An Ad Age Original VIDEO NEWS Feature


See and Hear 15 of the Industry's Top Players Debating Branded Entertainment

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NEW YORK ( -- As part of the larger Madison & Vine East conference at Manhattan's Skirball Center on Sept. 27, Advertising Age hosted a Socratic debate about the many issues raised by the ongoing convergence of advertising and entertainment. Below are video excerpts of the comments of the 15 panelists participating in that event.
xxx Moderator
Arthur Miller, Professor, Harvard Law School
We're in a bull session and hope to create an environment in which we can talk honestly about this relatively new phenomenon.
xxx Ben Silverman, CEO, Reveille
There's a real opportunity for the marketers and the creative companies to be the new studio ad agency.
xxx W.W. Brent Dewar, VP Marketing, GM
We have to redefine media in terms of the connectivity of customers. It's all about screens and digital space.
xxx Debbie Myers, VP Media Services, Taco Bell
We were one of the first to try this kind of product placement. It did not move product for us and felt those dollars were better invested in 30-second TV spots.
xxx Frank Cooper III, VP Promotions, Pepsi
We want to become part of this new (branded entertainment) experience, but not the banker for it.
xxx Irwin Gotlieb, Worldwide CEO, Group M
Hallmark Card's "If you care enough to give the very best" shows how a commodity product differentiated itself through years of association with the highest quality television.
xxx Jeffrey A. Bell, VP, Chrysler Group
One of the few times we've actually seen advertising move sales was when we did the 'Sahara' movie and Jeep Wrangler campaign. Our sales went up by 18%.
xxx Joe Abruzzese, President-Ad Sales, Discovery
Nascar is the ultimate product integration, when you think about. You have 50 cars going around the track covered with brand logos.
xxx Lewis Henderson, Senior VP, William Morris
Some of these opportunities make a lot of sense but I think unless you do something to really surround it and create more from it, you are wasting your time.
xxx Michael Davies, Chairman, Embassy Row
Brands are often more creative and more willing to try new things than networks and the cable channels. Before, we were used to go to cable channels with ideas and constantly heard 'No, that won't work.'
xxx Mitchell Davis, CEO, Massive
All the big brands are now looking at video-game advertising and saying 'I need to reach 18- to 34-year-old men and this is the place to do it because this is where they spend all their time.'
xxx Peter Sterling, VP U.S. Marketing, McDonald's
The 30-second ad unit is not going away but we are trying to make it more effective.
xxx Robert Riesenberg, CEO, Full Circle Entertainment
How are you going to get into the [branded entertainment] space? Do you get in at the ground floor and get involved with the creator, or do you get in at the distribution level where you're handcuffed because they hold all the cards?
xxx Scott Donaton, Editor, Advertising Age
Somebody mentioned the writers who are outside and asked if they are protesting because they don't like all the products being stuck into the programs or because they're looking for their piece of the check?
xxx Steve Yanovsky, Principle, Brand Alchemy
Many media executives summarily dismissed 'Rock Star' because it involved INXS. But it was really about aspirations to be a rock star.
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