used to promote TV shows. The CW sees the new medium as a natural fit because younger-skewing viewers expect to see messages in the medium, said The CW’s EVP of marketing, Rick Haskins. The network recently used digital space to promote Heather Locklear’s much publicized addition to the cast of “Melrose Place.” “Exclusivity? That doesn’t bother me. If I buy an ad in “People” magazine, I turn the page and there is my competitor. It’s not ideal,” he said, but added that the same is true for traditional outdoor media. “When driving you turn a corner and your competitor is on the next billboard.”

WINTER 2010

Joe Earley, EVP of marketing for Fox, said the push comes in part because digital outdoor has changed the long-time emphasis of the outdoor medium. For example, instead of leaving a traditional static board up for weeks with the same advertisement, now messaging can change daily, allowing marketers to update their tune-in message from “‘House’ — Coming this Wednesday…” to “’House.’ Watch Tonight.”

Brad Adgate, SVP and corporate media director of Horizon Media, said digital is a far more successful extension of outdoor than other traditional media. Unlike other media, digital billboards continue where traditional outdoor left off with few content issues.

21


IN FOCUS

MTV China

CRITICA MASS

BRIEF ENCOUNTERS

S I N G A P O R E S T U D I O S H O O T S F O R T H E S TA R S By Shanna Green Brief Encounters: CRITICA Web: criticatv.com Location: Singapore Founded: 2005 Founded By: Xavier Oon

“Star Wars” has been an inspiration to aspiring filmmakers the world over, but for Xavier Oon, it jump-started his love for design. Oon, who is the founder and creative director of design and animation studio CRITICA, whose mission is to “seamlessly blend motion graphics, typography and 3D with live action,” cited George Lucas’s sci-fi masterpiece as one of his sources of inspiration for entering the design world, along with opening title sequences by Kyle Cooper, Saul Bass and design studios such as Attik, Designers Republic and Tomato, which were starting to become well known when he was a teenager. “Although not a visual artist, I admire George Lucas because he had no tools, and not much money to create the first ‘Star Wars,’ but he had a great idea, and the strength and vision to get together a crew to create new programs to generate special effects that were unknown at that time in order to realize his film,” said Oon.


Following this creative pioneering spirit, Oon, who had worked at MTV Asia for three years, left to start CRITICA with the goal of doing work for channels like BBC, ESPN, CNN, AXN and Discovery. “I didn’t want to just limit myself with doing alternative graphics for a youth channel,” he said. “Having a studio by myself allowed me to explore different areas of animation, and also it gives me opportunities to collaborate with artists and designers on different mediums and disciplines.”

mice from ‘Cinderella’ running through rooms in the studio showing a brief step-by-step overview of the traditional animation process including editing and sound design. That was the clincher that opened up the door for me.” Oon and Tay, whose “personal Jesus” is comic book artist, animator and producer Bruce Timm, of DC Comics franchises and the “Masters of the Universe” properties, are joined by Leow in their admiration of filmmakers. Leow’s favorite is animation director Hayao Miyazaki.

“I didn’t want to just limit myself with doing alternative graphics for a youth channel.” Oon said that when starting CRITICA his concept was to create a collective space where designers, art directors and various creative people could come together to research and create something imaginative, different and impactful that could transcend into the broadcast and animation industries. “It’s a playground where likeminded individuals can tinker on software and push their own creative boundaries to see what they can achieve as a person,” Oon said. And like-minded individuals Oon found in CRITICA art director Jared Tay and 3D generalist Jooann Leow, who both shared that their love of design had also been kindled in their youth.

With work ranging from on-air promos, show packaging and channel branding to sales presentations, music videos and commercials for television networks across the Netherlands, London, Australia and Asia, the Singapore-based studio runs the gauntlet of design. Currently, the company is home to five people including Oon, Tay and Leow as well as one more art director and another 3D generalist. Although the bulk of their work comes from broadcast and advertising agencies, Oon said CRITICA also creates a “trunkload” of logos and show titles, which sometimes get passed on to the marketing departments and repurposed for collateral and such. Occasionally, they create artwork for events such as the Tiger Beer Asian Kinetic Artists

Exhibition, as well as do movie trailers and posters and website concepts. Oon said he and the team are also increasingly interested in creating design content for iPhone apps and console games. Even though he sought to do work outside the MTV audience spectrum, Oon has found himself working with the network quite a lot lately, recently completing a logo style guide and full show package for MTV China’s ZHEN campaign that featured audio gear spiders invading a futuristic world and another MTV promo where motion-tracked, animated illustrative tattoos appear on pop singer MIKA’s body.

“It’s a playground where like-minded individuals can tinker on software and push their own creative boundaries to see what they can achieve as a person.” Other recent work includes promos for ESPN STAR Sports’ airing of the French Open and Wimbledon Championships. For the latter, ESPN STAR Sports producer Ting Soo Yun approached the team about creating an animated board game based on the classic children’s

game “Snakes and Ladders” or “Chutes and Ladders,” as it is more commonly known in the United States, with tennis balls as the tokens. “I developed it further by creating obstacles like spiked wrecking balls, a maze, foosball tennis opponents and a finale — a Mt. Rushmore-inspired mountain made out of faces of tennis greats like Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf and Bjorn Borg,” Oon said. The project was built on 3D studio Max by Leow, and after the sequences were rendered, the files were loaded in After Effects where it was composited with lens flares, depth of field, color treatment and camera shake. The entire project was finished in only two weeks, and Oon considers it one of his favorites. Still, when listing the challenges of designing for the broadcast medium, Oon cited tight timelines as a designer’s antagonist. “I constantly think time is a luxury we do not have, especially in the broadcast industry where we need to churn out something to play on-air say, a couple of days later,” Oon said. “Most of the time, the delivery DVD is fresh and hot from the burner and drops straight on the courier’s hands.”

WINTER 2010

“Aside from the usual notion of being born with a pencil in my hand and drawing from a very young age, I had one of those old Little Golden Books featuring Disney stories from kindergarten,” Tay said. “On the back section were the two

“He is a great artist who can send out strong messages such as environmentalism and feminism,” said Leow. “In his films, there is always a balance in the human and fantasy world which makes it so beautiful.”

ESPN STAR Sports

23


DESIGN/DISSECT IN FOCUS

DIRECTV Promo An Ethereal Blend of CG and Live-Action Hypes Upcoming Drama of the New Season By Greg Talmage DIRECTV’s The 101 Network began broadcasting the fourth season of “Friday Night Lights” in October. In order to draw attention to the premiere, Design Space, DIRECTV’s in-house creative department, decided to play off the dividing forces facing the fictional town of Dillon, Texas by depicting a hyper-real dream world that begins to crumble under the watchful eye of director Ben Mor, of RSA Films, and DP Dariusz Wolskiy, of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies as well as upcoming Tim Burton film “Alice in Wonderland.” Tracy Bugh, Design Space creative director, conceived and considered a handful of ideas for the promo project and decided on the most subtle and ethereal of the group. “The characters are about to face major life changes, so we wanted to paint that analogy around them,” Bugh said. “From pre-vis to post, the big challenge in executing this spot was not only the complexity of the VFX, but also about ensuring the VFX didn’t upstage the subtle character performances we were going for.” Coming off recent successful projects for DIRECTV, Los Angeles-based Iron Claw was selected as the VFX vendor.

BRIEF 24

As Iron Claw producer Greg Talmage explained, “We went into the project with references, but also with the understanding that ultimately the final look would have to evolve over the span of the project. We appreciate this client’s desire to collaborate and venture into the unknown. This project was very fun for us.”


Pre-Production

Post-Production

Mor won the live-action direction job with a thorough written treatment and extensive reference imagery. Shoot preparation happened over a three week period with the help Iron Claw.

Once Iron Claw created rough keys of the conform, animation assignments went out to the team.

Coinciding with pre-production, design work took place to help determine the overall palette and structure of the crumbled dream world. Iron Claw took a field trip to Austin, Texas, to capture reference imagery and texture maps from the environment in which the show is shot. “The show’s locations manager graciously drove us around Austin to snap pictures of each set, and we even hired a helicopter to get aerial footage of the football field,” Talmage said. “It seemed excessive at first — that we were probably using it as an excuse to ride in a chopper, but ultimately those shots ended up becoming crucial to creating the finale shot.”

The Shoot The commercial shoot day back in Los Angeles was a success in large part to the teamwork of Mor and Wolskiy. Wolski’s experience lighting actors in front of green screens was appreciated by the team at Iron Claw who had to matte a lot of wind-blown hair and organic elements like trees and brush. The team used the Sony F23 digital video camera, which can shoot un-subsampled 4:4:4 color at 60fps with a special deck processor board.

The Iron Claw FX team was very small, consisting of an FX lead, two CG animators and two flame operators. Using Maya as their 3D platform, the animators at Iron Claw experimented with techniques for creating the material shards that are the backdrop of the piece. “We tried many different materials and reflective qualities, as well as methods for creating non-reality-based physics while still making captivating impacts and material deconstruction moments.” Koriakin explained. “We tried out all of the blast and destroy software plug-ins, but ultimately we needed to hand animate each shard to get the desired effect because the off-the-shelf plug-ins are designed to make destruction work with real physics.” The final look of the drifting debris was a mixture of smooth obsidian-like textures, hard broken rock and soft dirt with grass. The debris catches light and animates languidly, a composite of RGB, ambient occlusion, specular and depth renders. The finale of the spot is a grand vista of the Dillon High School football field split in two.

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“This is the moment in which we see the furthest distance,” Koriakin said. “We wanted the final impression to feel like a dramatic oil painting derived from ‘Friday Night Lights.’ We used the real Texas sky in fact. And our heroes even walk off into the sunset.” DIRECTV customers can watch the new season of Friday Night Lights exclusively on the 101 Network, Wednesdays at 9ET/PT.

WINTER 2010

“Keying the F24 footage was as easy as can go for digital photography,” said Iron Claw flame operator Andy Dill. “The 4:4:4 color space allows much more range from which to isolate color values — the F24 definitely saved us time in post, and the camera is capable of making fantastic images.”

“The shot of the tree breaking was addressed first because it sets the tone for the spot. It was the ‘wow’ moment where the audience realizes the reality of their world is different, that physics and materials are unexpected,” Sean Koriakin, creative director at Iron Claw explained.

25


MAIN TITLES SPECIAL REPORTS

Titles Discover Renewed Renaissance By Michael Goldman Saul Bass’s classic kaleidoscope opening sequence for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” immediately submerged the viewer into a dangerous, exciting world, Pablo Ferro’s mod color panels set the tone for “The Thomas Crown Affair” and every James Bond film has its own distinct title design that manages to be both unique, but familiar. Recently, the television industry has made its own impact in the titles domain as the opening to AMC’s “Mad Men” introduced audiences to a life that isn’t all it seems, HBO took “True Blood” fans deep into a Southern landscape full of decay and Showtime’s “United States of Tara” pop-up book opening won an Emmy right along with its title actress.

director at Showtime Networks. “In short, an effective title treatment should give you a quick but lasting snapshot of the flavor of the subject you are selling.” Broadcast networks, which had recently been cutting the length of their show opens down to three to seven seconds, experienced a resurgence of artistic opens this year with NBC’s “Community” and “Southland” and Fox’s Emmy-nominated sequence for “Lie to Me,” but cable, with its often longer allowance for show opens still garners a lot of the attention.

In less than two minutes, main title designers for both the movie and television industries are able to succeed in the rare art of storytelling that gives audiences everything they need to know without actually telling them anything.

“Some of the most successful titles in the past few years have been on HBO, Showtime, and the cable channels,” said Lynda Kahn, creative director of Los Angeles creative design studio Twin Art and a governor of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Title Design peer group. “Creating an artful title can have the effect of defining and elevating a show brand.”

“Entertainment is all about tickling and appealing to the audiences’ senses, and that comes mainly from first impressions, just as you make decisions on what movies you watch based on glancing at DVD packages and posters,” said Reiko Sugitani, VP and creative

With shrinking time allotment and shrinking budgets, it’s difficult to be sure what is changing faster in the world of title design — the technology, the design aesthetic or the various business models.


“We are seeing that a lot — people don’t want titles to always look super expensive. They want them based more in their world. Also, with cost an issue, we’re seeing lots of typography type spots, and other treatments that don’t require rights costs for images, where typography becomes the substance.”

Like many sectors of the business world, design and motion graphics’ firms that have traditionally created broadcast titles, show packages and other graphics have had to fundamentally change their approach in the wake of the recent economic tidal wave. This development, to a degree, has book-ended another key trend — the democratization of powerful hardware and software technology, which allows high-end work to be done affordably and efficiently by overhead-conscious individuals and small boutiques. For some companies, particularly in the broadcast world, the widening of this net has significantly evolved their business. For instance, Digital Kitchen has four offices across the country and is well known for its show open and packaging work. But officials at the company now view their service much more as “a marketing arm for entertainment companies, almost like an agency in the sense that what we do with titles is also designed to solve issues, both strategic and marketing wise,” explained Eric Anderson, creative director at Digital Kitchen. “So what it comes down to, especially these days, is we have to think about what new value we can provide, in addition to just being a skilled designer or editor or director,” he added. “So we don’t think of it just as a ‘title sequence’ anymore. It’s a sequence that gets people thinking about it as a promotional tool in and of itself. The title sequence provides meaning and depth to the actual show, and that helps promote it.”

tion of the characters interacts with the text, causing it to react like an element, breaking apart or disintegrating when touched.

Another positive helped by the democratization of computer graphics’ technology, according to Andy Hann, creative director at Philadelphia promos and design studio BIGSMACKtv, is the ease with which 3D can now be incorporated into titles.

“Ruben was familiar with the super slowmotion Phantom Camera and decided he wanted to shoot with that, so he told us to brainstorm a bunch of things that functioned as ‘snapshots’ in super slow mo,” said Reese. “Because the motion was so slow, you had to ‘get’ the action simply by seeing it near frozen, like a postcard.”

“Especially in the broadcast world — we’re now able to do more stuff in 3D, and special effects, and other high-end tricks, like particle effects, motion tracking, and so on that we couldn’t have done (a few years ago) thanks to (affordable) software tools like (Autodesk’s) Maya, (Maxon’s) Cinema 4D, and (The Foundry’s) Nuke,” says Hann. “That was more specialized work for movies back then, but now, we have the tools to do it on broadcast jobs. And that’s one area where clients still need our help — 3D and compositing and special effects.” More generally, Garson Yu, founder of Hollywood’s yU+co., suggests that technology’s affordable sophistication for motion graphics and computer graphics work has partly bridged the gap between the creative and technical worlds — high-end creative work can now be done for broadcast and film clients with fewer obstacles, financial and otherwise, than ever before. “The development of technology and new media opens up a lot of options for designers,” said Yu. “Where we used to use ink and paper to create, now we work in electronic media, where everything is virtual. It makes almost anything possible.” All of these new technologies helped “Zombieland” screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and director Ruben Fleischer bring their concepts for the opening of the horror comedy film to the screen. In the movie’s main titles, the slow-motion ac-

Ironically, with all these advancements, one of the current title design trends is using low-end, almost hand-made looks, according to company representatives. “People are doing high-end work, but making it look low-end, tactile, so that people can relate to it,” said Michael Waldron, creative director at New York-based design firm nailgun*. “We are seeing that a lot — people don’t want titles to always look super expensive. They want them based more in their world. Also, with cost an issue, we’re seeing lots of typography type spots and other treatments that don’t require rights costs for images, where typography becomes the substance.” Using extremely high-end tools, companies are routinely, and creatively, mixing mediums more than ever these days. yU+co., for instance, mixed graphics and organic elements for the recent work it did on the opening sequence of the feature film, “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant.” “We designed a surreal dreamscape as a backdrop that two boys travel through on their journey in this sequence,” said Yu. “In order to create an impressionistic-looking background, we mixed the graphics with organic elements such as ink drop effects and rain splashes, which gives the sequence a rich and constantly changing visual texture. Whenever we approach a project, the

WINTER 2010

None of these trends would be nearly as effective were it not for the dramatic evolution of computer technology and digital camera acquisition tools. Representatives at several companies say numerous doors are opening for them thanks to this technological revolution. They are also talking about new technology that has allowed what were formerly referred to as “motion graphics companies”

to build departments offering, among other things, 3D animation and live-action production capabilities for title sequences.

27


MAIN TITLES

He added that his team captured much of that footage during a road trip across Louisiana in a Winnebago and later created some title fonts with hand tools like an X-Acto knife. Those techniques were solely about getting a feel for the story and finding elements to fit that story. In that sense, nothing has changed in terms of how titles and packaging work is being done these days. “Whatever the technology used, it starts with a great concept and how it permently brands the show,” said Steph Sebbag, president of LA-based design firm bpg. “If you look at opens like ‘Dexter’ or ‘Six Feet Under,’ they are highly conceptual, not relying too much on graphics or special effects.”

SPECIAL REPORTS

As the pressure mounts to create stronger statements on smaller budgets, industry pundits are quick to find a silver lining. Clockwise from top: “Vertigo;” “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistnat;” “True Blood;” “Six Feet Under;” “Quantum of Solace”

technology always has to serve the design, not dictate the design. We use whatever tools are necessary to create the intended effect that best serves the story.” Digital Kitchen built the widely seen titles and show open for another vampire project — HBO’s “True Blood”— by combining film clips in different styles with digital footage and simple, handmade paper-cut titles. Digital Kitchen shot much of the live material itself in, according to Anderson, “a hodgepodge of formats.”

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“There’s no doubt that the recent change in the economy has impacted production budgets across the board,” stated Jonas Morgenstein, creative director at Buster Design, a promo and marketing design company in Los Angeles. “However, expectations are still very high. That makes things challenging when you have fewer resources to work with. Our solution is to be more focused and communicative than ever. That’s a silver lining, actually — the situation has forced us to connect in deeper ways with clients, within our own team and even with other vendors working with the brand.”


Prime Choice: Industry Favorites from 2009 Creatives, Designers and Artists From The World of Title Design Select Their Top Opening Sequences of The Year

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“We’ve all heard the term, the words jump off the page, but in this sequence, they literally do. I really like them because of the unique nature of the concept and the way it is brought to life through animation,” said Brett Ashy, president of The Ashy Agency, whose clients include design studios BIGSMACKtv, Eyeball and monkeyhead. “Building the characters from the words on the page of a pulp fiction novel is brilliant.”

“(It’s) brilliant — the art and the narrative of it,” said Eric Anderson, creative director of Digital Kitchen, and the visionary behind the Emmy-winning opening for “True Blood”, “Dexter” and Six Feet Under”. “The song sets a great mood; these guys nailed it. It has the right meaning, and it gets you hoping for this flawed character. You’re empathetic right off the bat. It’s one of those titles that the more invested in the show you are, the more you get out of them.”

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“Elegant callouts give the viewer a manual for interpreting body language in a high-stakes game of deception. The typography that follows is simple, clean and stylish but doesn’t overwhelm the callouts,” said Khal Sawaf, lead designer at FURY, which created the titles for IronBound’s documentary “A Moment in Time.”

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“A storyboard comes to life with transparent layers of illustration sketches layered and moving in 3D space,” said Lynda Kahn, creative director of Twin Art and governor of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Title Division. “A combination of low tech and high tech in black and white introduce us to the film interviewers in an intimate and thoughtful sequence.”

“I really like how the type felt like it was part of the environment until someone interacted with it,” said Michael Waldron, president and creative director of nailgun* who directed the 2009 show open for “The Girls Next Door.” “The use of super slow-mo is scary, but never more so than when people are running for their lives or projectile vomiting.”

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“The Watchmen title sequence is a successful synthesis of character introduction and narrative foreshadowing, while living up to the film’s superb production value. It’s a strong film title,” said Beat Baudenbacher, partner and creative directo of Loyalkaspar, the creators of “The Cleaner’s” title sequence.

WINTER 2010

“Using in-camera optical tricks paired with bold type layouts and a haunting score, it’s an incredibly simple concept reinforced by a clean, self-restrained design and a timelessyet-not-unoriginal execution,” said MK12 co-founder Ben Radatz, whose company created the main title sequence for “Quantum of Solace.” “It’s equal parts inviting and foreign, and it certainly sets high expectations for the film to follow.”

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“God is in the details, and the more you see this title sequence, the more you recognize in it,” said Diana Costantini, creative director for Sydney ’s Tactic, which recently produced the NITV “Momentum” opening titles. “It certainly had the potential to be way too cute, but the designers have retained an element of drama and intrigue. The choice of lighting, grade, interesting camera moves and focus pulls all add up to a compelling sequence.”

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MAIN TITLES SPECIAL REPORTS

Photography by Kevin Lynch


Pablo Ferro Handcrafts a Legacy of Cutting Edge Sequences Legendary titles designer Pablo Ferro, dubbed a master for his jaw-dropping sequences in movies such as “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Beetlejuice” and “L.A. Confidential,” was once “kidnapped” by a movie legend desperate for his services. Decades later, his influence has only grown in the entertainment industry as other artists replicate his use of the quick cut and revitalize Ferro’s unique take on typography in their own work. Ferro, who has won 67 national and international advertising awards for his roster of projects, recently merged his own company with digiSYNC where he works with his son Allen and continues to redefine design for future generations of fans. “It was magazines that influenced my work,” said the one-time comic book artist. “I’d see all these pictures on a page and I’d want to bring that contrast of images to the screen. Of course, it was much harder to do because we’d have seconds to design for the audience to look at something, rather than minutes.” While he noted that there has been a renaissance recently of careful crafting in title sequences, he added that today designers often lean on computers rather than their own creativity to create and design a look. “Computers should only be a tool of the trade; too many people rely on them far too much in the creative process,” he said. “In addition, people can forget that just because something is moving on the screen, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be designed.” The Cuban-born, Los Angeles-based writer actually came to his own after he and his family moved to New York when he was 12. After working on animating comic books in the 1950s, he launched his own production company, Ferro, Mogubgub and Schwartz, in 1961 and eventually branched off into Pablo Ferro Films in 1964. He soon found himself in demand for a number of films, as producers coveted his ability to quickly set the tone of the entire movie with his work. Ferro’s son Allen, who brings more than 30 years of his own experience to the team with credits that include “The Addams Family,” “To Die For” and “Philadelphia,” agreed with that assessment. “My father was a master at design,” he said. “Back then, all of his projects were done painstakingly, and the accomplishments were all conceived as pieces of art. They still are today. Even after all these years, he continues to teach me new ways to approach the process.”For other students of the trade, Ferro urges up-and-comers not to compromise their vision and to pursue it to the end. “I always say, take a chance on a design concept because, if one is not willing to make a mistake, then you eliminate the possibility of discovering something new and great,” he said. “I would drive the optical house crazy because they would wonder why I was obsessed about how they made a certain mistake and yet used it in the creation of a project, and that would cause them to try to retrace their steps to recreate the mistake that is now part of a design. A perfect example of this is Tom Hank’s, ‘That Thing That You Do,’ the lettering was suppose to be moving with the box at all times however, they shot it out of sync and when we saw it, it worked perfectly and didn’t look like a mistake. So mistakes are sometimes good. Research and development is key in all creative design.”

“Never throw away anything,” he said. “You never know, what you may be about to throw away may be a goldmine.” —Chris Pursell

WINTER 2010

Of course, another key to success is to obey the golden rule.

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MAIN TITLES

HOUSE CALLS: IMAGINARY FORCES With nearly 150 main titles sequences for film and television to their credit, bicoastal design company Imaginary Forces knows a thing or two about how to open a show. Founded in 1996 by Kyle Cooper, Chip Houghton and Peter Frankfurt, the trio brought their past experience in film and title design to create what would become one of the most prominent production companies for creating opening sequences. Notable television titles in recent years include a playful take on the spy genre for NBC’s “Chuck,” the chic city opening for The CW’s “Gossip Girl” and the award-winning titles for AMC’s “Mad Men.”

SPECIAL REPORTS

In 2009, the company produced the opening sequences to 15 films and television series including blockbusters “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and “Terminator Salvation” as well as “Bride Wars” and “My Sister’s Keeper” and television titles for AMC’s “Storymakers,” Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie” and Fox’s “Dollhouse.” Imaginary Forces producer Kathy Kelehan cited the “Mad Men” opening as an opportunity in which the company was able to give a TV show a cinematic title sequence. Based on series creator Matthew Weiner and director Alan Taylor’s straightforward brief, Imaginary Forces directors Mark Gardner and Steve Fuller designed the iconic titles, which pay homage to Saul Bass’s legendary skyscraper opening for Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest.” “(Taylor) had a written brief, which was one of the best things I’ve ever read. He had a very clear idea of what he wanted to achieve and he was challenging everyone to do their best work,” Kelehan said. “It was great because sometimes you meet with people and they don’t understand what we do. They don’t understand the tools we use. They think it’s just about choosing a font.” Imaginary Forces directors Ahmet Ahmet, who directed the opening titles for “My Sister’s Keeper,” and Michelle Dougherty, who recently worked with Imaginary Forces designer Joan Lau on the titles for “500 Days of Summer,” agreed that as software and other instruments of design have advanced, it’s made a whole new world possible for opening sequences. “It’s incredible,” Ahmet said. “Every day, especially in the way that you can correct something. Working in film, it’s less abut the technology and more about the concept.” Kelehan compared how they work today with how renowned designers such as Bass and Pablo Ferro completed their sequences. Although working in a digital medium instead of on film can pose a new set of headaches, it also provides instant feedback. “You didn’t know; you didn’t know until it came out on film what it would look like,” Kelehan said. “Now with digital technology, everyone expects it to be done right away. But then, you can do beautiful work.” From hand-painted materials to shooting their own material and working in 3D, Ahmet said that regardless of the technologies used, more than anything, creating the titles for a movie or series is more about telling the story than anything else. Still, with all of that title experience, there’s still one sequence they haven’t done.

BRIEF 32

“We would love to work on a James Bond project,” Kelehan said. “That’s kind of the Holy Grail.” —Shanna Green

From top: AMC’s “Mad Men,” New Line Cinema’s “My Sister’s Keeper,” Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Terminator Salvation” and Fox Searchlight’s “500 Days of Summer” imaginaryforces.com


THE SIMPSONS: 20 YEARS

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Clever Branding Helps “The Simpsons” Celebrate Two Decades of “D’oh!” By Hillary Atkin

SPECIAL REPORTS

A TIMELINE OF THE SIMPSONS’ 20 YEAR HISTORY OCTOBER 1990

APRIL 1987

“The Simpsons” first appear as vignettes on “The Tracey Ullman Show.”

DECEMBER 1989

The first “Simpsons Christmas Special” airs.

“Newsweek Special Editiion: How to Teach Our Kids.”

AUGUST 1990 NOVEMBER 1990

BRIEF 34

“The Simpsons” receive their first Emmy Award for “Outstanding Animated Program”

The single release, “Do the Bartman,” from “The Simpsons Sing the Blues” album premieres on U.S. radio stations.


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ith 20 years under its belt, and the title of longest running scripted show in U.S. history, an entire generation of fans have now been born and raised under the umbrella of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsonsâ&#x20AC;? brand, even as Foxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s franchise player continues to expand. â&#x20AC;&#x153;As a brand, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Simpsonsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; has been a phenomenon from the beginning,â&#x20AC;? said Ramin Zahed, editor-in-chief of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Animation Magazine.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a study on how a brand works both as a huge commercial product and also works as a fan-generated viral phenomenon. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to walk the line between crassly commercial and hip and culturally savvy, and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been able to do it for 20 years.â&#x20AC;? A marketing assault to commemorate the anniversary of the animated series actually began in July 2007 with the release of â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsons Movie,â&#x20AC;? which was followed by many other milestones leading up to the actual anniversary episode, airing January 10, 2010. High points along the road have included the 2008 debut of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsons Rideâ&#x20AC;? at Universal Studios in Florida and California, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, mobile and video games from Electronic Arts, a Simpsons Scene It board game, DVD releases of previous seasons, episodes being made available on iTunes, and the issuance of ďŹ ve Simpsons U.S. postage stamps. Plus, the history-making event of Marge Simpson posing for the cover of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Playboyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sâ&#x20AC;? November 2009 issue in conjunction with an episode called â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Devil Wears Nada.â&#x20AC;?

the 20th anniversary of a show that long ago became a powerhouse global brand â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and one that continues to be exciting to a loyal, worldwide fan base. Many people may not realize or remember that â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsonsâ&#x20AC;? made its debut as interstitials on Foxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Tracey Ullman Showâ&#x20AC;? in 1989. Creator Matt Groeningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crudely drawn Simpson family â&#x20AC;&#x201D; dad Homer, mom Marge, kids Bart and Lisa and baby Maggie â&#x20AC;&#x201D; almost instantly became pop cultural icons. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsonsâ&#x20AC;? is now an industry all to itself, raking in millions of dollars from licensing and merchandising. The catch phrase â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;oh!â&#x20AC;? from the show actually translates into â&#x20AC;&#x153;dough,â&#x20AC;? and huge piles of it. Revenue from syndication reportedly brings in more than $1 billion yearly, and sales of Simpsons T-shirts alone bring in an estimated $20 million a year. At the beginning of the showâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s run on Fox, the merchandise was mainly T-shirts and mugs, and the market was ďŹ&#x201A;ooded with them. Savvy marketers at Fox and Gracie Films, the showâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production company, quickly began strategizing so as not to cheapen the brand they were building.

ÂĽ$VDEUDQG¢7KH6LPSVRQVÂŁKDVEHHQD SKHQRPHQRQIURPWKHEHJLQQLQJÂŚ One lucky fan of â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsonsâ&#x20AC;? will even get to be an animated character on an episode in early 2010 that will also feature Chris Martin of Coldplay as a guest star. The contest to choose that character is part of a multi-layered, multimedia celebration of

APRIL 1994

100th episode: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sweet Seymour Skinnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Baadassss Songâ&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the show ďŹ rst began, there were multitudes of licensing and merchandising opportunities, and the marketing end of the license became fast and furious,â&#x20AC;? said Denise Sirkot, president, worldwide brand (CQ) and CFO of Gracie Films. â&#x20AC;&#x153;With that, the world exploded with licensed product. Twentieth Century Fox licensing was surprised, and it was exciting. The world was receptive to anything and everything in a big way, but I think that the immersion into the marketplace was more than it could bear.â&#x20AC;? As the brand continued to grow, there was a desire to re-launch it and make it more unique. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The main turning point was the beginning of the Playmates toy line, which allowed us to be very selective and deliberate about our choices, including the development of celebrity ďŹ gures as well, which weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re

NOVEMBER 1997

JANUARY 2000

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to Our Favorite Familyâ&#x20AC;? hits bookstores nationwide.

On their 10th Anniversary, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsonsâ&#x20AC;? receive a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame.

AUGUST 1997

MAY 1995

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsonsâ&#x20AC;? airplane on Western PaciďŹ c Airlines makes its inaugural ďŹ&#x201A;ight.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsonsâ&#x20AC;? House Giveaway begins. A real-life replica of The Simpsons house is built outside Las Vegas as part of the national promotion contest.

FEBRUARY 1999

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsonsâ&#x20AC;? becomes the longest-running primetime show in television history. 35


THE SIMPSONS: 20 YEARS

honored to have,” Sirkot said. “We were very selective. One of the more interesting characters was (theoretical physicist) Stephen Hawking. His reps asked if he could be part of the toy line, and it was received really well.” That fresh new step into the marketplace in a more sophisticated way gave marketers the opportunity to decide where they wanted to expand. “The opportunity started to extend itself,” said Sirkot. “We always had delivery of consistent, licensed products, but we started to explore platform games. DVDs became a pivotal part of our development, allowing us to further expand in the international community. Sirkot said Fox was fantastic about giving them the visibility that continued to elevate the show’s image.

SPECIAL REPORTS

“The studio has been fortunate in doing marketing, which is incredibly fun and provides such a wealth of material,” said Joe Earley, EVP, marketing and communications for Fox Broadcasting Company, who earlier in his career was a publicist on the show. “Gracie Films have been incredible partners in using those assets. It’s an incredibly pervasive program.” The philosophy behind the domestic and international marketing is keeping the integrity of the brand, and that often means employing writers, animators and directors of the show in the conceptual development of promotions.

“There’s an exuberance in international marketing, a keen interest, and the licensed properties take a more whimsical approach,” Sirkot said. “We make sure there’s a story, idea and a concept for every piece of

licensed merchandise. We have a creative theme or content associated with it. What we strive for in a piece of merchandise is to put a smile on your face. We feel that the merchandise reflects on the show — they’re all married to each other.”

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Successful Simpsons marketing has extended far beyond store shelves and includes promotions with JetBlue, the construction of an actual Simpsons home, complete with furniture and accessories, in a housing development in Henderson, Nev. and the turning of a dozen 7-Eleven stores into Kwik-E-Marts filled with

once-fictional products that made their way into the real world, like KrustyO’s cereal, Squishees and Buzz Cola. The concept was so successful that the products were put into other 7-Elevens, and permanent Kwik-E-Marts were erected next to “The Simpsons Rides” at Universal Studios, Orlando hand Hollywood. Fox also did a number of “Simpsons” promotions in conjunction with its affiliates including sponsoring fall beer festivals in five cities across the U.S. and sending boxes of “D’oh-nuts” to radio stations in the top 25 markets.

JUNE 2001

“D’oh” is accepted into the Oxford English Dictionary.

FEBRUARY 15, 2002

DECEMBER 2002

Officially declared Simpsons Day in Toronto.

“The Simpsons Songbook” hits bookstores nationwide.

OCTOBER 2000

BRIEF 36

“The Simpsons Global Fanfest” celebrates all things Simpsons with fans from around the world joining in a threeday festivities bash.

SEPTEMBER 2001

NOVEMBER 2002

Two limited-edition cereals from Kellogg hit grocery stores: Bart Simpson Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch and Homer’s Cinnamon Donut Cereal.

The Simpsons are featured on 3 Rolling Stone covers spoofing album covers: “Nevermind”, “Born in the USA” and “Abbey Road.”

FEBRUARY 2003

300th episode: “Barting Over” features guest stars Tony Hawk and Blink-182.


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On the air, Fox is doing some creative promotions to mark the 20th anniversary. The week of November 9, 2009 was â&#x20AC;&#x153;Homargeâ&#x20AC;? week on the network with every primetime show doing an homage to â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsons.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every show did some sort of reference, either a character

name, dialog or a visual cue,â&#x20AC;? Earley said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every night, viewers would go online to say what they saw. Imagine what that took to line up all those productions. Some really did phenomenal references, some a little obscure, some more obvious and fun.â&#x20AC;?

JANUARY 2010 OCTOBER 2007

SEPTEMBER 2009

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsonsâ&#x20AC;? EA Video Game

FOX sponsored ďŹ ve beer festivals across the U.S.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsonsâ&#x20AC;? 20 Year Anniversary.

JANUARY 2009 JULY 2007

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Simpsons Movieâ&#x20AC;? is released to theatres nationwide. Simpsons turn a dozen 7-Elevens in the U.S. and Canada into Kwik-E-Marts.

MAY 2009

United States Postal Service issues â&#x20AC;&#x153;Simpsonsâ&#x20AC;? stamps featuring Homer, Bart, Marge, Lisa and Maggie.

Fox began sending one-dozen â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;oh-nutsâ&#x20AC;? each month to one radio station in the Top 25 Markets to countdown to the anniversary. 37


THE SIMPSONS: 20 YEARS

It doesn’t end there. In the weeks leading up to the anniversary episode, Fox will be turning its on-air yellow with graphics and some other entertaining things in store, like animated lower thirds with Bart running across the screen with the caption “I will not run across the bottom of your screen.” There are also celebrity shoutout promos and moments in Simpsons history that are airing, and viewers can find a synopsis of every episode on Fox.com. “This year-long campaign is being executed around the world,” said Earley. “It’s a News Corp. initiative, dealing with sponsors like Intel, syndication, home entertainment, licensing and marketing. A hugely extensive and coordinated effort.”

SPECIAL REPORTS

Another part of the celebration will be an original hour-long documentary directed by Morgan Spurlock called “The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special in 3D on Ice.” It’s not in 3D and it’s not on ice, but with tongues firmly in cheek, Spurlock and his crew went to places as far-flung as Scotland and Argentina to shoot it. “It’s a show that’s had such an impact around the world, stretching to every continent,” said Spurlock. “There’s a whole brand-new audience. It’s become multi-generational. We wouldn’t have had other animated shows on prime time if not for ‘The Simpsons.’ They’ve really changed the game.”

AL JEAN: THE STEADY HAND BEHIND FOX’S BIGGEST BRAND When he first joined the staff of “The Simpsons” in its early days, Al Jean already had some major credits under his belt, including “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “ALF.” But there’s been nothing like the territory that came with “The Simpsons.” As executive producer (with Matt Groening, James L. Brooks and Sam Simon) Jean has helped shepherd the show into the worldwide powerhouse it is today. Jean took time out from the 20th anniversary preparations to speak with Brief correspondent Hillary Atkin about the global phenomenon that is “The Simpsons.” In 1989, did you ever imagine you would be working on the same show 20 years later? Jean: They’d have put me in an institution. I thought it was going to be a really good project, but I was always worried it was a show that would appeal only to kids. I thought when I first saw the Christmas episode that it was best thing I’d ever been involved with. It was amazing the way humor combined with emotion. Working with Jim Brooks brought a whole new level of depth I’d never had.

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As executive producer and show runner, what have been the high points for you? Jean: With this show, there have been so many surreal moments. I got to direct Tony Blair. Working on the movie and going around the world, you could see how people loved the show in other countries. I got to meet three of the Beatles, Elton John and Stephen Hawking. The list goes on and on of things I’ve never thought would happen to me. To what do you attribute the worldwide popularity of the Simpsons? Jean: Part of it is people in other countries look at it and see what America is like. Animation translates extremely well. It’s visual humor. The voiceovers have done by the biggest stars in various countries, and these people become heroes in their own right. It’s amazing the loyalty fans have for the show. Where is the show the most popular? Jean: It seems to work best in English and Spanish-speaking countries, and also in Italy. In Argentina, “The Simpsons Movie” outgrossed “Titanic.” There’s been a lot of success in France and Germany, but not as much in Japan, which has own history of animation. In Hong Kong and Australia, it’s enormous. We have a big fan base in South Korea where the color animation is done. It’s very interesting what people respond to in different cultures. It’s a global phenomenon, as close as you can get.

BRIEF 38

How have the movie and the ride contributed to the program itself? Jean: It’s a little bit of a curse as well as blessing. We are always looking at ways to reach new audiences. The movie was definitely a very successful attempt at generating an enormous amount of enthusiasm. The ride was equally successful. I worked on it a little at the end; it was great. You just don’t want to make it look like a commercial. Who have been your favorite guest stars? Jean: I’ll start with Phil Hartman, who was brilliant and fun to work with, and then Kelsey Grammer, Jon Lovitz and Anne Hathaway, who’s coming back in January. The guest star thing is such a pleasure. Simon Cowell was thrilled to do the show. Michael Jackson called Jim (Brooks) and wanted to be in the Simpsons. The song he wrote for Lisa’s birthday was done by an impersonator at his request, and no one knew for years. What is your recipe for success? Jean: All we ever try to do is tell stories that are emotional and that real families can connect to and (that can) be relevant to the world.


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DIGITAL MEDIA PLANNING

PLOTTING THE PLATFORMS SOCIAL? MOBILE? DIGITAL MEDIA PLANNING IS A LABYRINTH FOR MARKETERS BY DAISY WHITNEY

SPECIAL REPORTS

For most television shows, digital venues still comprise just a portion of a programâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s marketing budget. But picking who gets that portion is a crucial skill for TV marketers as the digital universe of options expands daily to include an ever-growing number of websites, widgets, apps, viral videos and social mediums.


Website takeovers for Animal Planet’s “River Monsters” and Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva”

The range of choices in the digital world can be daunting, but top network marketers say the key is picking the right mix for each show’s audience. Sounds simple? It’s not. TV marketers rely on a complex array of data from the likes of Nielsen, comScore, Hitwise and others as well as their own internal research to determine what’s working and what’s not when it comes to digital spending. Sometimes they must rely on their gut because many of these forums are so new the performance data doesn’t exist yet. “We are not going to get a one-to-one as in ‘We sent this out, and this person saw it and decided to watch TV,’” said George Schweitzer, president of CBS Marketing Group. “We go a lot by our gut, by feedback we get in the interactive world. There is no scientific measurement to link viewing of a viral video for ‘How I Met Your Mother’ to watching the show. But it’s part of the mix.” So TV networks test and try and try again. CBS has crafted mashups for “How I Met Your Mother,” Sony Pictures Televi-

sion has been keen on mobile marketing for its properties like “Drop Dead Diva,” Animal Planet favors viral videos for some shows and youngerskewing programs like Fox’s breakout hit “Glee” have found success with social media and across a broad range of entertainment websites. Showtime, for example, utilized YouTube several times throughout 2009, tapping the site’s broad reach to provide clips, streams and homepage ads for its series. “For Showtime, because we are a premium service, its imperitive for us to get the broadest reach possible so we have to find ways to tap into mass market outlets, especially with digital platforms,” said Marcelo

Budgets are limited so marketing executives have to pick and choose. “There are so many options, and there are never enough resources to do to all the places you want to,” said Laurel Bernard, SVP of zmarketing at Fox. That’s one of the reasons Fox avoids expensive home page takeovers of popular portals like a Yahoo! or AOL, she said. “It becomes a huge tradeoff: do a home page takeover versus covering maybe 10 to 12 sites that might be better communities overall and then do something splashy with them?” The answer for Fox has been the latter since Bernard said the network hasn’t bought a home page takeover for a show in a few years. Bernard prefers to

“We are not going to get a one-to-one as in ‘We sent this out, and this person saw it and decided to watch TV.’” Guerra, VP of digital marketing at Showtime Networks. “Our content is our currency, and people like to have it, so we try to build it into digital strategies in order to get that content to them.”

work with sites such as TMZ. com and USWeekly.com for shows that have strong celebrity or gossip angles and with gamer sites like IGN.com and EA.com for shows that appeal to young men.

“We will work with our agency MediaStorm and do a broad sweep to narrow down to sites feeding a demographic,” she said, explaining how Fox approaches digital media planning. “Then it becomes less about analytics and more about the experience with the site in the past, such as which ones we have worked with and have great programs and great results and how easy it is to work with a site.” Indeed, the willingness and ability of a site to offer a customized program can play a key role in winning TV marketers’ ad dollars. Certain sites will easily accommodate ad campaigns that go beyond standard pre-rolls and display sizes, like PopSugar.com, Bernard said. That’s a site Fox regularly keeps in its rotation because it’s willing to add on layers like sweepstakes or submissions to a campaign. In addition to network-led efforts, it’s equally important to listen to the chatter on social sites. Each Wednesday when the show airs, “Glee” ranks as one of the most popular trending topics on Twitter. While the network does tweet

WINTER 2010

41


DIGITAL MEDIA PLANNING SPECIAL REPORTS BRIEF 42

links to previews and articles via an official Glee Twitter account, the greatest success with Twitter often lies in not getting involved. “It’s a place where people feel they can express themselves and not be marketed to,” Bernard said. There can be ways to jump in on the conversation though, and that’s why Animal Planet employs marketing staffers who are tasked with searching viral video and social media opportunities to spread the word about network shows via Facebook, Twitter and blogs. “We have limited marketing budgets and a handful of big campaigns that are multimedia, so when it comes to a digital campaign, we almost always build in a viral component to try to encourage word of mouth,” said Vicki Lowell, SVP marketing for the network. For its “River Monsters” show on extreme anglers (fisherman searching for bizarre and terrifying freshwater fish), the network landed an inexpensive last-minute home page buy on YouTube in April and created a viral video of one of its stars catching a giant fish. “We made it look like it wasn’t a promo, like it was a piece of content,” Lowell said. The video earned more than one million views, ratings rose and the show was renewed for

a second season. “We think the viral piece can add buzz and awareness,” she said. CBS has been an early YouTube partner so viral videos are an important tool for the broadcast network too. CBS has created mashups of characters’ high-fives from “How I Met Your Mother” and of Mark Harmon’s signature head slaps from “NCIS” that have fared well online. “The number one tool is a simple promo,” Schweitzer said. “The number one thing people say is they heard about a show from a clip.” To get promos before viewers’ eyes, the network relies on portals like Yahoo, MSN and AOL as well as TV-centric sites like CBS-owned TV.com. “That’s a selfselecting, self-identifying place. You like TV if you are there,” he said. CBS is also experimenting with on-screen widgets with some TV manufacturers. A widget is a small overlay on the TV screen that gives viewers a window into a TV network’s listing or the ability to watch a network’s clips. “We talk to all the major CE manufacturers on the things they want to do on their sets and in their boxes, like electronic guides, navigation widgets and anything that helps people find shows easier. That’s our mission,” Schweitzer said.

Fox maximized its popularity on social media by airing a “Tweetpeat” episode of “Glee.”

Studios get involved in show marketing too. When Lifetime launched “Drop Dead Diva” from Sony Pictures Television earlier this year, the studio supplemented Lifetime’s campaign with a series of smartphone ads driving users back to Lifetime’s site, said Robert Oswaks, president of marketing at the studio. “The majority of a campaign is driven by the network because they have to do the heaviest lifting, but we want to protect our assets because we distribute internationally, in home entertainment, with digital sell through and our job is to be the brand guardian,” he said.

CONVERSATION PIECES: MOBILE MARKETING Mobile campaigns have left many marketers scratching their heads in creating effective ROI, but that fog may soon be lifting as mobile technology grows more complex. Google’s recent purchase of AdMob for $750 million may present the best example of true acceptance of media empires moving fully into cell phone action, even beyond the iPhone, and marketers from the television networks moving with that evolution as well.

The campaign was orchestrated by OMD with The CW and reached directly into their target audience’s main technology, the mobile phone, setting up a “Get Gossip” widget with partner Clearspring that allowed viewers to engage with “Gossip Girls” second season premiere by receiving real-time text messages while the show aired. Mobile devices also allowed access to the live commentary of series narrator Kristen Bell.

While texting viewer’s votes for the likes of “American Idol” had been a traditional measure of utilizing mobile phones to engage audiences, in the fall of 2008, The CW’s “Gossip Girl” took an unusual route in its media buys, forgoing some of the traditional outlets for the show’s second season campaign, instead placing their resources on mobile.

“There is no better way to reach ‘Gossip Girls’ than through the platform they use most frequently — their mobile phone,” said Erin Matts, group director for strategy at OMD Digital, which oversaw the campaign. “We were able to tie this consumer insight in a truly meaningful way to the creative concept of the program – the voice of ‘Gossip Girl,’ Kristen Bell.”

The result saw the premiere best the 2007 season average by 44 percent in adults 18–34 and 35 percent in total viewers. “Gossip Girl” also enjoyed its best ratings ever among adults 18–34, women 18–34 and women 18–49. Other networks sat up and took notice of the power of the platform in reaching viewers. With mobile advertising projected to grow from $1 billion in 2008 to $5.7 billion in 2014, according to Juniper Research, networks are already figuring out best tactics for their own campaigns. The key, experts note, is to know audiences and drive promotion toward a targeted sector, In fact, a recent study by mobile social network Limbo and GFK Technology noted that one in seven users reported buying a product as

a result of viewing a mobile ad. Women were 85% more likely to respond to those ads than men, and users between 18 and 24 were twice as likely to respond compared to those 25 and over. —Chris Pursell


DIGITAL MEDIA PLANNING

Digital Media Planning Now Boasts Priority Status

SPECIAL REPORTS Clockwise from top: Amy Banachowski; Danny Johnson; Monica Austin; Sally Daws; Tim Farish; Jonathan Block-Verk Photography by Andrea Kaplan - Art Director, bpg

With advertisers spending about $24 billion on online media in 2009, and digital platforms showing growth in spite of a down economy, marketers are evolving their approach to the slew of outlets available to them. Networks and studios, in particular, have an advantage in the digital game with pre-branded video content at their disposal. Now they are now out to maximize these assets to increasingly isolated audiences through strategic buys to these outlets.

BRIEF 44

The results so far this season have been mostly positive with ratings up, and as newer and better platforms surface on a regular basis, marketers are learning to stay ahead of the curve. PromaxBDA President and CEO Jonathan Block-Verk recently met with some of the executives driving that strategy to discuss their approach to digital media, the impact of the economy and how certain social media outlets have ramped up their game.


Participating in the discussion were: Tim Farish, SVP, brand management & media, NBC; Amy Banachowski, director of marketing, CBS Interactive; Monica Austin, director, brand extensions and integrated marketing, ITV; Sally Daws, SVP of marketing at FX Networks; and Danny Johnson, partner, Creative Asylum. How much more of a role does digital play in media strategies as a whole? Tim Farish: It was probably three or four years ago that it really ramped up the digitalized percentage of our media bias. I think when we launched “My Name is Earl,” we saw an enormous increase in digital. And really, I think the reason that was holding us back so long was really the acceptance of broadband and the ability to run the acceptance of Flash applications. In terms of the technical abilities, finally the majority of folks were able to watch a full video and be able to not just put up a promo, but to put in fuller clips, behind the scenes and give a more 360 degree view of show. That’s when we started ramping up our digital spin. As a percentage of your time, how is digital impacting what you do?

Danny Johnson: It’s good. I definitely think project flow hasn’t decreased necessarily, but I certainly think just because of what’s going on in the world, we are being asked to do more for less or more for the same. There’s definitely been some downward pressure. We’ve seen it coming, and we started a social network, even when there weren’t any checks being written for social media campaigns, but that’s definitely changed. It’s definitely moving more toward an engagement-based model, and a lot of our internal discussions have been about that. We are now seeing the ascent of digital as a priority. I just think that mindsets have changed, and maybe the feeling four to five years ago, it was “You have to go to this traffic catcher,” and “We are buying media and (then) talking about what’s there.” Now it’s “What is the digital experience?” We did a digital media platform that won an Emmy in 2008. It was because it was sort of able to decentralize. I think we’re seeing a lot more of that. The website is sort of a sub-conversation. We see a lot of that work. But it’s the broader, the more decentralized experience. That media makes it possible, because the digital folks at that table said, “Ok, maybe it’s a primary strategy, maybe it’s a secondary strategy, but it’s clearly on the planet.” Sally Daws: FX had done the same thing three to four years ago. With (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”), we did a big buy in MySpace. We had a comedy pilot competition because the show was originally made for a few hundred bucks. We said “Send

us a sample of your pilot, and we’ll give you $50,000 to make your own pilot.” We got about 65,000 friends to join the MySpace profile. And obviously, there was a bit more of a disconnect because they didn’t necessarily have to be fans of “Sunny;” it was more about driving that social interaction. I think our digital media budgets have ramped up, but it depends on the show. For “Sunny,” men 18 to 34, it makes sense to be in that space, and the budgets are higher percentage wise for something like “Sunny.” To your point about engagement, obviously, banners and rich media and those things, you get a lot of reach, but from a personal experience, I don’t pay attention to any of that stuff, so we like to have the bigger impact units where you see something come across the page. Those units are like $350,000 or something. But, engagement is tough. Viral, you know that word, “Make something viral,” and you don’t know what’s going to be viral. You can spend $200,000 on something, and nobody participates, or you can spend $50,000 on something, and it takes off. I think one of the things we started doing when we first got in the space was to push a lot of media out, and I think now, one of the things we’re doing is trying to take advantage of the platforms where our actors already have a presence or our shows have a presence and utilize those areas to help us evangelize for the show. We’re taking that user-generated content and helping that drive viewer interest as well. Monica Austin: I’m involved slightly differently than all of you guys. I’m in the production side, so we really look to the networks to support our shows and to the

WINTER 2010

Amy Banachowski: I think digital is part of almost everything whether you’re watching a show or making a major push for any show that you have going on. Putting digital slots in there, I don’t think it’s a question anymore. You’re going to do something, what that is depends on the efforts of the target and all that kind of stuff. Or it’s something where you’re going to have your standard banner, you’re going have a little more intricate interactive. It varies.

How have you and your departments adapted to this economy?

45


DIGITAL MEDIA PLANNING

“The more things change, the more they stay the same. There of course has been tremendous change with Twitter becoming more and more used, etc. but at the same time, there has not been an enormous change I’d say over the last 12 to 18 months.” networks to support our shows, the video campaign and decide what those are going to be.

SPECIAL REPORTS

So when we look at digital media, it’s more of an extension of our content, and it’s just content based. We use it to expand our brand, whether that goes into gaming, digital or producing extra content for the website for the show. What we’re finding more and more is there’s a digital plan in place in the creative stages. How do we plan for the content we’re going to want on the website, and how do we integrate that within the seamlessness of the show and the launch of on-air? Is there an online launch as well, and what does that look like, and how far in advance do we want to start preparing for that? We work with other companies that are specifically digital studios, and what we’re finding with that is it’s another opportunity to bring in brands and sponsorships and do a lot of fun, different things with the content as a way to launch specific digital content. Like the “Valemont” property of MTV and Verizon, which was a really successful launch recently. How do you launch a brand, how do you extend your brand? How do you keep engagement, and how do you monetize it? That’s the position that we’re in. How has the digital media space changed in the last 12 to 18 months?

BRIEF 46

Farish: The more things change, the more they stay the same. There of course has been tremendous change with Twitter becoming more and more used, etc., but at the same time, there has not been an enormous change I’d say over the last 12 to 18 months. You had social networking, and the importance of those social networks was around three even four years ago. Facebook wasn’t that big, but you had MySpace. So, they’re not completely new things, even though there’s a new application of them from a marketing strategy standpoint. I think that the way that we’re using them, those core tenements are still applicable. In other words, I’m still looking at digital from a 10,000 foot level in two primary ways. First, is the ability to reach mass amounts of

people and remind them to watch the show. It works well with other media, and it’s just a good reach reminder medium. The other piece that’s been changing quite a bit in terms of the tactics that we use is the ability to target very specific groups of people and help give them the tools to create brand ambassadors out of them. It’s all the buzz, chatter, word of mouth. All of those tools. That toolbox is getting more complex and more interesting, but still, the strategy is staying the same. How do you deal with all of those new technologies and/or how do you choose the ones that are appropriate? Farish: I think it does create some staffing questions. We are bringing people in. As digital continues to grow and grow, we need specialists in that area. Again, it’s like any media, everything’s becoming fractionized. You have to have some great specialists either with agencies externally or experts internally who can keep you abreast of what those changes are. It does call into question staffing. I need digital guys who aren’t just based in the tactics anymore, but someone who can talk strategies and how to implement those strategies. The overall strategies still remain similar to what we were doing years ago. Maybe a decade ago, we weren’t as interested in word of mouth and how that played, but in the last four to five years, we sure have been, and it continues to be the case, more so every year. Banachowski: The goal is about the content and making people aware of it. I agree that there have been huge shifts in what’s out there to use for digital media, but I think it’s more of what can we do with it. You can get deeper with it now. Facebook’s been there, but now you can do more in terms of what you can develop for Facebook, how you can engage people on Facebook and how you can bring them back and get them to be sticky with your site or your content. I think in terms of that, what’s changed is what you can do with it and what you’re expected to do with it. You can’t just do banners and things like that anymore if you really want to do something big for one of your shows.


Daws: Each site is different, and they come up with different units. I don’t think there are any major changes. There are new technologies and new applications, different units and different ways to use the units. You can be as creative as you can be. With Facebook, we actually used it recently with “Sons of Anarchy.” We used an RSVP application. Just simple, you could watch something and pass it around to your friends, and we increased our friends on our Facebook page enormously. But who knows if that drives intent to view, just because someone’s playing with your stuff online. I mean, I’d rather have them engaged than just looking at a billboard, but I think it is about the media mix. It doesn’t just make sense to all of a sudden throw 75 percent of the media budget into online just because, but I think a lot of the time, there is that rush to want to do that, especially when you have these new things online, but you still have other vehicles. For us, being a TV network, TV sells TV. TV is always going to be our dominant medium. You guys are dabbling in things with technologies like Twitter and in-game advertising. Are those technologies in our future or our marketplace?

Farish: (to Banachowski) You guys have a very interesting case study with Will Wheaton on Twitter. “Big Bang Theory” had reached a new high for its ratings on

Twitter has had a big effect on the Hollywood film industry. Do you see it affecting the TV industry the same way? Johnson: I totally enforce your point about media mix (pointing to Daws), and yours in terms of strategy (pointing to Farish). What’s interesting is you have to rush even iPhone apps, and last year it was widgets. Everybody wanted them. You’d say “Well, what does it do?” and they’d say “We don’t know, but we need them.” Daws: Make it viral. Johnson: Yes, make it a hit! Entertainment is highly perishable on the marketing side, which is really interesting and, in so many cases, why it’s a project-to-project business. So many different creative sensibilities and agencies like mine lead it to a project to project focus, but it also has to have the strategy. We use the same process every time, and it’s worked for a long time. That’s what’s the marketing goal, where does the audience live, and how do you reach them, which is a huge implication for social media. It’s not just about your audience is there, but what’s that audience all about. What’s their mindset and how do you reach them in a way that’s contextual and relevant and not just “Hey, watch the show,” or “Hey, buy the DVD.” It’s about using the tools in a contextual relevant way. Who are you trying to reach, who are you hoping to get in addition to the audience who knows it? There has to be a strategy for every launch.

Banachowski: The social network can kind of keep the conversation going after it’s been launched. Johnson: We have a very difficult time pitching social media specifically. Social media is still, in terms of revenue, a very small business for most people because people are still trying to figure it out, and I think most people don’t have line items in their budgets for social media. I think it’s got to be pitched as a strategy and not a tactic. Social media has the best chance of being effective if it’s along with your strategy because you have different audiences for different shows and various brands, but there’s going to be overlap in audience. And when you accumulate that overlap in audience, each campaign has a better chance to succeed. Daws: The other thing that social media and social networking has brought is there’s more to maintain. It’s not just about staffing. When you do outdoor, you have your campaign up for four weeks, and it comes down. With social networking — while there are lots of positives, and it’s a great thing — you have this community around your show, and you also need to feed them. After the show ends, you need to keep feeding them. You need to push yourself to keep going back and keep feeding them more information, and it gets hard. I don’t think staffs have gone up. Especially over the last year, they’re gone down actually. Not at our network. We’ve been lucky, but I know a lot of places have experienced that, and I think it started out years ago — you had a MySpace profile and now it’s MySpace and Facebook. Now does each show have their own page, or does each show have its own portal? You’re feeding the beast.

WINTER 2010

Daws: I think any new place you can reach a potential viewer or fan is a place you’re going to look at. Obviously, if you’re going to look at something like gaming, it’s a passion group. They’re playing this game, so they’re connected, they’re engaged, so if you if you can reach them in that type of environment, you probably have a chance of some kind of conversion, whether it’s just a memory or actually watching the show.

Monday and the producers had asked Will Wheaton who has about a million and a half followers on Twitter to promote that he was going to be on the show. It was the first time I’d seen a huge Twitter effect or a lot of Twitter effect.

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KIDS’ MEDIA MARKETING

SPECIAL REPORTS

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A8B4>5C74

<8;;4=80;B Tech-Savvy Kids Are Evolving Art of Audience Outreach

By Wayne Friedman

How do marketers of television programming for kids target tech-savvy youth? Throw them all kinds of digital eye-candy â&#x20AC;&#x201D; online games, interactive polling and new video technology â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and then start all over again. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because kids are so tech savvy versus the older demos, we always have to sharpen our pencils to make sure we are in front of the innovation,â&#x20AC;? said Brenda Freeman, CMO of Turner Animation. An Experian consumer research report showed what has been obvious to marketers of childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s programming for some time. Targeting tech-wise kids is essential in targeting all modern-day children. Almost 90 percent of kids ages six to 11 do at least some activities online. Nickelodeonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own bit of research shows that 86 percent of kids between the ages of eight and 14 do regular gaming online. Big marketing efforts for programmers of childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s television come in using their own airwaves, as well as paid media, search optimization and buying media in the top syndication video sites, all stemming from kids insatiable appetite for new tech gadgets. Because gaming is such a major part of TV programmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; efforts, childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s TV marketing efforts also target big gaming sites where TV programmers buy media, including Viacom-owned AddictingGames.com, WildTangent.com and Miniclip.com.

But in order to keep up in attracting a new wave of kids, TV programmers have intensiďŹ ed their efforts in recent years. For example, Nickelodeonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s older kid/tween tech-oriented series â&#x20AC;&#x153;iCarlyâ&#x20AC;? is a show about a young girl doing an Internet TV show. The real-life â&#x20AC;&#x153;iCarlyâ&#x20AC;? website allows kids to create their own videos and share them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We ďŹ nd kids are multitasking,â&#x20AC;? said Marjorie Cohn, EVP of original programming and development for Nickelodeon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to deepen what they are experiencing on television.â&#x20AC;? The iCarly.com site averages 2.5 million unique visitors, according to comScoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s September rankings, which is 50 percent more than a year ago. It grows from there, especially for older kids. Cartoon Network, perhaps more than most, is a network with a heavier-than-normal techsavvy audience all due to its high concentration of boys ages six to 11, who make up 65 percent of its overall viewers. In addition to the massive amount of readyto-go online games â&#x20AC;&#x201D; more than 200 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; last year, Cartoon Network started up the Game Creator website where kids can develop and play their own games. This has been used for Cartoon Network shows, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ben 10,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Batman: The Brave and the Boldâ&#x20AC;? and, most recently, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Star Wars: The Clone Warsâ&#x20AC;?. Collectively, from the three different properties, a massive six million games

WINTER 2010

Nickelodeonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;iCarlyâ&#x20AC;?

Marketers of kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; TV lay out even more sophisticated promo efforts for the older section of the demo with marketing elements on social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Nickelodeon, for one, uses social networking platforms in a big way, which has resulted in big numbers for its most popular shows.

Nickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;SpongeBob SquarePantsâ&#x20AC;? pulls in not just kids, but young adults as well with some 70 million users overall. â&#x20AC;&#x153;SpongeBobâ&#x20AC;? is also the number one-ranked website for any TV show, broadcast or cable, according to a recent Hitwise report, with a 7.09 percent market share.

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KIDS’ MEDIA MARKETING

BLUEPRINTS: NICKELODEON’S REBRANDS

Cartoon Network’s “The Super Hero Squad Show”

have been created, said Paul Condolora, SVP of digital for Turner Broadcasting, making it a big success. The real marketing attraction for Cartoon Network with this comes in peer to peer marketing.

SPECIAL REPORTS

One of television’s strongest brands recently proved that you can never be too good for a facelift. Nickelodeon finally unveiled their worldwide rebrand this fall in an effort to shore up audience connectivity. The MTV Networks division rebranded all of its channels, broadband included, in order to be more easily associated with the Nickelodeon name, with preschool-focused Noggin renamed Nick Jr. and teen-targeting The N becoming TeenNick. Despite strong ratings and a world-reknowned brand, the move was also done to allow the network to create demobased packages across several Nick channels, according to executives. While Noggin and The N both alluded to the mother ship Nickelodeon brand name, they weren’t enough of a connection for the Viacom-owned network. “Nickelodeon has always been the trusted brand behind Noggin and The N since their inception,” said Russell Hicks, CCO

BRIEF 50

of Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. ”These changes credit and establish the existing connection between Nickelodeon and its work on Noggin and The N.” Concerning the name change, Hicks said Nick executives weren’t worried about shifting gears for viewers. “We were confident that once parents saw the changes, they would be assured that nothing was changing except the name.” Nickelodeon produced several on-air spots for Nick Jr. featuring on-air animated hosts Moose A. Moose and Zee to explain the change to parents and kids. To drive awareness for The N’s name change to TeenNick, the network developed a new TV personality around actor/performer Nick Cannon, whose on-air character became the “chairman of TeenNick.” This concept along with the new look and design was introduced with on-air spots.

“Kids can show off their games and share them with their friends,” said Freeman. “For us, from a marketing prospective, that’s just a huge win-win. It reinforces what our brand is all about.” Perhaps the ultimate act in marketing to tech-savvy kids came when Cartoon Network recently decided to relaunch its website by letting kids get involved in the process. To help “destroy” the old Cartoon Network site, users could use a digital Nerf gun, care of toymaker Hasbro, to “shoot up” and ultimately “blow up” the Web area. Users could angle the gun by using their computer mouse and fire away.

“Cyberchase” plans to enhance storytelling with kid-generated ideas and peer to peer learning for the classroom. PBS has also been deepening its tech appeal for its series “Cyberchase.” The seven year old program tackles perhaps the seemingly entertainment-challenged subject of math in an effort to show kids how math is everywhere in the world. The show focuses on an animated troop of characters including the dastardly villain Hacker, who is on a mad mission to take over cyberspace, and three curious kids who are determined to stop him. Sandra Sheppard, director of children’s and educational programming at Thirteen/WNET and executive producer of “Cyberchase,” said the audience for the show, seven to 10 year olds, is a bit more sophisticated when it comes to technology. So last spring, they


BLUEPRINTS: TVOKIDS Trace Pictures, fresh off their rebrand work for PBS Kids Sprout, recently updated Canada’s TVOKids to give the publicly-funded channel a look that reflects their mandate to be an educational resource for children and their parents. Justin Stephenson, senior creative director of Trace Pictures, explained that TVOKids has a very educational and curriculum-driven approach to children’s programming that they wanted to come across.

Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place”

launched a dynamic interactive technology called Panache, which let kids dig deeper into the math content. In a series of shortform videos, under the title “The Misadventures of Buzz and Delete,” the content can be paused to let kids come up with their own solutions. Kids can then jump back to the story to see how things turn out. In an attempt to stir additional marketing support, “Cyberchase’s” producers plan to enhance storytelling with kid-generated ideas and peer to peer learning for the classroom. “This kind of interactivity has been difficult with traditional TV, but in the online space, it’s non linear, and (it works),” said Sheppard. But there can be problems in using personal tech-related activities for kids such as social networking sites for younger children. “We have some safe places where they can play with Avatars, places where they are not giving away any personal information,” said Nickelodeon’s Cohn. One of those places is an in-house area called “U-pick Daily,” which lets kids submit their own stories online, create a poll or quiz and interact with others on a variety of topics. Turner’s Condolora agreed that programmers have to tread carefully. “You are increasingly adding to your level of activity with a social aspect around the content,” he said. “What comes into play is moderation and protecting kids’ privacy.” In this regard, he said all social media content and those six million kid-created games are properly screened before being added to the site.

While Cartoon Network uses much of its own airwaves to promote its content,

Trisha Emerson, Trace Pictures’ executive producer said that since TVOKids has two major programming blocks, they’re going after a wider range of ages that each mandate a different approach. To rebrand both programming blocks as well as TVOKids overall, Emerson said that it was almost like three rebrands, which had to be completed in about 10 weeks.

“Their concerns were very different than commercial TV concerns,” “They wanted to emphasize the civic majorness of the channel.” To do this, Trace Pictures worked with TVOKids to create a 3D, character-based identity package. Since TVOKids’ goal is to inspire young audiences to not just interact with the screen, but with their families and to prepare them for real-world activities, Stephenson said working with TVOKids was a fresh challenge. “Their concerns were very different than commercial TV concerns,” Stephenson said. “They wanted to emphasize the civic majorness of the channel.”

Emerson said that since TV channels are not only competing with other channels, but also with interactive activity, TVOKids sees their website as an important extension of their on-air brand. TVOKids is currently reworking their website using a branding tool kit provided by Trace Pictures. Having recently worked with Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and PBS Kids Sprout, Stephenson said he’s seen a slight shift in what channels are looking to convey to their audiences. “I feel like there’s a greater emphasis on interaction with kids and their parents right now,” Stephenson said. “It might be a response to interactive technology and shifting more toward people being more involved in their entertainment in a way.”

WINTER 2010

Still, look for marketers to carefully go in areas where adult TV viewing is heading. This will come first with the older edge of the demo’s programs.

“We essentially needed to create a series of interlinking brand stories between the preschool block, the schoolage block, TVOParents and the TVOKids umbrella brand,” he said.

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KIDS’ MEDIA MARKETING

BLUEPRINTS: CARTOON NETWORK’S “BEN 10: ALIEN SWARM”

Cartoon Network’s “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”

soon it will have the added benefits of the massive marketing tool YouTube as the channel’s parent company, Turner Broadcasting, has struck a deal to develop its own sponsored channels on the video sharing site. Turner’s Freeman said research shows many kids, after coming home from school, like to initially go online and “snack” on short videos on sites such as YouTube.

SPECIAL REPORTS

“Kids are sophisticated younger when it comes to accessing technology. The more places they find your content, the more they’ll sample it.” As with adult TV usage, Sheppard believes kids’ viewing trends will alter marketing as they continue to moving away from linear TV. “The demand of kid VOD fare is about 10 times that of adult fare for our VOD service,” she said. “Kids are sophisticated younger when it comes to accessing technology. The more places they find your content, the more they’ll sample it.” The next step in marketing to kids comes with mobile technology. Sheppard feels this is an open area especially for the type of kid shows PBS producers provide. “Not many of them focus on learning or educational content,” she said. What’s the tech future like for kids? Get ready for more tech toys and devices which, in turn, will have kids’ TV marketers hot on their heels wherever they go. “We are going to follow technology, but more importantly, follow where the kids are,” said Cohn.

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During the fall, the most extensive launch in Cartoon Network history was carefully put in place not for an animated series, but for a live-action movie.

360-degree campaign and the cooperation of Cartoon Network territories around the world to extend its popularity even further.”

“Ben 10: Alien Swarm” became the second live-action movie to be based on the hit animated series “Ben 10: Alien Force,” and because of the growing popularity of the show, executives at Cartoon Network took a truly global, multi-platform approach to spreading the word about the programming event.

Free noted that throughout November, countries that included the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Poland, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Mexico and the Philippines hosted premiere events and screenings in 26 languages to support the global broadcast premiere of the television movie.

“When we premiered the first movie in 2007, it signaled to us the real power of this brand, and we are now leveraging this product to its maximum potential,” said Vicky Free, VP of 360 Consumer Marketing for Turner Broadcasting’s

In addition, the team made sure to post updates of the events on a number of digital outlets such as the Cartoon Network Facebook page, Twitter and via text messages as well as gaming platforms.

“When we premiered the first movie in 2007, it signaled to us the real power of this brand, and we are now leveraging this product to its maximum potential.” animation, young adults and kids media group. “Now, we’ve hit our sweet spot with this series, and we are giving the movie a full court press through partnerships, a full multi-platform

“The digital space is a big driver of where kids get their information, and from a digital standpoint, it’s imperative that we stay in front of them as there are a lot of activities out there competing for their time,’ said Free. As the brand grows, executives have created a number of partnerships with the likes of Toys”R”Us and Scholastic that will further entrench the series with younger viewers.


PROMAXBDA NEWS AND EVENTS

YOUR DOOR TO AN AMBASSADORSHIP PromaxBDA is seeking to identify the new generation of marketing, promotion and design executives with the creation of its Ambassador Program. A grassroots networking and professional development program designed for up and coming broadcast and cable professionals, the PromaxBDA Ambassadors represent the groundswell within the industry, reflecting the evolving business and creative styles emanating from within. Nominated by senior-level executives, this group of rising stars will play an active roll in supporting PromaxBDA’s ongoing outreach, playing a meaningful role in shaping the future of the organization. They will be a key point of contact promoting involvement and participation within their organization and vendor networks. “It is important to create a return of young, up-and-coming executives who are the future of this organization, and empower them

with the tools to drive initiatives, create networking opportunities and define the future of the organization and industry,” said Jonathan Block-Verk, president and CEO of PromaxBDA. In addition to supporting their industry and peer community, distinguished and prominent representatives will receive direct access to senior executives at the organization and on the Board, profiles in Brief Magazine, invitations to VIP events and an invite to the exclusive Ambassadors Reception at the PromaxBDA Conference in June. To qualify, you must be nominated by your VP-level or higher manager. At this time, the Ambassador program is accepting only full time employees at television networks, stations and content brands.

BBC’s “Walk on the Wild Side”

UK AND ASIA REWARD TOP CAMPAIGNS Mooney

NEW GRANT REVS UP YOUTH TRAINING PROGRAM

LAST LOOK

With an eye on identifying and cultivating the next generation of artists to rock our industry, PromaxBDA has teamed up with The South Bay Center for Counseling and Community Development in Los Angeles to develop an integrated education program focused on training under-privileged minority youth for careers in the entertainment marketing, promotion and design industry. A top-level advisory committee convened in the fall and the alliance has already been awarded a $50,000 grant to begin development of the program. “This grant allows us to begin identifying job opportunities within the entertainment marketing and promotion arena and generate a framework

and curriculum that would allow low-income kids to get a foothold into these opportunities,” said Jonathan Mooney, SBCC consultant and author of “The Short Bus” and “Learning Outside the Lines.” The Career Pathways advisory committee is currently comprised of Marshall Hites, Drea Besch, Jim Vescera, Veronica Davidson, Ola Kudu, Swampy Hawkins, Jay Curtis, Robert Gottleib, Stu Weiss and Bryan Dollenmayer and the program is being anchored in PromaxBDA’s newly established Diversity Council. Further information about the grant and its mission is expected to be revealed in the spring.

An incessant talking gopher, a food fight and the return of the MTV music video were just some of the favorites from around the world as PromaxBDA wrapped UK, Singapore and Latin America award competitions. Renowned comedienne, Jo Brand waxed galactic as a rowdy, if not slightly inebriated, London crowd celebrated at the November 13th PromaxBDA UK Awards. Channel 4 was the top winner, taking home 18 gold and 13 silver awards for spots that included “More4 Pub Quiz” (Best Television Campaign), “Derren Brown” (Most Effective Promo) and “The Great British Food Fight” (Best Leisure and Lifestyle). Red Bee Media put BBC on a perennial pedestal, helping them take home seven gold and ten silver Muses for their hilarious “Walk on the Wild Side” campaign featuring a persistent gopher screaming for Steve. Or was it Alan? The spot also took home the coveted People’s Choice Award. Across the globe it was all about “Amazing Your Mind” as BBC again ranked at the top, awarded five gold and three silver Muses for their BBC Worldwide Channels campaign at the PromaxBDA Asia Awards. MTV Japan also fared well with three gold and a silver Muse including one for the 2009 MTV Music Video Awards winning for both Best Special Event Promo and Best Original Logo Design. Former Walt Disney Channel Latin America CMO and newly minted Disney Channel International President, Carolina Lightcap lead her team to the top of the PromaxBDA Latin America competition, bringing in eight gold and 14 silver statues for her team. Warner Channel also took home a big haul at the Latin America competition with four gold and four silvers Muses.

BRIEF 54

For a full winners’ list, check out the PromaxBDA website.


COMING IN SPRING 2010 Social Marketing, Public Relations and Word of Mouth Designing the platforms and strategies for building buzz is the new holy grail in entertainment marketing. In this special report, we look at the creatives, companies and cultivators of generation buzz.

Digital Tools Faster. Stronger. Better. Augmented. In this special report, we’ll examine the latest digital tools impacting your work... and your world.

NEW MEMBERSHIP OPTIONS FOR MORE FLEXIBILITY Access to the world’s leading marketing, promotion and design executives, strategists, creatives, vendors and agencies just got a lot easier. As part of an ongoing initiative to be the best resource for professionals in this industry, PromaxBDA has restructured their member offerings into two straightforward, enhanced-value plans: PromaxBDA365 Basic and PromaxBDA365 Elite. At $199, the new low-cost, high-value Basic membership will provide each person with individualized benefits that include discounts to conferences, events and award competition entry fees as well as duplicate awards. Members will also receive invites to exclusive parties and networking opportunities, full access to the newly re-launched promaxbda.org, a content-driven professional networking platform with more than 5,000 awardwinning spots, social and professional networking and portfolio hosting. They’ll also get access to industry job boards, the member directory and a 12 month subscription to Brief Magazine and Daily brief.

“PromaxBDA is the hub of our industry and the premiere international organization for inspiring, educating and celebrating entertainment’s finest marketing, promotion and design professionals,” said PromaxBDA membership committee chair Ron Scalera, who is also the EVP and creative director for CBS Marketing Group. “The Basic and Elite membership options reflect the demands of our business, providing costeffective, 365-day a year access to the work, resources and information all levels of professionals need to thrive.” This new membership model replaces the previous structure, which cost members up to $1,000 and provided discounts to the annual PromaxBDA conference for themselves and up to five of their staff. For a full list of member benefits or to join or renew your membership, visit our website.

PROMAXBDA AND MI6 DATES AND DEADLINES JANUARY 2010 Conference Registration Opens FEBRUARY 5, 2010 Final MI6 Game Marketing Awards Entry Deadline MARCH 2, 2010 Final PromaxBDA North America and World Gold Promotion, Marketing and Design Awards Entry Deadline

APRIL 1, 2010 MI6 Conference San Francisco

APRIL 19-20, 2010 PromaxBDA Europe Lisbon

MAY 2010 PromaxBDA Arabia Dubai MAY 2010 PromaxBDA India Mumbai JUNE 22-24, 2010 PromaxBDA North America Los Angeles

For more information, visit: www.promaxbda.org

WINTER 2010

The PromaxBDA365 Elite plan runs $1,995 and is designed for senior-level executives, department heads, business stakeholders and business development executives. This plan includes all of the perks of basic membership, and includes an Elite pass to The PromaxBDA Conference taking place June 22-24, 2009 in Los Angeles.

Elite membership also includes session content when the conference is complete, invites to Elite-members only networking events and the choice of unlimited job postings, a half page ad in Brief Magazine or a guaranteed seat at one client-vendor speed dating session.

Video Game Marketing It’s time to power up and get the scoop in this round up of the fifth annual MI6 Video Game Marketing conference. Learn how the fastest-growing sector in entertainment is engaging audiences more efficiently, effectively and profitably than ever before.

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PICTURE TUBE

LAST LOOK

BRIEF

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Opposite page, pictured left to right: (Row one) Boosey & Hawkes’ Annamarie Townsend and Alex Black; KPM Music’s Hannah King and Will Clark; and NonStop Music’s Sean Johnson and Pete Jackson take part in Battle Trax at PromaxBDA UK. (Row two) CMMC attendees truTV’s Andy Verderame and HBO’s Marc Rosenberg; USA’s Chris Williams and Evan Mathis; IFC’s Nancy Hennings and Meredith Cooper. (Row three) PromaxBDA Africa attendee Koo Govender of Mnet; PromaxBDA Africa speakers ONE, Australia’s Robert Rosenberg, PromaxBDA Africa Conference Chair Nisha Jones of SABC, consultant Charley Holland and MK12’s Timmy Fisher; BET’s Andre Joyner and Kendrick Reid at the CMMC event. This page: (Row one, clockwise) PromaxBDA UK Conference Chair Matt Scarff of UKTV; BBC’s Simon Hawkes, NBC/Universal’s Simon Amster, Five’s Jeff Ford and Turner’s Barnaby Dawe; Garson Yu of yU+co. and Dylan Kendall of Tomato at An Evening with Tomato; OMD UK’s Jonathan Allen, journalist Steve Hewlett; consultant Stephen Pollan at CMMC; (Row two) CMMC speakers Michael Levine of ML Search Partners, Spike TV’s Niels Schuurman and USA’s Chris McCumber; The SABC team at the PromaxBDA Africa Conference; (Row three) John Warwicker of Tomato speaks at An Evening with Tomato; PromaxBDA Africa Conference attendees.


SHUFFLE

NETWORK AND STUDIO

AFFILIATE

Andrea Bell Macey, named VP of digital media and business development up from director, We TV and Wedding Central.

Jim Heinrich to marketing director, WBRC from marketing director, WAFF.

Blake Bryant to SVP of marketing for Telepictures Productions.

Peter Masucci to creative services director, WBZ and WSBK from promotion manager.

Fernando Gaston to SVP of creative content and music for MTV/ VH1 Latin America from VP of programming and production. Rob Gelick to SVP and GM of CBS Mobile.

LAST LOOK

Laura Giacalone to VP of marketing for Discovery Communications’ Planet Green from director/marketing Sundance Channel.

Wendy McMahon to VP creative services and programming, KABC from creative services director, WBZ / WSBK.

Linnea Hemenez to VP of consumer marketing at Current TV.

Roddette Moore to promotion manager at Allbritton’s WCIV in Charleston, S.C. from graphic artist media general’s graphics hub.

Jason Holzman to SVP of brand creative USA Networks from VP of brand creative.

Bill Mushrush to creative services director, KKTV from creative services director, WLNE.

Jill Hotchkiss to VP/creative director, Disney XD from executive creative director, Disney ABC Cable Networks Group.

Laura Ramirez to topical writer producer, WOAI from same position at KSAT.

Mark Kern now VP of communications and media relations Hallmark Channel from Crown Media.

Sara Visomirski named creative services director, KYW from creative services director, KCTV-KSMO.

Carolina Lightcap to president, Disney Channels Worldwide from SVP, programming and creative affairs, Disney Channel Latin America and CMO, The Walt Disney Company, Latin America.

AGENCY

Christina Miller to SVP of strategy, marketing, promotions with Turner Sports and Cartoon Network Enterprises from VP of consumer products at Cartoon Network.

Blake Bryant

Jonathan Firstenberg

Erica Ginsberg

Donna Mills named SVP of marketing, communications and affiliate relations, NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution. Randy Nellis to VP of creative, consumer marketing for Sony Pictures Entertainment. Martin Reidy named president of Meredith Integrated Marketing from president Publicis Modern and Digital. Jennifer Robertson to SVP of digital media and business development from VP of digital and emerging media for We TV and Wedding Central. Ben Rubin to creative director of marketing Planet Green from VP of marketing and creative services, Rush HD and VOOM HD. BRIEF 58

Terry McFarland named creative services director, ABC4/ CW30 from creative services director, KTVT.

Jim Vescera, EVP, creative director, NBC Entertainment Marketing to head The NBC Agency’s West Coast creative team.

Erica Ginsberg to SVP of broadcast at bpg. Frank Radice to managing partner at VIDA F.R. Company from president and CMO at NATAS NYC.

Jill Hotchkiss

Christina Miller

Donna Mills

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Miles Dinsmoor to executive producer of Zoic Studios newly created Design Group. Jonathan Firstenberg named SVP for MusicBox. Randy Gackstetter to creative director/flame artist at VOLT Studios. Hector Herrera to creative director of Trace Pictures. Simon Mowbray named creative director/VFX supervisor for Ntropic. Ken Warun to television creative director, KO Creative from VP ABC Entertainment Marketing. —Kate Bacon


010 CA 2 , 1 IL O, R C P S I A ANC L FR TE SAN HYATT HO GR A

ND

W O N ME A G Y’S D O YB R E EV IT’S

The only conference exclusively for game marketers returns in force April 1, 2010 at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco. Attendees will hear from top business professionals about gaming’s unprecedented impact on the entertainment industry overall and expose some of the challenges ahead. Hear from those who have defined the game industry to date – and those who are redefining it.

You can’t afford NOT to attend.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN NOW! www.mi6conference.com or call Anush directly at 323.789.1509 GO TO www.mi6conference.com FOR SPEAKER AND SESSION DETAILS

For sposorship opportunities contact LAURA COONES at laura@mi6conference.com or directly at 310.789.1515


VIEWPOINT LAST LOOK

DIGITAL MARKETING IS RESTARTING WITH MEANING By Bob Gilbreath

In October, the advertising industry “celebrated” the 15th anniversary of the first website banner advertisement — a modest placement for AT&T that read, “Have you ever clicked your mouse right here? YOU WILL.” This first-ever banner actually received a lot of attention and clicks. We were so hopeful and optimistic back then, expecting that digital banners on growing sites like AOL and Yahoo! would usher in the next wave of mass media that would succeed print, radio and television. Flash forward nearly two decades and banners are certainly everywhere, but no one would be caught dead clicking. This was supposed to be the year that digital marketing took off and established itself as the primary focus of marketing dollars. Broadband penetration continues to rise, and people are flocking to sites like YouTube and Facebook. Even the economic decline was supposed to benefit digital advertising, as its lower production and media costs, combined with better targeting and measurement, should have drawn dollars from television. But spending on online advertising is actually expected to drop 2.9 percent in 2009. BRIEF 60

Digital should not be a tool that matches a failing, interruptive marketing model. Rather, it

should be the foundation of a new way of meeting our customers’ needs. A small but growing number of brands have the vision to see how digital marketing can be used to do so much more than repeatedly expose eyeballs to a sales message. Nike has created Nike+, a digital tool that allows runners to set goals and track their progress. Abbott Nutrition created an online meal planner for people with diabetes. Kraft has put recipes and cooking videos into a handy iPhone app. I call this model “Marketing with Meaning,” and it offers a completely new way of thinking about the role of digital — and marketing overall. Marketing with Meaning typically meets two high standards. First, it is marketing that people choose to engage with. In a world of consumer control and choice, this is increasingly the only way to expose people to your brand. Second, it is advertising that itself adds value to people’s lives. Many marketers feel pride that their products or services are valuable, then go on to find new and improved ways to interrupt them with advertising. Here, your customers actually experience a benefit from the marketing itself, and by adding value before the sale, you have a very good chance of winning their business for years ahead.

Marketing with Meaning offers an entirely new way of thinking about business strategy, and it is a model that puts digital in the driver’s seat. While marketing can certainly be meaningful in traditional media like television, outdoor and in-store, it is the digital space where this model can have the biggest impact. The key reason is that digital allows for so many potential services, relationships and personal connections. It is the first place people go for information, friendship, entertainment, learning and shared causes. For far too long, we in the digital marketing business have hoped to grow our companies by siphoning off a share of the $500 billion a year that is spent on traditional media. We have sold our space by offering up an equal or slightly better option than TV commercials, and it’s still not working. Now is the time for us to seize the opportunity to convince marketers to start from scratch with an entirely new, meaningful way to go to market. By changing the game, digital will finally rise in a way that adds enormous value to society. Bob Gilbreath is chief marketing strategist of Bridge Worldwide, a WPP digital and relationship marketing agency and author of the new book “The Next Evolution of Marketing: Connect with your Customers by Marketing with Meaning.”


print. interactive. broadcast.

creative agency of record for PromaxBDA. bpgadvertising.com


Brief Winter 2010