MTV Hires Head of Branded Integration for Emerging Media

Glorioso Charged With Maximizing Opportunities in Everything From Gaming to Retail

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NEW YORK (Madison & Vine) -- Meet the new face of branded integration at MTV Networks. Christina Glorioso, most recently an executive at MTV Networks Brand Solutions (formerly known as Viacom Plus), is the company's VP-sales and marketing partnerships for Program Enterprises, a newly created position announced by Jeff Yapp, exec VP-MTV Networks Music & Logo Group Program Enterprises.
Christina Glorioso
Christina Glorioso

In her unique new role, Ms. Glorioso is charged with maximizing opportunities in emerging and digital media, including virtual worlds, "Rock Band" and other video games, and direct-to-video and music consumer products. She will also work with MTVN's ad-sales and integrated-marketing teams to create new sponsorship models and added value across multiple platforms.

Mr. Yapp said the Program Enterprises group recently created a chance for the company to dedicate more resources to activating the growing list of ideas, generating interest from clients in emerging media and tying it into a brand's overall media strategy.

"What we've proven is we provide a highly engaged audience for our advertisers, beyond anything we've ever seen before," Mr. Yapp said. "We've done a lot of work that shows the synergy of how it all works together, then figuring out the business model that supports that engagement. Any one of these stand-alone ideas is interesting, but combine that with what comes out of our ad-sales team, and that's a story most people can't tell a client. That's why I wanted someone from within the company to lead the conversation with our linear opportunities and our digital opportunities."

Ms. Glorioso, a veteran of Clear Channel Entertainment (now Live Nation) and SFX Sports, recently spoke with Madison & Vine to discuss the foundation of her new position and why retail will continue to be a huge component in activating the company's future deals.

Madison & Vine: You have a diverse background in multiplatform sponsorships from your days at Viacom Plus, working on projects for major brands such as Wal-Mart and AT&T, and, before that, at Clear Channel Entertainment and SFX Sports, working with the Super Bowl host cities and the women's World Cup soccer team. What intrigued you about transferring that expertise in brand integration in the digital space to MTV Networks?

Christina Glorioso: [In my other jobs] I was creating something that didn't exist from all these resources, and I talked to Jeff a lot from his group. They've generated revenue from all over, from selling units, CD sales, direct-to-DVD movies and "Rock Band." We talked about advertiser relationships, how advertisers can bring a lot to make people watch what some people might call traditional units. We thought it was interesting and innovative, and 2008 just brought the right time. The company's really focused on branching out to delivering better solutions to advertisers. We're also looking at budgets and shifting more money into retail. Asking for sponsorship isn't a dirty word; it brings together full entertainment scopes for a marketer.

M&V: Your role is unique in that you'll be exclusively dedicated to maximizing opportunities in emerging media at MTVN. How will your expertise help streamline the conversation on some of these new integrated-marketing deals?

Ms. Glorioso: The foundation of the role is to be an asset to our internal sales force. From an internal perspective, it's more of an ad hoc relationship, to formalize information flow and focus on offering clients these assets while our sales team is on the street talking to clients every single day. It enhances the communication flow both ways. It now gives our entire sales force access to Program Enterprises, and what I will also do is proactively reach out to our sales force to say, "This client has done a lot in virtual worlds. Could they be interested in something else?"

M&V: How will you work to ensure that these integrations aren't just passive product placements for advertisers? What can be done to activate these deals further?

Ms. Glorioso: When you look at something like "Rock Band" or "Pimp My Ride," we may be open to in-game integration, but we don't think the big wind is there. It's integration with the brand and the big marketing campaign with the wireless provider and "Rock Band," the battery and "Rock Band." It's more of a brand play.

With "Pimp My Ride" or "Virtual Hills," to not activate that association on air and really target that engaged audience would be a miss. We've done internal studies on these engaged audiences and have found that a brand's TV media is even more valuable on TV when they are part of a full campaign. If they're in virtual and online and on air with something like "The Hills," they're not only getting the core engaged audience, but the TV campaign is more effective.

M&V: You'll be working with a lot of diverse sectors in your new role, from consumer products to retail to gaming. Can you give us a preview of what's next?

Ms. Glorioso: We'll be doing more direct-to-video movies, including "American Mall" this summer, and have been doing some really great projects like a movie with Nascar for CMT, as well as another country-music-artist movie to come. There's also 44.5, which is our video screen in Times Square that's handled under this team, which is two static boards of traditional outdoor and a video screen that's very innovative. I love the example of what we did with Hewlett-Packard a year or year and a half ago. HP was focusing on its portable photo printer, so we set it up so if consumers went into the store, took a picture, had the picture printed on the portable printer, it could be up on the screen in Times Square. We're now working with a company on live, interactive gaming for that space.

Program Enterprises is just a wide range of assets that really enhance our programming. The goal of my position is to provide the innovation our clients need, that even broadcast networks can't be bringing. We want to deepen the connection our clients have with our brands.