To Stitch Studio and Partners Together Better

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Time Warner's Warner Bros. has brought a brand steward on deck to act as a liaison between the studio and its corporate marketing partners worldwide.
Diane Nelson heads the new division overseeing overall project marketing strategy.

Gaetano Mastropasqua, a veteran of Los Angeles promotions and premium firm Equity Marketing, is set to join the studio as its senior vice president of promotions in the global brand management division, according to executives with knowledge of the matter. The move reaffirms Warner Bros. measured, packaged goods-like approach to its high-profile properties.

Mr. Mastropasqua declined to comment on the move, though people close to the situation said he has informed Equity management of his impending departure.

Diane Nelson

The studio, under Alan Horn and Barry Meyer, chairman and CEO, recently rejiggered its film and corporate marketing divisions, taking a cue from blue chip marketers in creating a special unit to manage franchises such as the billion-dollar Harry Potter, Looney Tunes and Batman brands. The division creates an overarching strategy for the properties that follows them throughout their entertainment life cycles and across Time Warner's varied businesses.

The division is headed by Diane Nelson, Warner Bros. Entertainment's fast-rising executive vice president of global brand management, whose position is considered so vital that she reports directly to Mr. Horn.

Mr. Mastropasqua, whose clients at Equity included Burger King, will act as a liaison between the studio and corporate marketing partners worldwide, executives said. He'll also be the go-to executive for filmmakers and marketers, with the studio hoping to avoid a replay of the messy Matrix debacle.

A Warner Bros. spokesman said the studio wouldn't comment.
Diane Nelson heads the new division overseeing overall project marketing strategy.

Guiding brand partners

The global brand management division works with Warner's film, TV, home video, video game and consumer products units, and other Time Warner divisions. Its executives create a strategy around a film release and its licensed merchandise, for instance, and carry that through to DVD, pay cable and broadcast TV. They also guide brand partners through the process.

Ms. Nelson, previously an executive in the domestic film marketing division, was a major studio point person on the Harry Potter movies with the best-selling author J.K. Rowling. Ms. Nelson bartered the global cross-promotional deal with Coca-Cola for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with a strong literacy element that appeased the promotions-partner-averse Ms. Rowling.

Ms. Nelson also was instrumental in positioning this summer's third installment, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, as a cool movie for teens and young adults who might have been considered out of reach for a traditional kid property. (The audience has aged up with the story's protagonist.)

Burger King connection

In adding Mr. Mastropasqua, Warner Bros. will get a strong connection to Burger King, which has heavily promoted competitor's fare such as DreamWorks Shrek and Shrek 2. The alliance with DreamWorks, while long-standing, is not exclusive.

Among the projects upcoming for the Warner Bros. global brand management team: next summer's feature Batman Begins, which will have a companion TV series; The Polar Express for this Christmas; and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp.
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