Monthly Archives: November 2010

Ari ‘Going For’ Gold

While it is no longer breaking news that WME Entertainment is joining forces with a select group of marketing executives and companies to create a new company ‘Lverage’; a recently released article will likely have some traditional ad agency execs on edge.  Andrew McMain’s Media Week post begins: “Ari Emanuel wants your lead agency status.”

As the entertainment landscape continues to evolve and content continues to be consumed across multiple screens, platforms and channels (see Connected TV), the value of traditional content has diminished leaving marketers with the challenge of the century — how to target and engage the new consumer in this overly segmented and scattered landscape.  While the creative in my blood always wants to believe that “content is king”, I believe it is the execution of that content that provides the most value.  Just as Napster, Acquisition, Limewire and Kazaa turned the music industry on its head, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and GoogleTV have begun to do the same to Hollywood.

Having recently had the opportunity to sit down with Showtime CEO, Matthew Blank, I was privileged enough to have the opportunity to hear first hand what our industry was like when first subscribing to premium content meant a cable guy coming to your home to literally cross a few wires – quite the contrast to today’s instant access.  Mr. Blank provided insights into “where it all began” and spoke of the upcoming release of Showtime’s on demand platform, “Showtime Anytime” with unlimited access to content, anywhere, anytime.

With the entire entertainment industry in a stage of exploration in terms of content and with its distribution and business models being examined daily, Ari Emanuel has every reason to believe he is headed in the right direction.  In my last post, I quoted Bob Jeffrey, Worldwide Chairman and CEO of JWT discussing the need for innovation.  I also quoted Jason Kilar, CEO of Hulu talking about this new “golden age of media”.  What could be more innovative and progressive than a company combining talent and entertainment roots with brand marketing expertise and interactive capabilities?  Today, execution rules and pairing the expertise of advertising strategy with entertainment and creative development is required make an impact for nearly any and all brand campaigns.  It still remains to be seen if Lverage will find the right balance of integrating these important disciplines.

“Emanuel, co-CEO of WME, has set his sights on replacing, not supplementing ad agencies, said sources who’ve discussed the venture with him. To that end, he has surrounded himself with partners like former Omnicom Group vice chairman Michael Birkin who knows the ad game and is well connected with marketers.

Birkin is chief strategist for Red Peak Group, a New York-based specialist in brand consulting and experiential marketing that WME acquired for Lverage, said sources. Red Peak’s CEO is Jay Lenstrom, former CEO of Omnicom’s Radiate Group. WME also acquired the Red Interactive Agency in Santa Monica, Calif….” (, 10/28/10)

Contrary to Mr. Emanuel, I certainly do not forsee Lverage or similar companies completely replacing traditional ad agencies.

While many competitive agencies have tried, many unsuccessfully, to create this integrated entertainment marketing company of the future, most have yet to commit in ways Ogilvy and a few others have in their respective departments.  Even with all the negative  “WME agency rivals [who] immediately interpreted this as WME throwing in the towel and selling off its marketing department,” if executed correctly Ari and Lverage have a decent chance for success.  After all Ari always has his clients like Vinny Chase to fall back on.

TWEED Flashback

Great minds think alike, right? TWEED Flashback is helping minds connect by scouring the web once-a-week for any and all relevant entertainment, branded content and industry stories. Get a heads up and stay in the know with TWEED Flashback.


AmEx, Grey Goose Expand Branded-Entertainment Pacts Ad Age 11.19.10

American Express is expanding its original web series, “Pairings: Food & Wine & Music,” with three new episodes coming in January.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Product Placement Product Placement News 11.23.10

Similar to its predecessors, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) featured only a few product placements. However, it doesn?t mean that the placements don?t count.  Harry and his friends find their way to Piccadilly Circus, a center for brands. The audience gets sneaky shots featuring Samsung and Sanyo.

Jay-Z to Luxury Brands: Don’t Bite the Hip-Hop Hand That Feeds You Brand Channel 11.25.10

Jay-Z has made himself into an entertainment powerhouse on the back of his talent with words. Now he has some choice ones for luxury brands on the powerful influence of hip-hop.


PepsiMax Taps Mark Sanchez to Debut NFL Ad Blitz Ad Age 11.24.10

A campaign featuring Mark Sanchez, quarterback of the New York Jets, is set to launch on Thanksgiving Day. “Winning Formula” will premiere during the Patriots vs. Lions, Saints vs. Cowboys and Bengals vs. Jets games.

Looking to Make Even Prosaic Food a Little More Festive NYTimes 11.25.10

The weeks before Christmas always bring increased spending on campaigns for packaged foods like soup, candy, soft drinks, flour, canned and frozen vegetables, gravy, coffee, cake mixes, broth and cookies. For this holiday season, such advertising is being stepped up because food marketers have been intensifying efforts to reach the millions of cash-short consumers who are eating and entertaining at home more often.

Telling Consumers What’s Inside NYTimes 11.23.10

S. C. JOHNSON wants to step up its “green” game with advertising intended to convey to consumers a commitment to disclose the ingredients of its familiar household cleaning products, like Glade, Pledge and Windex.


Google Aims to Get Miramax on YouTube WSJ 11.24.10

Google Inc. is in talks to license digital rights to films from the Miramax movie studio, according to a person familiar with the matter, in a move that could help the Web giant’s online video site YouTube compete for viewers and advertisers with online video businesses of Netflix Inc., Apple Inc. and Hulu LLC.

Netflix’s Move Onto the Web Stirs Rivalries NYTimes 11.24.10

In a matter of months, the movie delivery company Netflix has gone from being the fastest-growing first-class mail customer of the United States Postal Service to the biggest source of streaming Web traffic in North America during peak evening hours.

Fox to Use Hulu Inventory for Advertiser ‘Make-Goods’ AdAge 11.23.10

Fox has secured agreements with about a dozen advertisers to supply them with inventory from online-video site Hulu to make up for ratings shortfalls on its broadcast network, according to the News Corp. network’s top ad-sales executive.

TWEED Flashback

Great minds think alike, right? TWEED Flashback is helping minds connect by scouring the web once-a-week for any and all relevant entertainment, branded content and industry stories. Get a heads up and stay in the know with TWEED Flashback.


Fox Mobile Group Partners With Post Foods to Develop Original Branded Entertainment WSJ – Marketing Watch 11.19.10

Fox Mobile Group (FMG), a division of News Corp’s Digital Media Group, today announced that it has partnered with Post Foods, LLC to develop an eight-episode, original comedy series called ‘Honey and Joy’ for the Honey Bunches of Oats cereal brand to be available on mobile and online via Bitbop, FMG’s commercial free, on-demand mobile TV service ( and

Hollywood’s Superheroic Marketing Headache AdAge 11.15.10

With Universal’s alien invasion movie “Skyline” out of the gate, Hollywood kicks off one of those not-very-coincidental runs of similarly themed movies that crowd multiplex marquees. In the next few months, “I Am Number 4,” “Battle: Los Angeles,” “Monsters,” “Super 8,” “Cowboys and Aliens” and “The Thing” (a remake of sorts of the 1982 flick), among others, will battle for box-office supremacy.

Internet Stars Becoming TV Stars – and What This Means for Brands PlaceVine 11.16.10

Remember a long time ago… back in the early 2000s, when movie stars came from Hollywood. Well now that entertainment is viewed on computer screens, movie stars can come from… anywhere.


KFC offers $20,000 College Scholarship For Best Tweet CNN 11.18.10

The chain is running a scholarship contest using microblogging site Twitter to reach out to a younger generation. Applicants use 140 characters or less to explain why they deserve the $20,000 scholarship.

Comcast Shakes Up NBCU Ad Sales, Entertainment Structure AdAge 11.18.10

Comcast said it will shake up NBC Universal’s ad-sales ranks after it completes its purchase of a majority stake in the entertainment company. The cable giant also set in place a new operating structure that puts the ailing NBC broadcast network in the hands of two veteran TV executives who do not hail from within the Peacock’s ranks.

Verizon FiOS Signs On for Google TV Ads Mashable 11.18.10

Google just gained a new partner in its Google TV Ads platform: Verizon FiOS TV.  The new partnership means that advertisers who buy ad space through Google AdWords for TV now have access to more than 50 networks carried by Verizon FiOS TV across 3.3 million homes.


Hulu CEO Jason Kilar on Hulu Plus, IPO, Studios NYTimes 11.18.10

Hulu, the Los Angeles-based online video service, today announced a $2 price cut on its for-pay subscription service, Hulu Plus, reducing the price to $7.99 per month. The service is hoping the premium version, which is showing up on devices such as the Boxee Box and the Roku player, will help the company keep its revenues growing at a breakneck speed.

MySpace ‘Mashup’ Integrates With Facebook Paid Content 11.18.10

One more nail was driven into MySpace’s former identity as a social network with Thursday’s announcement of an integration that allows Facebook users to deepen their entertainment interests on the News Corp (NSDQ: NWS). site.

Ben Silverman, Weinstein Co. Sell Reality Show Mob Wives to VH1 Hollywood Reporter 11.18.10

The Weinstein Co. and Ben Silverman’s Electus have sold a reality show called Mob Wives to VH1.  The network has picked up a 10-episode, straight to series commitment, with production slated to begin after Thanksgiving. It will tentatively premiere in March 2011.

TWEED Flashback

Great minds think alike, right? TWEED Flashback is helping minds connect by scouring the web once-a-week for any and all relevant entertainment, branded content and industry stories. Get a heads up and stay in the know with TWEED Flashback.


NHL Comes to Playstation as Sony Attempts to Best Microsoft on the Sports Front Fast Company 11.10.10

Sony signs up NHL as the battle for live sports events via gaming consoles continues.

Ralph Lauren to Stage “4D” Visual Spectacle on Madison Avenue Mashable 11.10.10

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of its $200-million-per-year U.S. e-commerce business and the launch of its e-commerce site in the UK, Ralph Lauren is staging a “four-dimensional” light installation on Wednesday night at its flagship locations in New York and London.

‘Due Date’ Product Placement: Subaru’s Sense Of Humor Brand Channel 11.10.10

Due Date has iPhones and Macbooks and Blackberries  and Range Rovers, Even Dunkin’ Donuts – which is having a heck of a year after appearing in Kick-Ass, Paranormal Activity 2, Iron Man 2, The Town and Wall Street 2, – notches up a placement.


Why the 2011 ‘Social’ Super Bowl Will Break Digital Records AdAge 11.10.10

Here’s one of the first and potentially most important predictions for 2011: The mother of all TV-anchored events, the Super Bowl, will break all records for digital and social innovation. Go ahead, write that down and hold me accountable.

A Sly Campaign That Has Fun With the Product and the Form NYTimes 11.09.10

A campaign for Kahlúa, the coffee liqueur from Mexico, is taking an offbeat tack that is indicative of a change in how marketers speak with consumers.

Elf Yourself’ Returns Yet Again Media Bistro 11.10.10

OfficeMax and JibJab are bringing back Elf Yourself, which the parties claim is the most viral holiday site on record, entertaining/annoying 378 million people in over 50 countries since 2006. New updates, you ask? This time around, the holiday ditty includes pop locking (here’s to you, Afrika Bambaataa) and “surfer” dances.


Hulu CEO Lukewarm on Ad-Free Version NYTimes 11.10.10

Hulu chief executive Jason Kilar has said in the past that the online video site is considering a premium service that’s completely ad-free, but today at the NewTeeVee Live conference in San Francisco, he didn’t seem particularly enthusiastic about the idea.

Twitter and the Future of TV Mashable 11.10.10

Twitter’s Director of Media Partnerships Robin Sloan spoke Wednesday about the role of tweets in the television landscape at the NewTeeVee Live conference in San Francisco. Specifically, he focused on three key areas where he believes Twitter is having an impact on the television landscape: synchronous show tweeting, social viewing and new kinds of content.

How Conan O’Brien Beat Leno and Letterman: Social Media Fast Company 11.9.10

“I know what you guys are thinking: ‘Hey, it’s the guy from Twitter,’” joked Conan O’Brien, before launching into a mock-impression of his Internet fans. “Why am I doing that!” he began laughing. “Those people saved my ass! Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.”

TWEED Flashback

Great minds think alike, right? TWEED Flashback is helping minds connect by scouring the web once-a-week for any and all relevant entertainment, branded content and industry stories. Get a heads up and stay in the know with TWEED Flashback.


First Conan O’Brien Sponsors Revealed AdWeek 11.5.10

Unique marketing opportunities integrated into episodes.  Conan O’Brien’s new cable show, Conan, doesn’t debut until Nov. 8 but TBS is already reporting that some of America’s biggest companies are already onboard as major supporters, including

DreamWorks Hopes to Reap Moviegoers Courtesy of Farmville AdAge 11.4.10

Farmville is going Hollywood. As the Zynga web property begins to establish itself as an emerging mass-reach ad platform for advertisers such as McDonald’s, 7-Eleven and General Mills, the popular social-media app is integrating Paramount DreamWorks Animation’s “MegaMind” as its first film partner.

Lexus Gears Up Web Productions Variety 11.4.10

So the carmaker’s turned to branded entertainment as a way to put a spotlight on the car and come up with ways to put consumers inside the car…


For Marketers, Christmas Started Last Month NYTimes 10.31.10

NOW that Halloween is done, Madison Avenue is embarking on the mad dash to Dec. 25.

Disney Junior to Focus on Social Values NYTimes 11.4.10

Move aside, “Sesame Street” and “Dora the Explorer.” Mothers want preschool television to be more about teaching children social skills and less about pushing clear academic goals – at least that’s what Disney  executives say new internal research indicates.

Pepsi Fans Pledge to Recycle on Facebook Mashable 11.4.10

PepsiCo has launched a new Facebook application that aims to encourage Pepsi drinkers to commit to recycling their used bottles and cans, and recruit their Facebook friends to do the same.


Strike To Lead To BBC News Blackout Variety 11.05.10

A proposed strike by BBC staffers belonging to the National Union of Journalists is expected to create a news blackout at the pubcaster, with members due to walk out today and Saturday over pension plan changes.

MGM Aims to Release New James Bond Movie in 2012 Hollywood Reporter 11.05.10

The studio, which named Spyglass Entertainment co-toppers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum as co-CEOs, plans to own 50 percent of Bond 23, out that fall, with a partner paying all of the production costs, according to Bloomberg News.

The Election on TV and Online NYTimes 10.31.10

ABC is live-streaming its election night special reports on Facebook; CBS is collaborating with Google  to mine search results and YouTube  video-viewing trends.