Panel Discussions

Warner Bros.’ Blair Rich and More: Panel Discussion at Variety Marketing Summit

The first moves of a film’s promotional cycle are essential, with self-appointed critics of all sorts ready to pounce on anything they view as a misstep. Every little detail matters, so what are the most important considerations that need to be made by those put in charge of these high-stakes campaigns?

Warner Bros. president of worldwide marketing Blair Rich, former Netflix chief marketing officer Kelly Bennett, Searchlight marketing EVP Michelle Hooper, Sony Motion Picture Group co-head Josh Greenstein, and Universal Pictures worldwide marketing president Michael Moses all sat down with Variety editor-in-chief Claudia Eller at Variety’s March 2019 Marketing Summit to discuss how they develop and launch successful marketing campaigns.

“By proxy of our business models, things are just different,” said Bennett, regarding Netflix’s strategy in comparison to more traditional studios. “We’re subscription-based, we’re direct-to-consumer…but it might surprise you to know that we probably do more of the same stuff than different. We’re both trying to create creative campaigns that are so compelling people around the world will grab them and watch them. There’s so much material out there, there’s never been more video to watch in the history of humankind in this minute right now.”

“Where it differs I think, is if you think about a Netflix movie for example, it’s almost as though…your movie was going to be in theaters forever,” he continued. “So imagine if you knew that perpetually you were in theaters – would you still spend the way that you do? Would you still strategize your movie launch the same way? Because for our members, opening weekend is whenever you start watching.”

Variety’s Entertainment Marketing Summit focuses on the entertainment industry’s evolving brand and content strategies.