Name: Jeremy Bernard
Who he is: President-CEO of Bernard Media Group, a branded-entertainment company launched recently by the former CEO of Hypnotic.
Where he's from: Bernard, who cut his teeth in feature film and TV production, launched Reelshort.com in February 1999. Then in March 2000, Bernard secured a 49% stake in his company from Vivendi Universal and renamed it Hypnotic, a purveyor of indie short films. He later left the company and started Bernard Media Group.
What he's done: Bernard's team at Hypnotic created and launched the Chrysler Million Dollar Film Festival as well as branded-content campaigns for brands such as Nintendo and Coca-Cola. At Bernard Media Group, he is committed to using indie creative talent developed during the Hypnotic days for branded-content solutions.
%%PULLQUOTE_RIGHT%% What's next: "You can come up with some really effective branded-content programs across every platform whether it be film, music, wireless, gaming. The reason TV viewership is on the decline is due in part to the emergence of these other platforms." Bernard is close to hiring a major ad agency creative director to lead creative efforts. He's also looking to bring a sales and marketing exec on board, and is in the legal stage of negotiating deals for a couple of branded short films.
Stock-in-trade: "We plan on creating more digestible and cost-effective initiatives. Until branded content reaches its critical mass, it enables brands to play in the space without earmarking a large portion of their marketing budgets. It also enables small and medium-size companies to experiment."