President of Marketing and Creative Advertising, President of Marketing, Media and research
DiNapoli believes marketers have just a few seconds to grab users’ attention and he’s a proponent of the portrait-format vertical videos that are newly popular as a result of mobile apps. He sizes these videos to completely fit available space — a formatting that means “crafting use for specific environment, especially in the social media space.” The independent theatrical distributor sizes its trailers, featurettes, and ads in vertical video. Bender, who earlier was at Gramercy Pictures and USA Films, oversees crafting messaging. DiNapoli handles audience research and media buying, and previously worked at Bow Tie Cinemas, Miramax Films, and Terry Hines & Associates. They joined at Bleecker’s inception in 2014 and previously worked together at Focus Features. The duo collaborated on Bleecker campaigns for “Eye in the Sky,” Oscar-nominated “Captain Fantastic,” and “Denial.”
Courtesy of Myles Bender/Tyler DiNapoli
Head of Marketing and Distribution
“Manchester by the Sea” received critical acclaim at Sundance fest, but was also tagged as a depressing movie. Berney later crafted consumer marketing to overcome that downer label, generating sizable box office and paving the way for Oscar accolades. TV commercials and online video emphasized producer Matt Damon for a Hollywood-star glow, positioned the lead Casey Affleck character as an everyman, punched up the family story, and slipped in the drama’s awkward humor. “It really clicked,” says Berney. “The film crossed over and was not just arthouse.” Berney joined in 2015. Previously, he was at Picturehouse, FilmDistrict Apparition, Newmarket Films, and IFC Films.
Courtesy of Bob Berny
President of Worldwide Distribution and Marketing
Movie marketing is no longer just about nailing target demograph-ics, but increasingly detecting and tapping into the constantly shifting mood of the audience, says Colligan. Digital marketing yields quick feedback, and with digital outlets “you can ‘talk’ to audiences in a lot of different ways,” she says. “That’s a really different approach than just three years ago.” To connect with a changing zeitgeist, the messaging for sci-fi mystery “Arrival” was tweaked the day after the surprise Trump election victory to also convey dealing with uncertainty, she says. Colligan took her current role in 2014 and joined the studio in 2006.
Courtesy of Megan Colligan
Amy Elkins, Keri Moore, and Teni Karapetian
Senior VP-media and marketing innovation, Senior VP/head of creative advertising, VP of national publicity
Elkins inserted messages from movie characters into social conversations of real-life mothers. For theatrical “Bad Moms,” character comments popped up in strings like #momfail. Across social media “Bad Moms” messaging included an emoji of a spilt wine glass. “Our branded content made everyone feel like there was a personal acknowledgement of their life, using humor and authenticity,” Elkins says. Group-talk paid off as exit polls indicated 30% of the audience was batches of five or more women. Elkins arrived two years ago from advertising buying services where she worked on movie accounts, and before that at MGM/UA. Moore joined in 2015, working previously at Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, and creative-boutique Aspect Ratio. Karapetian worked at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Weinstein Co., before her arrival two years ago.
Courtesy of Amy Elkins/Keri Moore/Teni Karapetian
Head of Theatrical Marketing
The “Trolls” marketing campaign launched earlier than normal for theatricals to gain time to cut through media clutter and have initiatives cross-support each other, says Gallagher. Justin Timberlake’s movie song “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” released in May with music videos; Timberlake and voice co-star Anna Kendrick also presented animated “Trolls” in splashy Cannes festival events. Songs usually precede a theatrical premiere by a month or two, not six months. “It was critically important that none of these initiatives hijack the overall movie marketing campaign,” adds Gallagher. He joined three years ago, and previously held marketing posts at Disney and MGM/UA. Fox distributed “Trolls.” Comcast owns DWA.
Courtesy of Jim Gallagher
For sci-fi movie thriller “Life,” Globe said that a Super Bowl commercial “drove early overall awareness for our campaign and laid the foundation for the launch of our second trailer online.” In a small surprise, the pricey football blurb also generating social media buzz from women responding to cast Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhall, and they “often attached heart-eyed emojis to their posts.” Another lift came from a closing screening at SXSW festival just one week ahead of theatrical premiere reaching opinion leaders. Skydance produced “Life” together with distributor Sony Pictures. Previously, Globe was chief marketing officer at DreamWorks Animation.
Courtesy of Anne Globe
President, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution
Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group
Greenstein is giving audience data greater emphasis, using results to better customize messaging of marketing campaigns and media placement. “It’s hugely important to reach people in the spaces where they live, and creating tailored content separates you out from the noise,” he says. “Some of our movies are 50% digital media.” Sony still searches out audiences in-person, screening an early version of “Sausage Party” last year at the SXSW festival and “then leveraged the buzz by launching our first trailer immediately out of that,” he says. Greenstein joined in 2014, after holding senior marketing posts at Paramount and Dimension.
Courtesy of Josh Greenstein
President, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution
Warner Bros. Pictures
Kroll marvels at digital marketing options available for “Fantastic Beasts” that were not there for the last “Harry Potter” film five years earlier. These include two Google Daydream virtual reality experiences, a floating profile image on Facebook, voice-activated “spells” for Android devices, 12 branded movie emojis on Twitter unlocking content, and movie street views circa 1926 New York on Google Maps. “These key digital partnerships represent the evolution of franchise-building, and allowed for original and surprising magical opportunities,” Kroll says. She joined in 1994, and earlier worked at Turner Broadcasting (before its acquisition) and also at Viacom TV channels.
Courtesy of Sue Kroll
President, Worldwide Theatrical Marketing
Twentieth Century Fox Film
Levine can take a bow for helping make R-rated comic book movies a budding blockbuster trend with “X-Men” franchise sequel “Logan.” Fox’s slate isn’t just fanboy fare as inspirational “Hidden Figures” roped in partnerships with IBM for an augmented reality tie-in, Pepsi for a scholarship contest, and educational organization Black Girls Code. Prestige special screenings lifted “Hidden Figures” including Michelle Obama at the White House generating press for a “star studded” affair. Levine →
← returned to Fox late year after an earlier 16-year run. In between, she was chief marketing officer at HBO. Earlier, she worked at entertainment marketing provider MarketCast.
Courtesy of Pamela Levine
Weying, founded by Lim in 2014, has grown into the largest online ticketing platform in China for marketing films — connecting the entertainment industry to 1 billion users via online marketing, ticketing, and merchandising. Lim sees mobile dominating the arena because it collects data that can shape responses “quickly and precisely,” eclipsing slower-to-set up traditional media that isn’t interactive. His company’s two cinema apps have 110 million registered users that ticket and provide info for 6,500 theaters in China. Regular push notifications via the apps deliver customized information. Lim adds that marketing on social giant WeChat is also important. Lim, an entrepreneur, worked on China releases of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Star Trek Beyond,” “Inferno,” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” The latter resulted in $74 million in ticket sales.
Courtesy of David Lim
President of Marketing Strategy
The Weinstein Co.
When “Lion” got off to a slow start in limited theatrical release, Martin got busy. Finding that the Oscar best picture-nominated drama just played well in big cities, TWC crafted broader-focused messaging for local TV and social media targeting under-top-50 markets that augmented national media. “It was a very old-school approach in that we went market by market,” he says. A music video by singer Sia helped by tapping into her social media. Martin joined TWC at launch in 2005 from Miramax Films, where he also worked for Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Martin’s duties include licensing content to domestic TV and subscription VOD.
Courtesy of Francois Martin
Chief Brand Officer and President, Worldwide Marketing
Lionsgate — in the awards-season limelight recently for “Hacksaw Ridge” and “La La Land” — formed its Location Based Entertainment initiative under Palen to translate movie intellectual property into stage plays, theme park rides (“Now You See Me” is a magic-themed attraction at a Chinese entertainment center), and escape-room experiential competitions. “It started as an afternoon project that turned into a division” with dedicated staff, Palen says. “It’s extending the life of our IP and maximizes the investment for the studio.” He sees “La La Land” inspiring a stage musical and travelling concert spinoffs. Palen is one of Hollywood’s longest-tenured marketers, having joined Lionsgate in 2002, after working at Sony Pictures and Destination Films.
Courtesy of Tim Palen
President, Worldwide Marketing
Warner Bros. Pictures
With audience data from online now readily available, everything has changed. Marketers are able to rapidly evaluate messaging and immediately make mid-course corrections on campaigns. “We’re able to capitalize on real-time learning in ways we never did before,” Rich says. This includes identifying audience segments, affinities of audience segments, how audiences react to movie messaging, including whether they cut short consumption, and social media activity. “We now look at behavioral responses to creative in an intelligent way — what resonates, what triggers engagement, and what works best creatively,” she adds. Rich joined the studio in 1997 out of college as a marketing trainee and worked initially on the international side.
Courtesy of Blair Rich
Head of Worldwide Marketing and Publicity
A Venice Film Festival screening checked many marketing boxes for “Hacksaw Ridge.” Voland sees the Italian fest’s timing as an ideal Oscar-season launch pad, made actress Teresa Palmer conspicuous on the red carpet to dispel notions “Hacksaw” is just a guy-war film, and organized a big press conference that provided credibility with film critics. “It’s prohibitive to fly in hundreds of journalists and photographers, but at the festival they are already there,” she notes. Voland, also supervised marketing and publicity for “Silence” and “Miles Ahead.”
Courtesy of Bonnie Voland
Chief Marketing Officer
Briggs marshals in-house creative executives and engineers, and outside production services outfits, to fashion visual content to jazz Facebook users. One example is stitching together users’ publicly-facing content into thematic video scrap books for them. “Marketing is going back to its roots, which is storytelling,” he says. His marketing arm provides info to Facebook’s advertisers about what content clicks with users, what gets shared and what doesn’t. Briggs finds that users are particularly enamored with mobile. He joined Facebook in 2013 and is also a board member of LifeLock. Previously, he worked at Google, PayPal, eBay, Pepsi, and consultancy McKinsey.
Courtesy of Gary Briggs
EVP, Program Marketing & Digital Services
As cable channels launch video streaming services they gain “a more direct relationship with the consumer and therefore better knowledge of the marketplace,” says Buckley. “This enables us to have more informed conversations.” Specifically, he notes, streaming data helps to fine-tune creative messaging, improve on-air promotions, and select additional media to deploy for marketing efforts. The impact on the business will be huge, he says, pointing out that all the advantages gleaned from streaming, including detailed data about consumer interactions with content, weren’t available even two years ago. Buckley joined Showtime in 2011 after 20 years at Warner Bros., where he co-founded Warner Bros. Advanced Digital Services.
Courtesy of Donald Buckley
Chief Marketing Officer
National Geographic Partners
While NatGeo oozes with nostalgia stemming from its 128-year-old magazine, Cress works to make the multi-platform cable network “a buzz-worthy brand for today’s connected consumers” with relevant content across the media landscape. A 45-second Super Bowl TV commercial featuring the Albert Einstein character from its scripted “Genius” TV series played Mozart-esque music on a violin, and then surprised by shifting to a Lady Gaga tune. Cress says that sparked a tsunami of online buzz. The company is co-owned by the parent of Fox Broadcasting, which telecast the Super Bowl. Washington, D.C.-based Cress joined last year from financial services outfit MasterCard.
Courtesy of Jill Cress
Maria Laino DeLuca
Senior VP, Consumer and Trade Marketing
Marketing is most impactful online when it meshes with adjacent editorial content, DeLuca → ← believes. Having context and relevance goes a long way toward making messages more durable than traditional banner ads and home-page takeovers, although the latter are still part of her media mix as she strives for the ideal balance. An example is an integration advertisement on BuzzFeed for Bravo’s “Imposters” that plays off that dark comedy’s theme of whether we really know the other people in our lives. For homework, DeLuca says she is fascinated to watch her three small children consume media online and with “their reaction to ads, what they skip and what ads are resonating.” She joined 10 years ago, having previously workied at Nickelodeon.
Courtesy of Maria Laino DeLuca
President, Marketing, Digital Media, and On-Air Promotions
Data-driven marketing can lead to well-reasoned decisions, but Gibbons ponders the human factor. People have subconscious drives and context matters, so it’s wise not to wear blinders, she feels. Gibbons notes that TV program marketers “sell emotion, which by nature is somewhat unpredictable. Removing the human element from the data equation isn’t necessarily a formula for success.” She points to dating services as a cautionary example. When pre-matched couples meet, they can find “there’s no spark, no passion” despite expected compatibility. She joined FX in 2004, after previously working at Showtime and broadcast TV stations in promotions.
Courtesy of Stephanie Gibbons
Senior VP, Marketing & Digital
Giddens seeded YouTube with video content to introduce TV series “Floogals” that pointed its pre-school kids’ audience to the flagship basic cable Sprout network. Short videos of sing-alongs, bloopers, and mini-episodes on YouTube appeared “naturally and organically in a forum to tell and extend our story where we know kids are,” she says. The YouTube bits incorporated narratives to foster “conversations with kids,” Giddens says. “It wasn’t just a tune-in message.” Edited versions of the “Floogals” content were employed in social-media marketing. Giddens joined Sprout in 2013, after 10 years with Turner Broadcasting and earlier worked at Scripps Networks Interactive.
Courtesy of Jennifer Giddens
President and Chief Marketing Officer
Warner Bros. Television Group
Warners activated both its TV and film arms for all-hands promotion of theatrical release “The Batman Lego Movie.” End cards in Warner TV series and the opening of syndicated reruns of “Big Bang Theory” presented Lego-ized messaging. “This has more original content creation than we’ve ever had before and more collaboration across our executive producer roster for TV because we are re-doing key art,” says Gregorian. Marketing, publicity, and social departments in TV and theatrical worked in tandem, she adds. Gregorian supervises marketing for 75 TV series for production and distribution, and also participation for fan conventions and trade shows.
Courtesy of Lisa Gregorian
EVP, Marketing and Digital Programs
n today’s multiplatform world, social media is indispens-able because tune-in information can be changed easily to follow the same program travelling from the flagship linear TV channel to dot-com website and over-the-top TV, notes Haskins. “I can use the same social media platforms to communicate to the different audiences that watch my shows different ways,” he says. He finds 125 million → ← users packed in social media. Just 10 years ago, Haskins says, the only concern was linear TV. He was CW’s first outside employee 11 years ago, after working at Lifetime Television, his own consultancy, and various Disney positions.
Courtesy of Rick Haskins
Chief Marketing Officer and EVP
With series overflowing on the TV dial, Iwanowski says for series launches he creates “one or two exclamation points where you stand out from the crowd.” These can be stunners in sampling, media placement, tie-in promotions, or cultural associations. “You have to find something to disrupt the market with every single campaign,” he says. For example, Epix placed a 2½-minute surreal news promotion for its political satire “Graves” on CNN, a promo partner, prior to a presidential debate. He joined in 2011, after working at Apparition Pictures and GK Film’s FilmDistrict, and earlier at Sundance Channel.
Chief Marketing Officer
Marchetti is jazzed about the Generation Z demographic (ages 21 and younger), which he sees eclipsing older millennials in importance in the marketplace. “The moment that cell phones and social networks created a truly mobile media influencer, all millennial bets were off,” he says. Instead of the eyeballs metric, marketers pursuing Gen-Z focus on cell-phone swipes and sharing content, which “means someone is actually engaging in what you are doing,” Marchetti notes. This elevates the importance of branded content. He joined in 2014, coming from Disney (working digital on theatrical campaigns), MTV, eHarmony, Yahoo, and AOL/Digital City. AwesomenessTV is owned by Comcast, Verizon, and Hearst.
Courtesy of T.J. Marchetti
E! Entertainment and Esquire Network
The era of simply flogging some 30-second commercials to drive a campaign is supplanted by diverse digital media’s need for varied content crafted to be contextually relevant, says Neal. “It’s hundreds and hundreds of marketing content pieces or initiatives for every campaign,” she adds. Content is fashioned to fit various platforms, different times of day, and even the personality of the influencer delivering the message. Messages don’t have to always be slick because consumers sometimes reject overt traditional advertising. Neal joined the NBCUniversal operation in 2012. Earlier, she worked at advertising agencies BBDO and PHD, where clients included basic cable networks.
The moods of audiences shift, so when the Spanish-language media outfit rebranded of its flagship Univision Network, Rodriguez says she led “a comprehensive deep dive” to size up the audience. One finding for many viewers: heritage is as significant as the future. The consumer-level key copy line “Univision — la que nos une” (Univision — the one that unites us) works in all dayparts and various types of programing such as sports and news. Rodriguez joined Univision as an intern 15 years ago and worked in non-marketing posts, including VP/station manager of Univision’s TV station in Puerto Rico.
President, CBS Marketing Group
Traditional TV channels widen their dragnets when launching their own streaming services. Schweitzer places promotions for the network’s new CBS All Access across his broadcast network, including its Grammy awards telecast, as well as on basic cable networks, radio, social media, and digital TV outlets such as Roku. “Everywhere people go for entertainment we are following them,” he says. Schweitzer feels that marketing placements for streaming should be broader than they are for traditional linear channels. He adds that viewers understand the streaming concept, so messaging pushes a specific platform as home of desired programs. The oft-quoted Schweitzer joined CBS in 1972 and has been marketing chief since 1988.
Courtesy of George Schweitzer
Chief Marketing Officer and EVP
OWN and Harpo Studios
Seitler employs a digital-age version of the traditional “sales funnel” to launch TV series. A target online audience is identified and then given a sequence of promotional videos that foster an ever-deeper audience relationship: teaser, full trailer, character profiles, and behind-the-scenes. “The good news is that we have more tools than ever before,” she says. “The bad news is viewers are more fragmented than ever before.” Seitler joined Oprah Winfrey’s organization 22 years ago in the creative services area, took her current OWN post in 2012, and previously worked at cable services ESPN and MTV. OWN is owned by Winfrey and Discovery Communications.
EVP, Marketing and Digital
USA Network/SyFy NBCUniversal
Not taking the fan base of a TV series for granted, the second season of “Mr. Robot” was seeded with engagement goodies. Within the thriller drama’s 10 episodes, web addresses, source codes, and phone numbers appeared in the background that curious and highly engaged viewers could tap into for a labyrinth experience, says Shapiro. “We extended ‘Mr. Robot’ into the interactive world,” she adds. Further, existing fans who get stoked become evangelists and in turn pull in additional viewers. A tie-in book and free 12-minute virtual reality promotion were other off-TV “Mr. Robot” initiatives. Shapiro joined USA Network in 2001 and a year ago added Syfy duties.
Courtesy of Alexandra Shapiro
SVP Communications & Marketing
FremantleMedia North America
Launching TV shows based on pre-existing properties requires integrated campaigns that both satisfy the established fan base while separately mounting other initiatives cultivating new audiences, says Shaw. Endorsements from those associated with prior incarnations can corral the property’s faithful. One way to turn heads with new audiences, Shaw says, is to woo tastemakers such as press “and provide them early opportunities to see and engage with the content.” Those engagements include visits to writers rooms, production set tours, drop-ins to editing bays, and early screenings. She joined in 2013 from BBC Worldwide. Fremantle is owned by Bertelsmann’s RTL Group.
Courtesy of Christine Shaw
Chief Marketing Officer
Messaging from Tiedt leads with over-arching brand value, rather than nitty-gritty product attributes. She says that’s because consumers yearn to “to attach to something that’s a bigger purpose” as opposed to simply making mundane purchasing decisions. YouTube identifies four “freedoms” that are its core brand value, such as freedom of expression exemplified by users creating individual video channels. A YouTube music campaign video shows a woman identifiable as a Muslim by her clothing listening to tunes with earplugs to convey a message of freedom. Tiedt joined in 2012, after working at Microsoft for 15 years. YouTube is owned by Google’s parent.
Courtesy of Danielle Tiedt
Senior VP, Head of Marketing
With Hulu’s rollout of a subscription TV offering, Wall overlays why-buy promotion with emotional messaging. Consumers purchase one or multiple subscription services in today’s a-la-carte digital video world, so the brand and original programs convey value for “share of wallet and time,” she says. She adds that Hulu stresses finding content and ability to personalize. Planting a brand is important because most services allow cancellations at any time, Wall says. She joined in 2014 from Netflix, and before that she worked at Hollywood creative boutique BLT Communications and at HBO. Hulu’s studio owners are Disney, NBCUniversal, 20th Century Fox, and Time Warner.