The Case For Product Integration, The Message is More Palatable when Assimilated into the Overall Viewing Experience
Miami/NATPE “Though negotiations are proprietary, it is NAPTE’s role to assure business is consummated in an open atmosphere where entrepreneurship, neutrality and an all inclusive world view can thrive. NATPE continues to forge relationships in various sectors where, The immediacy of today’s market allows NATPE to be less transactional and more entrepreneurial,” confirms Rod Perth, President&CEO of NATPE.
Last year’s announcement that many of the behemoth webinars were allocating bazillions for original content is a testament to NATPE’s prescience. The prediction has come to fruition one short year later. With Amazon’s production of Michael Connelly’s dark crime series ‘Bosch’ to debut this Friday, the success of Netflix’s ‘Orange is the New Black’ and another 19 original NetFlix series set to unspool and the Golden Globe Winner ‘Transgender’ are among the original web based programs sating the appetites of serious online serial junkies.
According to Ignacio Londono, as seen with Vince 'Breaking Bad' Gilligan an impresario and Integrated Marketing Production Manager for over two decades with Procter&Gamble Latin America with his company Filmy-Latam, “is in the business of offering an integrated service in the South and Central American regional territories that integrates top production values while building our client brands equity and visibility. More than ever this interest from products is predicated on potential exposure on the web”
Londono (is seen here with Vince Gilligan who is prepping a November release of ‘Better Call Saul’ a ‘Breaking Bad’ prequel with co-creator Peter Gould) calls “NATPE one place that the collaborative spirit prevails in a relaxed, tropical setting for attendees to participate in the art of face-to-face negotiation. This is an indispensable ‘Lego’ block in building and sustaining domestic and global ties in the creation of strategic alliances and relationships,” confirms Londono.
As seen with 'Gigging' guest BJ 'Raindrops' Thomas, a five time Grammy Award Winner and 'Gigging and Grubbing' Doug Bornea said brand managers, brand ambassadors and media planners from Korea to Cairo were circling projects in development at this year's NATPE-Miami looking for the next breakout production." Standouts that are being subsidized by seamless product integration and with their built in celebrity quotient to drive audiences were evidenced in programs such as Kenny Rudolph’s ‘Gigging and Grubbing’.
“DVR-proof products integrate across all platforms - like we demonstrated with Wyndham Resorts, a key driver in our ability to develop Gigging&Grubbing across mobile, TV, radio and live events. The production finance industry hasn’t caught up to the speed of innovation in the multi-platform content franchise space because so much of the pioneering is happening outside the traditional media companies – and no one likes the risks and economics of the online-only advertising model," says Gigging&Grubbing Producer Kenny Rudolph.
Product purveyors and brands are the emerging ‘rainmakers’ for content producers. Budgets for media buys and commercial spots are being mined into underwriting reality and scripted entertainment. Case in point, Andrew (i-Yong) Kim in from Seoul’s AK Entertainment was attending NATPE to appraise products for inclusion in future programming.
Christian Johnston’s 360 Content (complexfilms.com) scripted reality show is entertaining offers from Alloy Cars (alloycars.com), Ferretti (Yacht) Group and Costa Rica’s opulent hotels situated in primordial rainforests to bring the true spirit of ‘up market’ travel to viewers with discretionary incomes. The locations, bespoke autos, yachts, jets, fine eateries and fashionable brands serve as a character more than a backdrop in their episodic scripted - reality programs.
Increasingly advertisers and brands are reaching both niche, targeted and built-in audiences by way of key words embedded in Google, Facebook Esquire, Conde Nast and Time Inc.’s search engines.
NATPE can be likened to a petri dish for assessing and test marketing the vast number of eclectic shows in various stages of development. With an immediate impulse e-buy waiting in the wings; seamless and tractable product integration is this century’s capitalist coup! The size of a potential audience and expanded customer base is virtually without peer in history’s advertising arena.
“This is exciting news for emerging talent with limited access to Wall Street, Major Studio finance or Madison Avenue media planners”, according to writer, producer and director Gilley Hebert. With credits that include ‘Cosmic Electric’, PSI-Paranormal Sciences and Investigations and the award-winning short film ‘When Knight Falls No More’, Gilley says “We are entering a bold new era of production, one where the barriers seperating advertising, marketing and production are coalescing into one seamless product. Advertising is less about pre-empting or bookending the advertiser’s message and more about an all around creative flow.”
Susan Johnston Founder/Director www.NewMediaFilmFestival.com and one of the panelists at last year’s NATPE Navigator Program - Lunch Bite Series - has three holiday driven scripts in development that could easily cross into the realm of product integration, with Halloween, December Holidays and Easter as the back story.
She commented that, “Products and film have historically been part of the viewers sub-conscious with Mutual of Omaha’s ‘Animal Kingdom’ to Elliot luring 'ET' with Reese’s Pieces in Universal’s universal classic of 2002. The debut of ‘The Lego Movie’ with a 70 Million dollar opening weekend is being called a game changer of sorts.” Even though it was derided during production as a ‘feature length commercial’ the critics and audiences have taken an about face upon its release. Rave reviews have lauded the story, humor and music, as well as, spawning a middle school National Lego Competition, sponsored in part by Home Depot.
Susan said that the upside to seamless brand integration is that funding here to fore unavailable is surfacing.
Yet she, like most serious players, is telling a cautionary tale. The key to the equation is the script must be in the driving seat with the product restrained in the back. “Selling off plot points to the highest bidder prostitutes the script and smacks of impropriety.” Case in point was the children’s animated feature 'Free Birds', where turkeys time travel to the pilgrims first Thanksgiving to remove themselves from the traditional menu of pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce and green bean almandine. Most agree it was in very bad taste that the climax featured Chuck E Cheese pizzas being delivered to the colonized pilgrims. Yuck.
As scripted reality becomes more relevant, eclectic and intelligent and VOD widens audience reach (with the help of increasing numbers of dubbing and subtitling studios such as Gigi Rosa’s Dream and Dream Multilingual in Rome) the content + product formula serves as a harbinger for a brave new world in distribution AND commerce.
“With NATPE’s Miami Beach at the nexus of Latin America, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa the market continues to serve the ever-evolving domestic, global television and now the advertising industry. The non-for-profit NATPE association has the flexibility to redefine itself and its services. What remains constant is their commitment to keep members apprised of changes occurring daily in the domestic and international entertainment environment," states Rod Perth.
Correction: Thompson Hotel - Miami Beach is a Commune Hotel.
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