July 21, 2008
“Medium: for Living Ideas(TM)” is Born at the Crossroads of Hollywood and Madison Avenue to Offer a Fresh, Creative Take on the Business of Branded Entertainment
The advertising community and the major brands which have famously created some of the industry's most compelling and memorable identity campaigns have still found at least one holy grail of branding to be highly elusive - they all want to better and more effectively entertain and inform their key target audiences in a way that is measurable and meaningful. "medium: for living ideas(TM)", a new branded entertainment shop and original entertainment content studio based in Los Angeles, delivers just that.
"medium: for living ideas(TM)" offers a non-traditional and fully integrated vertical solution for brand marketers to reach consumers with original multi-channel content that has stand-alone creative entertainment value, while also delivering compelling brand-centric messages. It provides corporations and media companies with a unique platform for communication with their key audiences and a less intrusive way to create awareness for their products and services while driving trial for new products. Because "medium(TM)" content is fresh and original, it also offers marketers a way to create a social marketing groundswell that is organic and constantly evolving, and built around the most salient pop culture issues and trends of the day that viewers and recipients care about the most - trends that tap into and maximize specific consumer lifestyles.
The evolution of "medium(TM)" stems from its two entertainment powerhouse sister companies - Triage Entertainment (a full-service television production company producing shows for major broadcast and cable networks like Iron Chef and Greatest American Dog, the latter which is also co-executive produced by R.J. Cutler) and Levity Entertainment (the majority owner of the IMPROV comedy franchise operating the largest retail comedy footprint in the country and producers of prime time comedy specials and DVDs).
Triage and Levity, which have backed "medium(TM)" with financing, a veteran executive team, and some of the industry's best creative talent, see the asset aggregation that the two companies provide "medium(TM)" as a paradigm shift in traditional branding, product placement and promotional advertising.
Through the partnership with Triage and Levity, "medium(TM)" opens its doors with several major integrated programs that are indicative of its philosophy for notable brand clients including Pepsi's Sierra Mist and IBN (In-Store Broadcast Network). Combining the heft of all three sister companies, the aim of "medium(TM)" is to deliver corporations and other brand entities the opportunity to create a relationship between the customer and the brand that is enjoyable and engaging and offers a degree of stickiness, loyalty and return participation that eludes other forms of traditional marketing. The company's philosophy is based on the power that a compelling message can take on a life of its own if strategically distributed - becoming a living idea. "medium(TM)" executives believe that this new approach to entertainment programming - infused with, but not based on, brand messages - will fill what it believes to be a huge capabilities gap in the branded entertainment sphere.
"'medium(TM)' will draw assets from the multitude of projects and talent that pass through our companies to create new content and distribution opportunities for brands," said Stu Schreiberg, CEO of Triage Entertainment. "With the further advancement and acceptance of digital content, we see the role of 'medium(TM)' as bridging a gap in our existing business model, not only for new media and future television projects, but for a new savvy audience that wants to be both engaged and entertained by a brand."
Robert Hartmann, CEO of Levity Entertainment said, "As the largest booker of live comedic talent in the country for the IMPROV, Levity Entertainment has a constant stream of ideas and people who approach the creative process in a different way, at our access. We quickly figured out that this creative access matched with 'medium(TM)'s marketing knowledge allowed us to create authentic entertainment content, simplify the Hollywood process and provide all services under one roof."
"medium(TM)" is being spearheaded by Ron Walter and Claudia Cahill, two branded entertainment executives who most recently ran programs for AXE, Nestle's Stouffers, Lean Cuisine and Purina brands. Both "medium(TM)" executives have had long careers and multiples successes with top advertising agencies including Goodby Silverstein, Hal Riney, Grey Worldwide and the Omnicom agencies, and are recognized as trendsetters in the area of multi-platform marketing.
For Sierra Mist, "medium(TM)" is currently creating a 30-episode animated news show, told from the perspective of a group of 24-year olds that have created their own version of the news - with a refreshing and humorous slant that can only be communicated through animation. Additionally, "medium(TM)" is developing a comedy-centric creative lab for Sierra Mist, which is staffed with major comedy show runners, writers, producers and performers with the goal of developing new forms of creative communication for the Sierra Mist consumer.
"Once you venture outside the sixty-second barrier, the game changes dramatically," explained Walter, executive creative director of "medium(TM).""Now the creative has to play by new rules to capture and maintain an audience. All engagement is now choice-driven; consumers choose to come back for more if it's entertaining. We have built a company of talented, experienced people who know how to craft content worthy of a viewer's time which creates brand loyalty."
"In all of the programs that 'medium(TM)' creates, the featured company's presence, in itself, is minimal - and the true, 3-D personality of the brand is what comes through as the end-result," added Walter. "This is very different from the 2-D presentation of a product that can be flat and lifeless in a traditional product-placement format. 'medium(TM)' will breathe life into the product's personality by letting it shine though in a less-branded environment of entertainment. "
"medium(TM)" is also developing retail-based entertainment programming for IBN, In-Store Broadcast Network. With placement in Walgreens, Kroger, Duane Reed and Subway, IBN programs will consist of short episodic content supported by brand integration that delivers entertaining messages at the purchase decision level.
"In today's world, where and how messages are received make all the difference," said Cahill, executive vice president, Corporate Development, for "medium(TM).""Our company focuses first on the core creative idea and second on the distribution medium - whether it's television, online, chat, text message, or word-of-mouth - to best reach a moving, non-captive consumer target."
"medium(TM)" is a new type of entertainment content development studio designed to assist America's leading brands in creating original integrated concepts to capture the attention of their core audience. "medium(TM)" bridges the disciplines of advertising, branding and entertainment to deliver highly relevant original content, targeted to specific segments, across multiple platforms. The company's award-winning creative team staffs a full-service production house that manages all parts of the content development process from research to production to distribution. "At 'medium(TM),' we allow content to happen - where the Message Becomes the Medium." For more information on "medium(TM)," please contact 310.417.4888.