While all of the white noise about the death of the :30 commercial is malarkey, the creeping shift of brands' budgets away from TV—as John Hayes provocatively illustrated in his keynoter at the last M+V conference—will increasingly eat away at the margins of spot shops.
And like the talent-agency business, the commercial-production arena is dominated by a handful of top-drawer outfits. And like the talent-agency business, the leaders of these dominant players have displayed varying degrees of interest and commitment toward branded entertainment as a hedge against the threats to its core business.
While Steve Golin at Anonymous and the Scott brothers at RSA have soaked up the halo effect for their BMW Films work, they seem indifferent to the revenue potential in the space. Jon Kamen of @Radical Media and Steve Dickstein at Partizan, on the other hand, are licking their chops.
In today's edition, Richard Linnett reports on Dickstein's new branded-entertainment company DTC, which will operate separately from Partizan. Dickstein is partnering with former DDB creative John Immesoete, one of the chief architects of all of the lauded Budweiser work over the past several years.
In an era, where Madison Avenue creatives have come under much fire for producing crappy work, DDB and fellow Omnicom shop Goodby, Silverstein & Partners have created iconic, breakthrough work—branded entertainment in 30-second increments, as Immesoete puts it.
So naturally, it makes sense that Immesoete would continue his relationship with A-B in conjunction with Dickstein, who was a subcontractor on much of the work. This alliance is important for various reasons, not least of which as a petri dish for experimenting with new business models and skill sets.