Creative Artists venture claims TiVo as first client

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Talent agency Creative Artists Agency, Los Angeles, and Shepardson Stern & Kaminsky, a New York marketing communications company, have signed TiVo as the first big-name client for their 10-month-old entertainment marketing venture.

CAA/SS&K is looking for marketing or content deals that tout TiVo, a new TV program time-shifting technology brand. Currently, CAA/SS&K is working on entertainment tie-ins for TiVo in conjunction with ABC's "Primetime Emmy Awards" in September, as well as another marketing effort centered on the new fall TV season, said Michael Wimer, a motion picture literary agent for CAA.

Mr. Wimer wouldn't elaborate, but said this effort would go beyond traditional advertising already in place with TiVo's agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.

What could TiVo get for its association with CAA? Since TiVo is an elaborate time-shifting technology, Mr. Wimer said there are natural connections with broadcast TV and cable networks -- many of which own interests in TiVo.


CAA's work, for instance, could result in more subtle marketing efforts -- say, in a verbal reference to TiVo during a network promo. At the end of a TV network promo for "Friends" or "Survivor," for example, Mr. Wimer said an actor could comment, "Hey, if you really like us, TiVo us."

"Everyone is fighting for attention with the consumers," said Lenny Stern, partner in SS&K. "We are trying to connect the dots between popular culture, consumers and TiVo."

In addition to TiVo, CAA/SS&K has signed up three other clients for its new venture, including New York-based delivery service Urban Fetch. Mr. Stern wouldn't disclose the names of the other two clients.

In October, CAA bought 40% of SS&K to shore up its corporate representation business. SS&K has done branding and marketing work for Ameritech Corp., Chubb Corp., General Motors Corp., Ralph Lauren and Time Warner Cable.

CAA executives termed the association with SS&K one that will provide "cultural intelligence marketing," in which the talent agency can offer corporations information on trends and popular culture, as well as an entree to Hollywood executives, writers and talent.

Earlier this year, CAA renewed its relationship as a consultant with Coca-Cola Co., charged with identifying trends, personalities and events for Coca-Cola marketing programs. CAA recently sold off its interests in Edge Creative, Santa Monica, Calif., a spinoff that had served as the marketer's internal creative agency for 10 years.

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