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Studios stick with TV ads — for now

Panelists express interest in Internet, mobile marketing

TV execs can rest a little easier: Movie studios aren’t ready to take away their marketing dollars. At least not yet.

Speaking on a panel about the future of movie marketing at Wednesday’s Integrate ’05 confab, Warner Bros. domestic marketing prexy Dawn Taubin and Universal marketing prexy Adam Fogelson both said they’re interested in new outlets like the Internet and mobile devices but aren’t yet ready to take their dollars away from TV.

“Television is not working less well for us than it has in the past,” Fogelson asserted.

“We will evolve (into new media), but we won’t be the first people to move in this space,” declared Taubin.

Speaking with moderator Charlie Koones, prexy of the Variety Group, execs noted a number of reasons why they’re not ready to shift money away from TV to digital outlets, including the visual nature of films, the need to reach a broad audience to create an event and online consumers’ existing demand for their content.

“Our advertising is often not perceived by consumers as advertising,” Fogelson said. “It’s perceived as entertainment.”

In other words, why pay Yahoo! or AOL for a banner ad when online auds are seeking out your trailer?

Still, both Fogelson and Taubin said they’re slowly but surely putting coin on the Net to reach younger auds who simply don’t spend much time in other media. But with the exception of newspapers, they noted they’re having a hard time finding other underperforming media from which to take money for the Web.

Execs granted there was one other reason they’re still conservative about trying new forms of advertising on the Net and devices like cell phones. Asked by Koones if they were rewarded for taking risks in their jobs, Taubin had a simple answer: no.

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