See You At RealScreen 2012

January 27, 2012 — 0

Evan Shapiro (IFC) hosted a good call today in advance of the 2012 RealScreen panel he’s moderating next week in Washington, DC.  The panel includes Bill Davenport (Weiden & Kennedy Entertainment) and Mike Duffy (Electus) and me.  My friends know the title of the session is one I’ll have trouble with: Branded Entertainment: The Pitch & The Process

Evan’s a good friend, a smart dude, and his networks always find ways to win.  You can read some of his thoughts on the industry here

We can debate what “branded entertainment” even means, but I doubt any of us on this panel care to anymore.  I’m pretty sure I’m the sole panelist at the entire conference who cringes when anyone says I do branded entertainment.  What I hope we’ll do is agree on two things in this conversation:

1) Most Branded Entertainment concepts are not good for networks and not good for marketers.  They crash into networks and brands like unidentified flying projects.  They almost never work, even when it looks like they might, despite what all the decks and trade stories tell you after the fact, and before.

2) CMO’s, producers, agencies and programmers — we all have one boss: The audience. (Also known as the consumer.)  If they don’t love what we do, it doesn’t matter what the research says, and it doesn’t matter that we think our show is fucking amazing.  They’re turning the channel, they’re closing the webpage, and they’re not picking that brand up in the aisle.

Not sure how this will go, but I have mad respect for what these guys have accomplished and the businesses they’ve built.   Even though I’m a bit of the outsider here, I kinda like it.  And, in the hands of a moderator like Evan, there’s a chance we could advance the dialogue the industry’s been stuck in for the last decade.

Branded Entertainment: The Pitch and the Process

February 1, 2012 – 10:15 AM to 11:15 AM

Here, a team of experts in the burgeoning branded entertainment realm revisit a hot-button topic covered in last October’s realscreen Branded Entertainment Forum in New York City. When it comes to bringing brand-funded content to non-fiction networks, what are the walls that become apparent in the process between brands, broadcasters and producers and how can they come down? This panel will illuminate the key issues in the discussion, with insight from advertisers, agencies, broadcasters and producers who’ve found ways to work together to bring brand-supported TV properties to life.


Palladium Boots Presents: TOKYO RISING, Featuring Pharrell

September 9, 2011 — 1

Palladium Boots always surprises me. I guess I first took notice when Johnny Knoxville and Palladium teamed up for the DETROIT LIVES series, which is so worth checking out if you haven’t yet.

Lately, I’ve been watching TOKYO RISING, a new shortform series from Palladium, in which Pharrell takes us back to the city in the aftermath of the 3/11 natural disaster.

From the description:

“Tokyo faces a new reality after the tragedy of 3/11. While persistent challenges still lay ahead, the city’s creative class is hell-bent on making sure that their hometown thrives. Innovative and resilient, they are defining the future of Tokyo on their own terms. We put our boots on and went exploring.”

Watch the video here.

(YOON — designer, blogger, DJ, international style icon, and one half of Tokyo’s premiere creative collective Ambush Design)

I could write with self-importance about how all this “branded entertainment” shit works, but I fucking hate branded entertainment, as you know, I never want to be accused of making any, and I’ll leave the marketing blogsterbation to other dickheads with a media job and a spastic twitter feed.

I’d rather just tell you that I watched all of TOKYO RISING, am sharing it with you right now because I like it, and have decided I want to take my wife to Tokyo. Oh, and also I am buying these boots from Palladium, which caught my eye as I watched the videos on their site:

A word or two about Palldium Boots…

Palladium didn’t start out making footwear. The company was started in 1920 and make tires by layering canvas bands underneath vulcanized rubber for the fledgling aviation industry. Palladium’s expertise was so advanced that soon the majority of Europe’s aircraft were using Palladium tires.

In Palldium’s own words: “After World War II, with aircraft manufacturing screeching to a halt, the demand for tires decreased dramatically. Palladium decided to open a plant in Pont De Cheruy, France, to start producing footwear that was as hard wearing as their tires. In 1947 the legendary Pampa boot was born, and the functionality, comfort and durability were so outstanding that the French Foreign Legion adopted it for their use. The Foreign Legion put the boot to the test in the harsh desert conditions of North Africa, and throughout the rugged terrain of the Atlas Mountains.”


See You At NATPE In Miami?

December 30, 2010 — 0

Last time I went to NATPE, it was 8 years ago in New Orleans, and I was in the middle of setting up a series pilot at VH1. Now I am a corporate tool, and I’m on a panel called “Master Class: The Future of Branded Content” with Frank Cooper (Pepsi), Emil Jattne (Grey Goose, Bacardi U.S.A), moderated by Bobby Friedman (@Radical).

As the MTV Scratch website says, I don’t exactly know what “branded content” is. But I love Bobby and Frank, and I’m psyched to meet Emil. Plus, this shit’s in Miami, bitches! So come hang.

“Master Class: The Future of Branded Content”
Wednesday, January 26th | 11:30 to 12:15 PM

As branded content becomes a staple for networks, marketers and talent, hear leaders in consumer packaged goods and media discuss the shifting economics of content development and how to best reach elusive audiences in new and profitable ways. Each panelist will share a unique, behind-the-scenes perspective at the development of a key initiative, and field questions from both moderator and audience about its impact. A fresh, behind-the-scenes opportunity to hear about the strategies and tactics of some of the category’s leading players, and the resulting, often unforeseen outcomes of their decisions.

Moderator(s): Robert Friedman, President, Media and Entertainment, Radical Media
Speaker(s): Ross Martin, EVP, MTV Scratch, MTV Networks; Emil Jattne, Senior Brand Manager, Grey Goose, Bacardi U.S.A., Inc.; Frank Cooper III, SVP, Chief Consumer Engagement Officer, Pepsi-Cola Beverages Americas


Branded Entertainment That Sucks, Sucks

August 5, 2010 — 1

I hate posting shit that sucks — the side effect is that it looks like I’m promoting it, and some people will watch it, adding to its views. But I just can’t believe how bad this is. If this is what branded entertainment is, then please God no one ever say that I do branded entertainment.

There’s two kinds of entertainment. Stuff you like, stuff you don’t.

If you like it, you’ll consume it, you’ll tell people about it, you’ll share it, you might come back for more of it. If you don’t, you’ll exit the page, FF the dvr, or change the channel. Pretty straight up.

Doesn’t matter who funds it. (Though if you’re Orbitz how do you actually let this shit get out?)

Doesn’t matter if it airs in programming time, commercial time, promo time. If you like it, it’s good. If you don’t, it dies.

Props Jason and the guys at DumbDumb who are trying something new (new for them). The problem is, what you’re doing isn’t good, and it isn’t new. And this needs to fucking die


I Don’t Get It

November 23, 2009 — 0


from Media Daily News

Real-Life Auction For Brand Entertainment Properties

Veteran branded entertainment agency, the Marina del Rey, Calif.-based Brand in Entertainment, now says it wants to challenge this thinking, taking a bolder step by holding an old-fashioned, real-life auction for brand entertainment media properties at the esteemed art house Christie’s in New York City on Jan. 20.