Davie-Brown's Buzz Merchant

By Published on .

Brand integration outfit Inside Entertainment Ventures is filling out its executive suite. President Bill Barnett has named Michael Nicassio as senior-VP of business development. Nicassio was previously exec VP of sales at Pro Sports and Entertainment Inc.

Starcom USA has hired Universal Television vet Elizabeth Herbst-Brady as senior-VP, director of broadcast investment, reporting to John Muszynski, Starcom managing director of investment and operations. She'll relocate from New York to Chicago, where she’ll commence her new duties on Sept. 13.

Send tips to the editor

Name: Lori Kotarski Nelson

Age: 33

Who she is: VP-entertainment marketing at Davie-Brown Entertainment. She oversees fashion, talent relations, events and music departments.

Where she's from: Prior to joining DBE, Kotarski Nelson ran marketing at Imaginary Forces, a design and production outfit where she worked on projects for clients like Sega, Coors Light, the Lifetime Network and the New York Rangers. She also did a stint at Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's powerhouse Imagine Entertainment, working on marketing for such blockbusters as "Apollo 13," "Ransom" and "The Nutty Professor."

What she's done: Kotarski Nelson brought in Davie-Brown's first spirits clients by striking a deal with Allied Domecq's Kahlua and Sauza brands. For Kahlua, which wanted to revitalize the popularity of White Russians, Kotarski Nelson and her team generated coverage in USA Today along with orchestrating happy hours at celebrity hangouts in Hollywood, introducing the concept of the "Skinny White Russian"—touting health benefits of lowfat, skim and soy milk. This buzz led to a product placement on the show "You're Invited" on the Style Network. She is also proud of the ad campaign for Reebok Classic, which leveraged the popularity of such pop culture icons as Spider-man and "The Simpsons."

What's next: "I really want to continue to grow the buzz marketing side of things, looking for brands that are appealing to showbiz influencers. At the same time, more and more brands are looking for experiential marketing." Kotarski Nelson believes that increasingly, going forward, the tail may be wagging the dog in terms of buzz marketing actually creating product integration opportunities. "You create something that's interesting for people and it will naturally, organically fit into something that's branded content. You actually are starting the trends that people are talking about."

Stock-in-trade: "I have a wonderful team [of seven people] who are all experts in their fields."

Most Popular