LONDON (AdAge.com) -- Publicis Worldwide is launching a branded-entertainment division, Publicis Entertainment, which will help connect marketers with TV, motion picture and gaming properties. The announcement was made today by Richard Pinder, the agency's chief operating officer, during his keynote speech at the Mipcom international film and TV conference in France.
The first office of Publicis Entertainment will open in London before rolling out to other key markets and will be part of the Publicis Worldwide network, owned by Publicis Groupe, but it will be open to any marketer. Publicis Entertainment is already working on a number of major branded-content projects with as-yet-unnamed Publicis Worldwide clients, and it's collaborating with major production companies including RDF, Fremantle and Endemol, plus global broadcast partner Definition TV. Publicis Worldwide recently completed a web TV platform for Renault.
In an e-mail, Mr. Pinder said, "We've been getting more and more interest from clients. It's the right business at the right time. In addition, entertainment and [intellectual property] has become increasingly important for our global clients; in fact, entertainment has been at the core of many of our clients -- the earliest soap operas are a great example of the genre. Last year branded entertainment in the U.S. market alone soared 12% to $24.97 billion. TV consumption has changed. The three-minute program is slowly joining the 30-second spot as an industry benchmark."
Mr. Pinder added, "Measurement evaluation and strategic rigor have been lacking up until now. Validating the business case for entertainment marketing is as important as producing great content."
Teams are already set up in London and France, and they are being coordinated from the London office. Publicis Entertainment plans to roll out in key markets "where our clients need us to be," Mr. Pinder said. When asked whether the U.S. is a priority for Publicis Entertainment, he only said, "The U.S. is, of course, a major global market."
'Through,' not 'around'
Marcus Vinton, who previously worked with Mr. Pinder as a creative director at Ogilvy London, will be partner and chief creative officer in the new venture. He said in a statement, "The aim of Publicis Entertainment is to create end to end entertainment solutions for our clients across television, gaming and motion pictures. Our IP and digital distribution models will create revenue for all stakeholders. Media barter deals and sponsorship will of course continue to help brands associate themselves 'around' great television, but by working together we now have the opportunity to communicate directly 'through' great television."
Mr. Pinder said the new venture will stand out from the competition because "it will create ancillary revenue streams for brands via the syndication of content, IP, licensing, co-production and airtime sales/sponsorship on its branded channels. It will also create bespoke tools and innovative metrics for measuring ROI so brand organizations can measure the value of their investment." It will be a one-stop shop for everything from commissioning, compliance, scheduling and platform negotiations to satellite uplink.
In a statement, Mr. Pinder said, "The relationship between advertising and television production is changing fast: It is now a relationship of equals. We're in the business of creating contagious ideas and more engaging content, which in turn changes the conversation for clients and their brands."