Branded Entertainment: Donaton’s Ensemble

Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Mediabrands named former Entertainment Weekly Publisher Scott Donaton to lead a new branded-entertainment unit dubbed Ensemble. As president-CEO of Ensemble, he’ll have a shared reporting structure to stakeholders in the unit, which includes Universal McCann, Initiative and strategic-advisory firm Media Link. In his new role, Mr. Donaton will give clients of Initiative and Universal McCann a first look at projects and direct access to strategic branded-entertainment opportunities. Universal McCann works with marketers such as Microsoft and Nationwide, while Initiative’s clients include Home Depot, MillerCoors and Bayer.
scott_donaton_suit
I hope Scott can move past mere product placement. Garden variety brand integrations are getting more screen time as TV producers and networks look to make up revenue lost in the ad downturn, with products increasingly garnering mentions in scripts. Dr Pepper was mentioned prominently by characters in a recent episode of “90210” on CW, while references to Coca-Cola Co. product vitaminwater made their way into a recent episode of the CW’s “Gossip Girl.” (The Boston Globe)
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Razorfish: The Players, The Package, The Deal

The Players:
WPP and Publicis are competing to acquire Razorfish, reports PaidContent. That means two things: One of them will be forced to pay more than Razorfish is worth in order to get it; and it will be personal. WPP chief Martin Sorrell and Publicis boss Maurice Levy have a longstanding — and highly entertaining — personal rivalry.
Dentsu, the largest advertising group in Japan, has jumped into the fray as Microsoft opened the books to bidders for its Razorfish agency this week. WPP and Publicis, the rival communications groups, had already been considering an offer for Razorfish, a digital marketing specialist which could fetch around $600m to $700m.
razorfish
A Digital Agency … But That’s Not All…
There are a lot of players talking to Microsoft about Razorfish, among them Publicis, Dentsu, WPP, Omnicom, Interpublic and AKQA‘s private-equity investor, General Atlantic. But to best the field, the winning suitor will likely have to fork over more than money to the agency’s owner, which is looking for “strategic assets,” such as a commitment to buy its advertising offerings or use its technologies.
Microsoft is offering hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ad space to the potential buyer of its digital agency Razorfish as its pitches the deal to the likes of WPP, Omnicom, Publicis Groupe, Dentsu and Interpublic Group, which are all said to have expressed interest.
But Will It Happen?
Yet the chances of a deal being struck in the near term remain remote, according to analysts. For one, the acquisitions market is moribund, with credit still hard to come by for an acquisition that would cost between $600 million and $800 million. Razorfish generated revenue of $408 million last year. WPP, in particular, would seem unlikely to have the financial wherewithal to make an acquisition, after shelling out nearly $1 billion on digital acquisitions over the past few years. It is still in the throes of integrating TNS, too. Even as Sorrell expressed interest, he said WPP earmarked about $160 million for acquisitions, a fraction of what it would take to get Razorfish. That leaves Publicis as the only likely candidate to take on Razorfish.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Kicking Ass: R/GA, Mags v Web, 10 Ideas

When it comes to digital marketing that forges deep, lasting connections with consumers, R/GA is still the gold standard. In 2008 the 32-year-old Interpublic Group agency proved it has come a long way from its days as a specialty shop, blossoming into a full-service agency that top marketers call a trusted partner. R/GA was among the first to eschew the old-media marketing approach of creating a narrative about a product in favor of building digital platforms that show what a product can do. The agency’s work for Nike and Apple’s iTunes is the original and often-trotted-out example of its knack for building custom digital applications. But where R/GA really pushes the boundaries of the established digital-agency model is in the creation of brand experiences for Nike and other global companies such as Nokia and Verizon.

bob greenberg

Magazine and TV Ads More Effective than Ads Online
Within a half hour period, magazines deliver more than twice the number of ad impressions as TV and more than six times those delivered online, according to a study by McPheters & Company conducted in cooperation with Condé Nast (ah…)and CBS Vision. The research, which employed an experimental methodology to explore the relative effectiveness of ads on TV, in magazines and on the internet, also found that though TV doesn’t deliver as many ads per half hour as magazines, net recall of TV ads was almost twice that of magazine ads. Meanwhile, magazines still had ad recall almost three times that of internet banner ads.

Top 10 Ideas Changing the World
A renewed focus on human capital, a need to reinvent suburban wastelands and crumbling highways, a groundswell of ecological awareness, and a growing desire to look and act “the same age forever,” are just several of the top 10 ideas that Time Magazine says are changing the world right now. The annual top 10 list, which appeared in a special March 23 issue of Time this year, reflects what the publication says are new answers to new questions wrought by today’s economy, environmental and geographic challenges, medical advancements and shifting collective consciousness.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]