Get ready for a new buzzword: A Los Angeles venture called Brand-Cast is looking to blur the worlds of entertainment and advertising by packaging what’s being called “advertainment” for computer and television screens.
Company, founded by former Load Media Network exec Seth Bedell and J. Walter Thompson advertising vet Stuart McLean, specializes in connecting advertisers with original content producers. Brand-Cast takes a stake in the projects it puts together and receives monthly retainer fees as well.
Advisory board members include Creative Artists Agency co-founder Roland Perkins and Keith Bosky of Bosky & Associates, a firm that recently helped transition “Tomb Raider” from vidgame to bigscreen.
Brand-Cast has already packaged several deals, including a pact between Ford Motor Co. and Lions Gate Entertainment’s TV arm for a trek-through-the-wilderness reality show centered around the carmaker’s rugged “No Boundaries” campaign for its SUVs (Daily Variety, Nov. 20).
Adapted from Norway’s “71 Degrees North” reality strip, series centers around 12 individuals who must race from Washington to the top of Mount McKinley in Alaska. The WB has picked up the skein.
Ford will cover the cost of the production in exchange for a negotiable amount of ad time on the WB, which has picked up the show.
Brand-Cast introduced Lions Gate to J. Walter Thompson.
Lions Gate is not asking for a license fee for the project and expects to make its money on the show through ancillary revenue streams and international and domestic syndie runs.
Its most recent project, “Jam With Pam,” launched Friday on Beer.com as an online music contest to find the best unsigned band in North America.
Bands submit their MP3s to the site through June 30. Contest is a collaboration between Pamela Anderson’s Internet production company PamTV and Beer.com, the site operated by Rolling Rock beer parent Interbrew.
CD to their name
The contest’s winner, chosen in July, will perform at the Rolling Rock Town Fair in August in Pennsylvania and have a CD produced. Beer.com attracts 500,000 unique visitors per month, with that number growing as the contest continues and begins showing video footage of the contestants.
Site begins heavily promoting the Anderson-hosted project in April, which if successful could be expanded into a TV show.
Other Brand-Cast deals include creating online entertainment properties for carmaker Nissan, around its 44 city college tour, and Samuel Adams and Jim Beam around music events. Company also recently inked a pact between Kelloggs and DreamWorks to promote “Road Trip” on college campuses.
“We can help studios find brands to help studios co-market their films,” Bedell said.
Mad about H’wood
Despite the depressed advertising market, the company is optimistic that cash-wielding Madison Avenue is looking for ways to hook up with Hollywood, whether it’s on the Web or the TV broadcast, cable network and syndie arenas.
“Now is the time when these companies are really trying to increase their brand awareness,” Bedell told Daily Variety. “And they all want to break into Hollywood in some way. But they don’t have a contact in the industry to help them.
“New York and Hollywood are very interested in each other right now. They have a lot to offer one another. Together they can fund, co-create, distribute and measure programming results.”