All posts by Randa Munayyer

Doug Scott: How Branded Entertainment is Holding Up Amid Recession

“Madison & Vine recently spoke with [Doug Scott, President of OgilvyEntertainment,] to find out where branded entertainment is prioritized in clients’ budgets for 2009; what’s happening with the evolving metrics model; and why product placement should no longer be the focus of advertisers’ branded-entertainment strategies.” 


Click here to view Andrew Hampp’s interview with Doug Scott last week.


This week, we will be posting more details exploring the increasing pressure on CMOs and agencies to address ROI accountability as well as OgilvyEntertainment’s approach to measurement.

Stay tuned!


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A Branded Entertainment Sugar Rush

Variety published news this morning that Universal has engaged Etan Cohen to write and Kevin Lima to direct the live-action version of Candy Land. This is the latest installment of Hasbro’s deal with Universal Pictures, meant to take the toy giant’s board game megabrands to the big screen. Inspired by the sales phenomenon that resulted from the first Transformers movie on their toy line, Hasbro is trying to leverage as many brands as possible in the entertainment space.



Admittedly, it’s much harder to see the drama around Monopoly Man than it is around Optimus Prime, but, if done well, these films could reenergize these brands and create a lot of revenue for Hasbro.


In related news, trailers for G.I. Joe and Transformers 2 (two other Hasbro brands) premiered during this past weekend’s Superbowl.


  • The G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra trailer that aired during the Superbowl last weekend definitely got nods from all the guys in the room. Regardless of whether it’s a true homage to the original hero or if it’s just another well-produced action movie, it’s sure to boost sales and re-ignite fans. We’ll wait until August 7, 2009 to find out.
  • Ok, Michael Bay, we get it:  this movie is also going to be AWESOME. The Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen trailer was more than epic. That music gave me the chills.


When’s someone going to realize that a She-Ra remake could get men and women in the theater? I’d take that over Tomb Raider any day.


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Is this really “branded entertainment?”

So AdAge published this article stating that Kimberly-Clark is continuing to divert money away from a traditional couponing strategy to “a big branded-entertainment promotion” for the third year in a row, in partnership with ABC Entertainment and The View. After reading the article, I feel like the strategy is actually a mix between promotions and PR …. not branded entertainment as we typically think of it. Thoughts?



While it’s clearly an effective marketing strategy that has delivered tremendous ROI for the brand, this demonstrates how branded entertainment is often a loosely defined and industry. I would argue that this daytime talk-show integration is a “pay for play” move (not that there’s anything wrong with that …sometimes) that is a springboard for a consumer promotion (the room-a-day giveaway) and PR visibility, versus the creation of engaging, entertainment-focused content that integrates organic brand properties and that can be leveraged for distribution across various media outlets.

Perhaps I’m being too esoteric about the whole thing, but this doesn’t seem quite right to me.

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3D Scores at the Superbowl and CES

I’m not much of a Superbowl fanatic, but I work in the ad industry so I at least appreciate the abundance of Tostitos and “Magic Freezer”-ish spots. This year, though, I’m buying into the hype, specifically because of this week’s buzz around 3D film and television, a new wave of technology and entertainment that’s about to hit the mainstream. This post looks at two proof points – the Superbowl and the slate of new products being showcased at CES this week in Vegas.

On Monday, Pepsi, DreamWorks Animation, NBC and Intel announced they would be partnering to produce the first ever 3D commercial. In the break, viewers will see a 3D trailer for the upcoming DreamWorks “Monsters vs. Aliens” movie and a 60 second spot for SoBe Life Water. NBC will leverage the 3D technology for a special episode of “Chuck” the following day. Pepsi is set to manufacture about 150 million pairs of 3D glasses, which will be available (for free) in SoBe retail displays. To drive purchase, NBC will begin running tune-in spots starting mid-Jan, instructing viewers to get the glasses and stating, “Don’t Chuck Your Glasses,” instead encouraging them to re-use them for the next day’s episode of Chuck (Ha. Ha.)

Here’s why this is important.  First, this is exactly the kind of “best-of-breed” collaboration between producer/content provider, distributor, technology enabler and brand that is the mark of branded entertainment success. Secondly, it actually looks like this is a logical, strategic partnership that makes sense for everyone one – not a “brand as checkbook” sponsorship. Pepsi’s new creative features the SoBe lizards dancing (remember them from this 2008 “thriller” alongside NFL stars and characters from the DreamWorks movie, “infused with the refreshing and reinvigorating impact of SoBe Life Water” (AdAge, 1/5/09). DreamWorks Animation gets to screen a trailer for its upcoming “Monsters vs. Aliens” movie in an innovative way. Intel gets to flex its muscle as a technology guru. And NBC gets to capitalize on its one of the year’s most watched sports events to drive tune-in to one of their shows. Check, check, check and check.

What’s even more impressive is that the infrastructure for 3D film and television is closer to hitting mainstream than most may realize  . Numerous 3D–ready TV sets and related technologies are being touted this week at CES, with the wave of 3D television anticipated to be the next thing to revolutionize the industry since high-definition. There’s consumer interest, as well, with about 16% of US consumers reporting they’d be interested in watching 3D movies or TV at home and 19% saying they’d prefer to watch a film in a theater in 3D.

So, like most technology trends in their early stages, the hardware available is outpacing current infrastructure. The unique piece here, though, is that 3D film and television is disruptive enough across numerous industries – broadcasting, marketing, entertainment, media – to make it viable and sustainable. So regardless of whether people actually think there are lizards dancing in their living room on February 1st or just think they’re going blind, it’ll be pretty cool to watch the American mainstream’s reaction to this new form of in-home entertainment.



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