Women to Watch

Tracy Dorsey

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It's not difficult to measure just how in demand are the services of Tracy Dorsey. You can see it in the amount of hours of original programming she's either helped develop or won over network buy-in.

Consider this: In the year or so she's been chief creative officer at Omnicom Group's Full Circle Entertainment, the branded-content agency has developed about 50 hours of programming-about the same amount that her previous employer, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Magna Entertainment, produced over a three-year span. Ms. Dorsey's recent projects include the TBS gender-bender "He's a Lady" and Spike TV's "The Club."

This increase is at once an indication of marketers' growing preference for branded content as well as testament to the talents of the Full Circle team, of which the 42-year-old Ms. Dorsey is a major part.

Her boss, President-CEO Robert Riesenberg, attributes her successful integrations to a varied background that includes media planning (a stint at Omnicom's BBDO Worldwide in the 1980s) followed by some time in TV writing and production (ABC's "Good Morning America" and "20/20").

"She's very solid when it comes to writing and producing and storytelling, and she understands very well the objectives and strategies and mind-set of sponsors," Mr. Riesenberg says. "She speaks their language."

These days, Ms. Dorsey, who counts ABC's "Lost" and HBO's "Deadwood" among her favorite shows, is concentrating on how to better use drama for brand integrations, which hasn't been easy.

"I love scripted drama," she says. "As a viewer, I'll tune in and watch week in and week out. But it's a much harder deal to broker in terms of branded entertainment. It's much more expensive and much more complicated."

On top of that, Ms. Dorsey is working on "Meet Mister Mom" for NBC and an untitled series for ESPN, both in pre-production. And she's trying to find ways to better integrate her clients' sponsorships into their broader marketing platforms, pointing to a Magna project, American Express Co.'s presence in "The Restaurant," as the ideal she's striving to replicate.

"It's as much what you do around a program to support it as you do in the show," she says. "It should be a true marriage between an existing marketing campaign and the content itself, so they can build on each other. It's not just putting a brand in the show and hoping it gets a decent rating."

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