×

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

  • Bristol, CT - March 13, 2017

    Mina Kimes Helps ESPN Kick Off 'Daily' Podcast

    Mina Kimes is preparing to take ESPN into a new frontier. The sports-media giant has launched a “SportsCenter” for Snapchat and tested baseball telecasts for kids. Now it’s hoping to set up shop in another media venue. Starting tomorrow, the Disney-backed company launches “ESPN Daily,” a weekday morning podcast that aims to tap its vast [...]

  • MIA Wrap

    Rome MIA Market Wraps With Stronger U.S. Presence, Boosts Italy's Industry Standing

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries wrapped positively Sunday with organizers boasting a bump in attendance just as some 2,500 executives departed in an upbeat mood after four days of dealmaking and presentations of mostly European fresh product, which elevated Italy’s global standing in the industry, especially within the TV sector. [...]

  • NETFLIX ZERO SHOWRUNNER

    Showrunner Stefano Voltaggio on Netflix's 'Zero' About Black Youths in Italy (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix recently announced a new Italian original titled “Zero” that will mark the first Italian series centered around the present-day lives of black Italian youths. “Zero” is based on several books by young writer and TV music show host Antonio Dikele Distefano, who was born in Italy from Angolan parents. The project was originated by [...]

  • Content-is-King

    Top TV Execs Tackle New Distribution Landscape in Rome

    ROME – In an increasingly complex TV market, with a host of new big-ticket streaming services preparing to enter an already crowded arena, both buyers and sellers are rethinking some of the fundamentals of the TV business as they grapple with the best way to reach global audiences. A host of top producers, network executives, [...]

  • MIA-MARKET-2019_Europe-Producers-Club_4

    European Producers and Broadcasters Debate How to Weather Streaming Storm

    ROME – The impending rollout of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other new streaming services promises a new era of uncertainty—and opportunity—for broadcasters and producers in an industry already disrupted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. At a panel hosted by the European Producers Club Friday afternoon during the MIA market in Rome, executives [...]

  • Kevin-Beggs

    Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs on Streamers and TV’s ‘Platinum Era’

    ROME – Over the course of two decades in the industry, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs has witnessed the ups and downs of a business that has frequently found itself confronting both dizzying new possibilities as well as existential threats. But these days the veteran exec, who oversees the development of all scripted and non-scripted content [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content