How Gaetano Mastropasqua Orchestrates Studio and Marketer

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Who: Gaetano Mastropasqua, senior vice president for corporate global promotions and partner relations at Warner Bros. Entertainment. He acts as a liaison between the studio and corporate marketing partners through Warner Bros.' new global brand management
Gaetano Mastropasqua, senior vice president for corporate global promotions and partner relations.

group as the company's higher-profile releases move through the theatrical marketing, TV, home video, video game and consumer products divisions. Warner Bros.' current film franchises include Harry Potter, Batman and Superman.

Credentials: Mr. Mastropasqua was formerly president of Los Angeles-based promotions and premium firm Equity Marketing, where his clients included Burger King Corp.

What is your role and how does it work when it comes to working with promotional partners? "My primary objective is to work across all Warner Bros. divisions to maximize value from our event properties worldwide throughout the property's lifecycle. By providing a greater strategic understanding of the breadth and depth of our own brands, I ensure that when we approach promotional partners with an opportunity, we have done our homework on that partner's brand and we understand who their consumer is. In this way, we can develop a strategic relationship where we can work together to create compelling breakthrough promotions that work for us, for them and ultimately for the consumer."

Why is your position needed at a studio like Warner Bros.? "Today's marketplace is much more cluttered. Not only is the consumer bombarded with many more messages from different sources [TV, online, wireless, video games] but promotional partners also have many more choices of what to tie into. We want to ensure that Warner Bros. is top-of-mind and the promotional partner of choice. We continue to deliver great franchises [Batman, Superman, The Matrix] and four to five event movies a year to help them market their brands. However, by understanding their brand we can work together to develop a marketing approach that lets them utilize our assets that speak to their consumers in a relevant way, and that can create an emotional connection with their consumers that will help their message break through the media clutter and drive traffic and sales. Because we are part of the largest media and entertainment company in the world, we need to provide CMOs and their teams the easiest way to maximize the potential of our brands."

Describe how the process will work. "The global brand management group is charged to identify brands that have existed or exist in current media [comic books, TV, online, movies, books] and/or take new brands and develop the overall brand strategy for the company. We work very closely with all the divisions to put in place a strategic plan to help maximize revenue and opportunities for the brand across all the divisions over many years. We will ensure promotional partners are part of our brand strategy, and I will provide expertise so that the promotional partners' campaigns are consistent with our overall brand strategy and there is not a disconnect with the consumer. That being said, the partners still work with the existing teams and divisions in the same manner as always in the day-to-day execution."

How will the promotional partner benefit? "The promotional partners benefit because they have the opportunity to be part of a bigger brand strategy. Although they will still have the option to tie into a movie for four weeks over the summer to get a short-term sales lift, we are in a position to offer more. We want them as part of our overall long-term brand strategy. We want to go to partners whose brand attributes match our brand-assets' attributes and then utilize those attributes to create compelling, fun and breakthrough promotions in the marketplace. It can take many forms from traditional TV creative to online to print to wireless content to events to in-store POP [point of purchase] to licensed merchandise."

How will you measure success? "For our partners, the true measure of success is, 'Did the promotion drive traffic, sales and profit?' For Warner Bros., I believe success will be measured by when we become the partner of choice for companies because we are the leader in the industry, and can provide great brands a consistent and easy way of doing business with us and an overall positive experience."

People sometimes talk about studio divisions not talking to each other. Will your position change that? "It's not that people at the divisions don't speak to each other, because we do. Often. The challenge remains to understand each group's objectives then just making the time to think about and focus on cross-divisional issues. One of our group's main charters is to take the time to look at what is best for Warner Bros. as an overall company, not just for an individual division and make the decision that will have the most positive impact for the company."

What are some challenges you think you'll face? "The biggest challenge I believe will be changing our processes. Bringing a brand to life over many years in a multitude of media is a complex process with many different pieces to the puzzle. We are committed to maximizing the value of our brands, which will ultimately require us to do things differently. Change is a slow process that requires focus, communication and lots of hard work."

What keeps you up at night? "Usually one of my kids."

What do you do on your downtime? "I spend most of my free time with my amazing wife and four kids. We have a house on the island of Ischia in Italy that we love to go to in the summer. I love soccer and coach AYSO, as well as fine wines, tennis, skiing, scuba diving and travel."
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