Marketers Must Move Beyond The Status Quo

AdWatch speakers strike chord for new ideas

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%%STORYIMAGE_RIGHT%% Marketers entering the Madison+Vine space will increasingly demand measurable results from branded entertainment programs, just as they require of traditional and interactive media. Return on investment, increased collaboration among talent and ad agencies, TV networks, record labels and other key players, and the relentless march of digital technologies were among the hot topics hit at Advertising Age's AdWatch: Outlook 2003 conference yesterday.

"It all comes down to how much risk do you want to take with your brand," said Bruce Redditt, exec-VP of the Omnicom Group. Marketers want to see products "fly off the shelf, or cars sold" and beyond measuring results on a CPM basis, marketers want to see data capture and mining techniques implemented, Redditt said.

Creative Artists Agency branding agent Roger Fishman put his own spin on it: "The media and entertainment industry is a retail business, it's about selling—ratings, box office, ticket sales— It's about accountability and the ultimate game is that you've got to be able to sell more."

Evolving digital satellite and advanced cable set-top boxes, personal video recorders like TiVo and other new media forms are likely to improve data gathering. Kimber Sterling, TiVo's director of advertising research sales, said his company's technology offers a complete feedback loop to marketers, consumer data and other business intelligence.

%%PULLQUOTE_LEFT%% Echoing the theme presented by C.J. Fraleigh, General Motors' executive director of advertising and corporate marketing, earlier in the day, Fishman challenged all the players meeting at the intersection of Madison+Vine to create new forms of branded content. "It puts the onus on all of us to find new ways to reach people and no one agency can have all the answers," Fishman said. "The risk is the status quo, staying in the same place."

The reality about collaboration, however, is that it's often complex and problematic. When push comes to shove, marketers can find themselves playing second fiddle to tenpercenteries' core client base. That is to say the best interests of leading ladies like J.Lo and Julia Roberts will trump those of talent shops' corporate clients.

"Talent agencies have an important perspective about what goes on in this whole process," Redditt said. At the same time he conceded that "90% [of the equation for them] is talent."

Redditt and Fishman agreed that a certain "transparency" in the marketer/talent dynamic is required in order for the process to work.

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