Anonymous Has a High Five

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Anonymous Content raised its glasses extra high during the holidays, toasting not just the new year but its fifth anniversary. For its founders, though, this didn't always seem like a sure thing. "The biggest challenge we faced was starting a company in the traditional commercials business, which is a business that's already having problems," reflects co-founder/executive producer Dave Morrison. "We started in the middle of a SAG strike, when the dot-com bubble burst, and right before 9/11. What we thought was going to be a lot easier, for a couple years was really nail-bitingly hard. The whole structure of our company isn't just about commercials; there's also our management division, movie division, etc. In order to jumpstart all that, it was really about commercials billings. Now it's fine, but in the first couple of years it was a lot harder than we thought it would be. " Fortunately, perseverance has led to some of the industry's most memorable work as well as perhaps the most groundbreaking effort of the last five years-the orignal BMWFilms.com series, the success of which, no doubt inspired the rest of the ad world's passionate pursuit of branded content ventures. Widely known for its forays outside the spot world, Anonymous plans to push forward with more of the same. "When David Fincher got me, Steve Golin and the others to start this company, it was all about ownership," says Morrison. "If we can take our strengths in movies, entertainment and Madison Avenue to create content we actually own, that's a much more interesting business than talking about how many more shoot days we can bill per year and getting the biggest markup we can. Even advertising print photographers get residuals on their images. Commercials directors and production companies get a one-shot fee. That will be our biggest challenge-to continue to diversify beyond the traditional work-for-hire commercials business."
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