Brian Grazer, FX’s ‘Sunny’ Seek Advertisers for New Content Gambits

Brian Grazer just pitched his latest project to Madison Avenue – but only a handful of residents were able to get a peek.

The Imagine Entertainment co-founder was among a handful of TV producers and studios this week making outreach to clients of Omnicom Group, the large advertising-agency holding company. Each year, the company’s media-buying operations, which includes agencies like OMD, PHD and Hearts & Science holds a showcase known as a “Final Front,” which brings together media outlets seeking to strike deals with the company’s blue-chip clients, which these days include Procter & Gamble, McDonalds, State Farm and Apple.

In the past, the assemblage has focused largely on weaving advertisers into new content ideas, but this year, the emphasis is shifting, said Claudia Cahill, chief content officer of Omnicom Media Group, in an interview (pictured, above). Marketers see video being distributed acorss mobile screens and want to incorporate that into the plans they concoct with TV programs, she said. “Content is being created everywhere and our partenrs are much more open and willing to customize,” she said.

Grazer’s pitch serves as an interesting example of the ideas that were bandied about at the meetings, which included presentations from media outlets including NBCUniversal, Viacom, Vice, CW, Conde Nast, BuzFeed, AwesomenessTV, PopSugar, Upworthy and LiveNation. The producer offered a look at “Chasing Genius,” a companion to a new scripted series called “Genius” that is being readied for debut on National Geographic Channel. The main series profiles innovators like Albert Einstein. But “Chasing Genius” looks at teams using crowdsourcing to gain insights to solve global challenges.

FX put a spotlight on a companion series to the networks’ longrunning comedy, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” Dubbed “Project Bad Ass,” the new project offers to bring an advertiser into a virtual-reality series aimed at fans of “Sunny.” Viewers get to “join” the character “Mac” from “Sunny” as he set out on various – and often ill-fated – extreme sports stunts. Producers see an “unprecedented opportunity for brands to become part of the action and engage with consumers in a cutting-edge and exciting new medium,” said Eric Schrier, president of original programming, FX Networks and FX Productions, in a statement.

Then idea of the “Final Front” is to give Omnicom clients first crack at developing interesting content alliances before others might get word of them. Getting early notice of such availabilities has become more important on Madison Avenue, where many advertisers are trying to build new ways to support programs that aren’t as distracting as the typical 30-second TV ad, which tends to interrupt an audience increasingly able to turn to other content thanks to new technology.

More TV

  • Angelina Jolie

    Angelina Jolie to Produce BBC Show to Help Kids Spot Fake News

    Angelina Jolie and the BBC want to give young viewers real tools to stop fake news, Jolie will executive produce “BBC My World,” a program that explains the stories behind news and offers facts and information that helps kids over the age of 13 make up their own minds on pressing international issues. The series [...]

  • Pictured: Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard

    'Star Trek: Picard': TV Review

    “Star Trek: Picard,” the latest entry in an ever-regenerating franchise, eventually gets going. That it does so more tentatively than boldly may, at first, be a test of individual viewers’ loyalty to the “Trek” universe and to its most famous captain. “Picard’s” great asset is its title character — as played by Sir Patrick Stewart, [...]

  • NBC Sky World News Plots Summer

    NBC Sky World News Plots Summer Launch

    The company known for American news staples like “Today” and “Meet The Press” wants to create similar journalism landmarks for audiences around the world. NBCUniversal and Sky, both owned by parent Comcast Corp., will this summer launch NBC Sky World News, a news service aimed at English-speaking audiences around the globe. The company intends to [...]

  • 'Vikings': Katheryn Winnick on Directing the

    'Vikings’s' Katheryn Winnick Breaks Down Directing the 'Start of Bjorn's Downfall'

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Valhalla Can Wait,” the eighth episode of the sixth season of “Vikings.” When “Vikings” creator Michael Hirst came to terms with killing off the fan-favorite Lagertha character, he knew he wanted to bring portrayer Katheryn Winnick back into the creative fold at least once more [...]

  • Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com 22/01/2020 -

    Tartikoff Honorees Call for Commitment to Diversity and Protection of Press Freedom

    MIAMI — Jeff Zucker didn’t mince words. “Nothing is as important than what I’m doing now,” the CNN Worldwide chief said of his long career in media as he was feted Wednesday night as one of five Brandon Tartikoff Award honorees. Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide and chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports, sounded the [...]

  • Greta Gerwig, Ava DuVernay Urge Changes

    Greta Gerwig, Ava DuVernay Among Directors Urging Changes in DGA Parental Policies

    Greta Gerwig, Ava DuVernay, Reese Witherspoon and more than 40 other women directors are urging the Directors Guild of America to change its policies for new and expectant parents. The directors have co-signed a letter by documentary filmmaker Jessica Dimmock seeking an extension of the qualifying period for DGA health insurance coverage to 18 months [...]

  • NBC Orders Drama Pilots 'Echo,' 'At

    NBC Orders Drama Pilots 'Echo,' 'At That Age'

    NBC has picked up two more drama pilots for the 2020-2021 season. Universal Television will produce both pilots. The first is titled “At That Age.” It is described as an exploration of an African-American family’s legacy. After the Cooper family’s golden child suffers a catastrophic event, seven family members face a foundational shift, make life-altering [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content