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But Amy Willstatter's Specialty Is Placements on Broadway

By Published on .

Who: Amy Willstatter, founder and CEO of Bridge to Hollywood/Bridge to Broadway, a New York-based company that matches marketers and brands with movies or Broadway productions.
Amy Willstatter is a pioneer in the field of Broadway-related product integration.

Age: 46

Credentials: Ms. Willstatter opened her firm in 2001 after spending 10 years at ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, where she was vice president and director of S&S Entertainment. Prior to that, she sold cable advertising and crafted barter syndication and distribution deals for six years and earlier worked for Broadway's Nederlander Group in the company's TV and film division.

The types of deals Ms. Willstatter has put together:
Ms. Willstatter is the dealmaker behind the partnership that put Aflac's brand-shouting duck into the Paramount Pictures/Dreamworks movie Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, starring Jim Carrey. An earlier deal for Aflac got the insurance company mentioned in Along Came Polly, starring Ben Stiller and Jennifer Anniston. Ms. Willstatter is currently scouting other potential entertainment deals for the duck. Since 2003, she has been on retainer with SpotCo, a New York ad agency specializing in theater-related campaigns. Some of those deals include signing various marketing sponsors (Pfizer Women's Health, Procter & Gamble Co.'s Olay Regenerist, Anheuser-Busch's Michelob Ultra) for the Broadway and national tour productions of Thoroughly Modern Millie. She also made British Airways the official airline of the National Theater in New York and arranged for Hennessy to be the opening night sponsor of Raisin in the Sun at the Royale Theater.

What's coming up:
Ms. Willstatter's firm will soon unveil a marketing partnership deal that will include product placement of a-yet-unnamed marketer's brand in Sweet Charity, the Neil Simon-Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields musical starring Christina Applegate and opening on Broadway in April. The arrangement includes the brand's mention (approved by Neil Simon) in the show, and the marketer will promote the show and its association with it.

What is your philosophy when it comes to integrating brands on Broadway?
"When it comes to Broadway, I'm not in favor of barter-only [i.e., tickets in exchange for a marketers' promotion] arrangements in lieu of cash. My goal is to make Broadway competitive with other media platforms. I look at these partnerships between Broadway productions and marketers as providing solid media value."

Why are your services required?
"I'm a matchmaker. In contrast to TV and movies, Broadway hasn't really gotten on the radar of many media buyers and brand managers. It is a largely untapped way to reach affluent targets in an intimate environment."

What's the best show you've seen recently?
"Doubt, by John Patrick Shanley at Manhattan Theatre Club's City Center."
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