Laura Carracioli, a veteran executive with a long history of working to lace advertisers’ products and messages into content, is joining Fox Broadcasting as the network places more emphasis on matching Madison Avenue with its programs.
Fox named Carracioli its new senior vice president and head of brand partnerships and said she would lead its efforts to devise what it called “strategic advertising partnerships” for content ranging from scripted to unscripted and live-event programming. She will join Fox on July 18 and report to Angela Courtin, the network’s chief marketing officer.
Fox has shown new interest in nabbing such business. Last season, the network struck a deal with Pepsi that gave that company’s flagship beverage a role in a three-episode arc of “Empire” as well as a special commercial that played off the show’s storyline. “We are never going to force things into places they don’t belong, but we will continue to look for those opportunities for clients in programming that makes sense and is a good fit,” Toby Byrne, president of ad sales for Fox Networks Group, told Variety earlier this year.
Carracioli might be considered a pioneer in TV’s modern push to transform the awkward practice known as “product placement” into something that is less distracting to viewers. For years, TV networks have stuck cars, mobile phones and fast-food sandwiches into programming, some of it in smart ways that worked within the boundaries of plot and some of it in ham-fisted fashion that transforms a TV show into a TV commercial. In her time, Carracioli has helped arrange a sponsorship of an “American Idol” concert tour by Kellogg’s Pop Tarts and secure a berth in NBC’s “Friday Night Lights” for Applebee’s.
She joins Fox from Electus, the IAC-owned content studio supervised by Ben Silverman. She was president of content marketing there, and served as an executive producer on such series as “Fashion Star,” “Bet on Your Baby,” “Food Fighters” and “Running Wild with Bear Grylls.”
Before joining Electus in 2010, Caraccioli worked for Starcom, the Publicis Groupe-owned media buying unit that is now part of Publicis Media. She was involved in matching clients with programs such as “Ultimate Gamer” and “Rescue Me.”