President and Founder, Situation Interactive
Bazadona mounted a “Mean Girls Day” streaming party on Facebook Live, hosted by talent, to promote Broadway’s musical adaptation of the 2004 theatrical. “It connects people with the brand,” he says. His New York-based digital-focused marketing agency also handles legit productions “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Wicked;” Brooklyn Academy of Music; Major League Soccer; and cable nets A&E, Bravo, National Geographic and USA Network. He founded the agency in 2001, just three years out of college. For live events, Bazadona employs machine learning and other tools to predict late-stage empty seats, which can be donated. “We identify excess capacity and use it for social good,” he says.
President of Marketing and CMO, CBS
Benson took the pinnacle marketing job at CBS last month, moving over from head of marketing for Amazon Studios and Prime Video. The Los Angeles-based executive now oversees a staff of hundreds. In his career, Benson has won 17 Clio awards, including one Grand Clio; five Cannes Lion awards; and has an Emmy nomination. Earlier, Benson worked at Time Warner Global Media Group, Disney/ABC, Viacom and local TV stations. He says viewers are platform agnostic and don’t care if they’re watching streaming, broadcast or cable. What consumers do prize is the “total experience that you create” embracing marketing, program discovery, on-air promotions, content itself and associated advertising.
Co-President, Domestic Marketing, Universal Pictures
Media clutter has prompted the contraction of movie-marketing campaigns that used to sprawl out over nearly a year to concentrated in a few months prior to premiere, Caines says. “The magnitude of the media, publicity and social weight is compacted” to deliver the marketing blast near premiere, he says. For the horror film “Us,” unsettling icons peppered first-wave outdoor, trailer and social teasers, and then were amplified across digital. Caines says that ignites “a cultural combustion that breaks through the clutter.” The Los Angeles-based executive joined the studio last year, having previously worked at Sony Pictures for 19 years. He is Hollywood’s first major-studio marketing chief from the digital side.
Since Campbell joined the streamer in in mid-2017, Hulu’s subscriber count has soared 64% to past 28 million. Campbell always approaches campaigns “looking for unique ways in,” meaning more than just flashing the corporate logo. Hulu’s live sports — a key differentiator from its rivals — is the theme in an ongoing campaign with famous athletes as presenters in “activations that are connected to their own personalities and passions,” she says. Building pitches around their real lives makes for unique, authentic messaging. Some 300 marketing staffers and 400 viewer-experience advocates report to the Santa Monica-based executive. Campbell came over from Google and, earlier on, investment banking.
President of Marketing, Focus Features
The biggest all-time domestic grosser for Focus, “Downton Abbey,” benefitted from more than a dozen digital tie-in promotions, “most notably was a digital partnership with Airbnb where fans had the opportunity to stay a night at the real Downton home, Highclere Castle,” says Cassidy. That generated millions of entries. The Los Angeles-based executive joined Focus in 2016 from Open Road Films, where he helped guide “Spotlight” to the best picture Oscar in 2015; Miramax; and October Films. Cassidy says film marketers increasingly expand their digital footprints with permanent vehicles including podcasts and web series. Focus originates digital series “You Know That Scene” and “Reel Destinations.”
Executive VP, Advertising, Strategy & Digital, FX Networks
Daws engaged fans with “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” by launching a barrage of Easter eggs — hidden messages or features in digital content — and also dribbled clues online leading the audience to a microsite. A physical Los Angeles experience for superfans and influencers was a springboard for digital when it was streamed live on Facebook, garnering more than 18 million impressions. “Apocalypse” became one of TV’s most-buzzed about shows with 70 million video views and 500 million paid impressions overall. The Los Angeles-based executive joined the Disney-owned basic cable network in 1994, straight out of college and won an Emmy in 2016.
Danielle De Palma, Faye Ugolnik, Tamar Teifeld
Danielle De Palma
Executive VP, Domestic Marketing, Paramount Pictures
Executive VP, Media, Paramount Pictures
Senior VP, Digital Marketing, Paramount Pictures
With digital fragmenting audiences, De Palma says Hollywood is marshaling digital tools for sharper targeting of movies. That means parsing audience data to “get the best possible creative messages in front of the right audiences and impact those audiences.” Digital tools include artificial intelligence to compare audience emotional responses to marketing content. Another new wrinkle is that marketers no longer simply select influencers with the biggest followings, but embrace those whose content is clever and doesn’t seem like advertising. De Palma came to Paramount in September from Apple, where she marketed film and TV. She earlier worked at Lionsgate and MGM. Ugolnik arrived in 2000 and now oversees paid media for theatrical marketing. Teifeld, who joined the studio in 2006, supervises the domestic digital marketing team, including social, digital creative and digital-media custom programs. All are based in Los Angeles.
David G. Edwards
Senior VP of Global, Marketing Strategy, Lionsgate
Edwards crafted a “fan-first” campaign for “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum,” whose marketing won major industry awards. Enthusiast non-pros who were content moderators on Reddit and a text message initiative that signed up hundreds of thousands were the first stop for “John Wick” casting and pre-production news, trailers, posters, behind-the-scenes material and even the announcement of a fourth film. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles-based Edwards sees traditional siloed movie marketing — legacy media, digital, publicity and promotions in separate buckets — replaced by a unified integrated approach. “That might sound obvious but it’s really been a big shift industry,” says the seven-year Lionsgate veteran.
President, Media & Marketing Innovation, STX Entertainment
“Hustlers” became STX’s biggest domestic weekend opening with $33.2 million grossed at the box office after Elkins focused marketing firepower on 234 million social-media followers of its female cast and also those who bought tickets to comparable films. “Fence sitters” in those two audience buckets also were identified and often converted. The Los Angeles-based executive earlier worked at MGM/United Artists, and ad agencies handling Paramount and Lionsgate/Summit. Elkins advocates not simply re-using pre-existing marketing campaign templates but making business outcomes as the “North Star” goal. That can mean paying for media buys based on ticket sales instead of the traditional audience-delivery metric.
President, Marketing & Digital, NBC Entertainment
Streaming services love acquiring re-runs of sitcoms that originated on the Peacock network, so Fogge highlights that attribute with the “Comedy Starts Here” campaign. “For people who know that, it’s a great reminder,” says the Los Angeles-based executive. “And for people who are unaware of that, we want them to know this great series began on NBC.” That messaging “helps audiences connect the dots on what it means to be an NBC comedy — past, present and future.” Fogge arrived in 2011, after working at Showtime Networks and also ad agency Grey Entertainment, where he handled Hollywood clients.
Chief Strategy & Transformation Officer, R&C/PMK-BNC
An immersive map about climate change projected inside the U.N. General Assembly Hall was a coup arranged by Greiwe for client Verizon. The Los Angeles-based Greiwe works the intersection of storytelling, data and digital media. Other clients are Facebook; Kobe Bryant, and his content-producing Granity Studios; as well as Hollywood talent for their social media, including John Travolta. Greiwe was involved in five Cannes Lions wins including the Grand Prix in Entertainment for the HIV documentary “Five B” this year. His advice is to “stop thinking of digital media as ‘magical fairy dust’ where people behave differently than they do elsewhere.” R&C is merging with PMK-BNC.
Linnea P. Hemenez
Head of Content Marketing, Spotify
The audio streaming giant teamed with teen sensation Billie Eilish to promote her new album in 20 countries for online, out-of-home media and a physical pop-up, Hemenez says. Spotify won a Gold Clio award for its Billie Eilish Experience. Hemenez joined nearly a year ago, after previously working at Facebook, Hulu and marketing-services agencies. She is a board member of entertainment-marketing trade group Promax. Hemenez also is dialing up marketing heat for audio podcasts, where content is acquired, and also Spotify Originals. She predicts podcasts will be the next big thing as the industry gets better at matching content to audiences.
Andrew Hotz, Cameron Curtis, Jessica Thurber
Exec VP, Global Digital Marketing and Chief Data Strategist, Warner Bros. Pictures
Senior VP, Digital Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures
Senior VP, Digital Marketing, Warner Bros. Pictures
Hotz says “Joker” presented diverse marketing options with its appeal to fanboys as well as the artsy crowd (evidenced by winning festival kudos). Social-media buzz was parsed for patterns, and then marketing content crafted that was quickly evaluated for audience impact and its ability to make audiences more likely to see “Joker” in cinema. “We bobbed and weaved based on how audiences and the press responded to it,” Hotz says. He joined in 2017, working previously at DreamWorks Animation and Google. Curtis arrived in 2016, after experience at Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures. Thurber came aboard in 2009, previously working at Paramount Pictures. All three are based in Burbank. Hotz says one-size-fits-all does not apply to marketing content for cyberspace. Each social-media platform sports different tech attributes — such as some better than others in presenting visuals — so content requires platform-specific customization.
Senior VP, Digital Marketing, Walt Disney Studios
To underscore that Brie Larson performed demanding stunts in “Captain Marvel,” Intihar peppered the online space with short videos showing her in physical training as preparation. The movie is set in the 1990s, which inspired a pop-up Tower Records store and throwback Captain Marvel website. Intihar handles digital theatrical marketing and also markets content for the Disney Plus streaming platform. The Burbank-based executive joined Disney nine years ago. Intihar says digital should be interwoven with all aspects of a campaign, such as activations and amplifications, because it’s an effective connecting device. “Digital doesn’t live in isolation,” she says.
CMO and Exec VP, Epix
Six months prior to the premiere of original TV series “Godfather of Harlem,” Iwanowski gingerly rolled out marketing content in cinema advertising, TV and social media. Audience engagement was evaluated to fine tune the approach, “so when we went into the market with our aggressive spending, we knew exactly who to target.” The New York-based executive joined in 2011, coming over from Apparition Pictures, GK Film’s FilmDistrict and Sundance Channel. He finds the industry to be collegial, sharing marketing best practices and audience insights, because everyone searches for answers. “The book is being written in real time on how to do this, but no one is claiming authorship.”
Jackie Lee-Joe & Shauna Spenley
VP of Marketing (North America), Netflix
Lee-Joe says digital media facilitates individualized conversations in which marketers cannot “shy away from the difficult questions. Creating these authentic human connections on a hyper-local level, and talking openly about who they are and what they believe in, creates resilient trust and credibility for brands.” Lee-Joe markets the brand and originals globally and previously was CMO of BBC Studios. Spenley joined in 2005 and took her present post in 2013, leading original content marketing strategy and creative for North America. Earlier, Spenley worked at the WB, CAA and at CBS in London. They are based in Hollywood.
Jim Marsh & Jackie Gagne
Senior VP, Digital Marketing & Content, HBO
VP, Multicultural Marketing, HBO
Marsh’s campaign for youth drama “Euphoria” tried to “make it feel like a community that our viewers would want to be part of.” That involved social media on third-party platforms and working with the cast to develop social footprints. Prior to joining HBO in 2008, Marsh worked at Deep Focus and CNN International. He has two Cannes Lions, five Emmy noms and two wins. Gagne oversees marketing for HBO Latino and is focused on African American, Latinx, Asian and LGBTQ-plus audiences. She joined in 2011. They are New York-based. Marsh sees AI and AR coming on fast. “The key challenge is to learn faster than the rate of change.”
VP, Digital Marketing, Starz
Muehl’s footprint is global, supporting international expansion and recently generating 700 million social impressions and nearly 8 million clicks for the websites of the cabler’s carriage partners. For the final season of TV series “Power,” his social media #TeamTommy versus #TeamGhost rivalry pulled in fans, celebrities and sports figures for 850,000 Twitter mentions, an 820% increase from the prior season and surpassing competing series. Muehl also mines social media with hyper-targeted marketing content for recipients “to feel relevant in their feeds as the marketing landscape becomes more cluttered.” He joined Starz in 2014 from NBC Television, and earlier worked at ABC Television and MTV.
Kimberly Paige & Ken Gibbs
Executive VP and CMO, BET Networks
VP, Digital Video and Social Content, BET Networks
Paige pursues digital marketing on a multifront basis. This includes “our content partnership with Tyler Perry, the launch of our SVOD service BET Plus, the acceleration of our digital strategy, and the addition of major markets and experiences to our live events business,” she says. Paige joined BET in September. Gibbs arrived in 2012, with a background in digital strategy and content at other companies including Time Warner. They are both based in New York. Paige says corralling digital’s many tools and analy-tics allows for “hyper-segmentation to super-serve consumers where they are.”
CMO and Exec VP, Digital Studios, MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo Group
For “The Hills: New Beginnings,” Parkes commissioned 500 unique digital assets that either rekindled interest for those in their 30s that were fans of the original show or introduced the MTV series revival to ages 18-24. Via online activations, non-pros placed themselves in the content with the signature song “Unwritten,” which Parkes says “allowed people to become part of the show that they love.” Content registered 45 million cross-platform views even before the TV series launched and topped Twitter trending. The New York-based executive marketing Viacom brands joined MTV in 2016, after 21 years in Major League Baseball, where she was the first female CMO in professional sports.
EVP Worldwide Digital Marketing, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Plishner achieved a twofer by bringing digital media buying in-house. On top of the expected cost savings, the Los Angeles-based executive says the studio further took “control of its own data destiny” to be nimble from constantly refreshed audience insights. That’s for digital buying of programmatic, social and search. He was hired in 2008, after working at advertising agency Universal McCann for 10 years handling the Sony theatrical account. Plishner says marketers should remember that 24% of the population never goes to movies, so instead they should focus on the 12% narrow slice that accounts for nearly half of cinema admissions.
Senior VP and General Manager, New Media, Marvel Entertainment
The red-carpet premiere of “Avengers: Endgame” was live-streamed, generating 18 million-plus views and 8 million-plus social engagement for the Disney-owned unit. “Given collaboration with brand partners of the film, the lower cost of new-media content creation and distribution, this added up to an off-the-charts return on investment,” Rahmani says. The New York-based executive joined in March, from digital properties of IAC, Thrillist Media and Viacom. Rahmani says to fasten your seatbelts for the “niche social” media trend. Specialty platforms such as Discord for video gamers and Marvel Insider with 1.8 million members demonstrate that affinity for “content is community,” he says.
Chief Digital and Marketing Officer, PBS
Rubenstein marches the public TV broadcaster in lock step with its 330 member stations, which have deep roots in their local communities. The Arlington, Va.-based executive notes that the PBS app senses consumers’ geography so it can also present a member station’s local programming and pass along viewer donations — all of which relieves the need for stations to create their own apps. The arrangement “meets consumers’ desire to watch content on different platforms without losing the connection to member stations.” Rubenstein joined in 2014, after working previously in digital marketing at 20th Century Fox, Marvel Entertainment and Sony Pictures.
President, Marketing, ABC Entertainment and Disney Television Studios
Broadcast TV can be very social, as evidenced by ABC Television’s “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise.” Over the summer, Ryan says, “we produced a ton of fun content to engage these fans during air, as well as between each episode to drive them back week after week.” This helped lift ABC to No. 1 in summer for first time in 24 years. Meanwhile, with appointment television passé in today’s on-demand world, Ryan says, “we’re investing in media at times that drive discovery and we’ve adopted a more year-round, always on on strategy.” The Burbank-based executive joined ABC earlier this year from Fox Television Group.
Executive Vice President and Head of Marketing, Fox Entertainment
When “The Masked Singer” became a hit in its first season, Schillace made sure it was more than a flash-in-the-pan. The Los Angeles-based executive put the audience under a microscope, finding loyal fans in family, co-viewing and social buzz that were blanketed for a successful second season. He handles promotion of Fox Broadcasting Network. Schillace joined in 2017 from Disney’s ABC Entertainment, and earlier worked at OWN and advertising agencies. He adds that traditional TV marketing rides two horses simultaneously — mass media such as outdoor billboards as well as fine-pointed digital initiatives such as “one-to-one targeting to a Samsung connected TV set.”
Founder, Hollywood in Pixels
Sherick founded a grass-roots effort to preserve Hollywood’s digital marketing history, and Hollywood in Pixels was established in 2015 as a registered nonprofit. HIP archives film marketing campaigns “that were so of the moment in both the zeitgeist and digital history that they will never be repeated in the same way again,” she says. Besides preserving banner ads and websites, HIP confers the annual Silver Pixels awards and is starting to record oral histories. Sherick is senior VP, worldwide consumer insights and audience analy-tics on the Warner Bros. digital marketing team, and earlier pioneered digital marketing at 20th Century Fox International.
Melissa Stone Mangham
Head of Marketing, Pop TV
Stone Mangham advocates stoking viewers to be “brand ambassadors telling their family, friends, colleagues, etc., about a show that they’re a fan of, not only in person but through their social channels, allowing for great and personal reach.” The Los Angeles-based Stone Mangham joined the CBS-owned basic-cable TV network in 2014, having worked previously at E! Entertainment and Style Network. She goes off-line with the “Visit ‘Schitt’s Creek’” immersive pop-up experiences in New York and Los Angeles, which allowed viewers to re-create favorite moments from the comedy TV series. “Schitt’s Creek” corralled four Emmy nominations, Pop TV’s first.
President, Content & Marketing, Disney Plus
After providing steady theatrical marketing leadership for years, Strauss was given the reins last year for Disney’s mammoth streaming venture that surely is one of the most history-molding Hollywood jobs in this generation. Usually, content and marketing oversight are split, but Disney vests Strauss — who has movie development and production experience — with both. His background marketing brands and collaborating with Hollywood creative talent is central to his current job. The Burbank-based Strauss joined Disney in 2012 after seven years as president of film indie Participant Media, and earlier worked at Sony Pictures in marketing and production.
Senior VP, Digital, Media & Marketing, Showtime Networks
When late-night talk show “Desus & Mero” moved from another TV network, Showtime offered a limited-time discount to its app subscription via the talent’s social footprint, particularly on Twitter and Instagram. Swarth says “Desus & Mero’s” prior audience skewed younger than Showtime’s average, presenting an opportunity. Swarth joined in 2012, previously working at an advertising agency; MTV Networks participating in launching Epix; and Warner Bros. With growing marketplace data available in real time, he advocates a marketing mindset of agility to “respond quickly to changes to customer behavior,” versus the industry practice of simply following pre-set campaign templates.
Wall’s career goes full circle starting in linear TV, moving to on-demand, and now returning to linear at Nick (also with direct-to-consumer businesses). With her 360-degree experience, the New York-based Wall connects to audiences in digital media including YouTube, embraces being nimble as audience data illuminates new marketing options and probes consumer behavior beyond the what to understand the why. One new wrinkle is growing “co-viewing,” she says. “Kids now watch some of the same programs their parents are, providing shared time together.” Before joining this year, Wall was CMO at Spotify-owned podcaster Gimlet; and earlier Hulu, Netflix, HBO and advertising agencies.
Variety’s Digital Marketing Impact Report 2019
Presented by Spotify