Empire cinema to host marketing talkfest

LONDON — Since 1998, marketers that want to get into bed with the entertainment community have been able to attend L.A. Roadshow, where studios present their upcoming pic slates and hear pitches from the brand boffins about what tie-ins or production placements might be appropriate.

It has been a success for the industry, producing such unlikely bedfellows as Austin Powers and Virgin Atlantic for its “Virgin Shaglantic” campaign and “Shrek” and American Licorice. Sponsors for the London event include Coca-Cola, Krispy Kreme and Visit Britain.

Organizer Mitch Litvak is now bringing the concept to London, where 20th Century Fox, BVI, Columbia TriStar, DreamWorks, MGM, Miramax and Universal will be at the Empire Cinema in Leicester Square looking for promo partners.

“As the world becomes smaller the need for the RoadShow in Europe grew,” Litvak says. “The studios have been pushing for it for two, three years and in terms of expansion Europe was the most obvious place.”

Litvak points out that the get-together is ideal for smaller brands that are not usually the studios’ first choice when it comes to merchandise or placements.

The films available at the European Roadshow will be quite different from what is offered Stateside. While the studio tentpoles will be present at both, Europe will have pics with a more international feel.

“About 50%-70% of the pics will travel to Europe but about 30% will be new opportunities,” Litvak adds.

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