Former TV Academy prexy Rich Frank is turning his attention from the tube to an even smaller screen.
Frank has made an investment in and joined the board of the Hyperfactory, an agency that creates advertising campaigns for cell phones and other mobile devices.
Investment was made with Paul Frank, current head of TV at the Firm, and Geoff Ross and Grant Baker, founder and chairman, respectively, of vodka brand 42 Below. Financial terms are not being disclosed but the money is described as “significant.”
Dollars are expected to help the Auckland, New Zealand-based company increase its staff worldwide. Frank’s involvement will also help the company open an office in Los Angeles, to be housed at the Firm, as well as jumpstart its entertainment practice by introducing the venture to studios, TV networks, record labels and other media companies.
It also has offices in New York City, Shanghai, Hong Kong and India.
Founded in 2000, the Hyperfactory has created mobile ad campaigns for such entertainment clients as Korn’s Family Values Tour, Disneyland Hong Kong, MTV’s Live Aid Concerts and David Beckham.
Frank was introduced to Hyperfactory while working with media agency ZenithOptimedia at the Firm and helping Toyota increase its presence in entertainment.
A former prexy of Walt Disney Studios and Paramount Television Group, Frank has been working as a consultant to the Firm since stepping down early last year as chairman of the management company. He’s also been focusing his efforts on building up Frank Family Vineyards in Napa Valley.
“I was interested in this space as being the third screen,” Frank said. “I believe that everything we’ve been doing on the computer over the last 10 years is slowly evolving, and your handset, which we now call a phone, is going to end up being your next computer, and you’ll be able to watch what you want to watch and stay in touch with everything. We’re seeing that happening around the world, but in the United States, it’s still underdeveloped.”