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'Motown: The Musical': Exported From Detroit To Broadway, Per Chrysler

Posted by Dale Buss on March 11, 2013 04:32 PM

Chrysler is trying to make sure that something "Exported From Detroit" has enough backing from the most famous thing "Imported From Detroit." The company has become a major sponsor of "Motown: The Musical" which opens today for previews at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on Broadway.

Perhaps hoping to strike some of the same Sixties-era gold as "Jersey Boys," Motown founder and music impresario Berry Gordy Jr. conceived the idea for the show a decade ago and enlisted some showbiz heavyweights to bring his idea to Broadway.

Now, Chrysler—which has re-established an identity over the last few years as the biggest automotive exponent of an identity rooted in Motown—is bringing both the persona of the musical and one of its own products to life through an innovative sponsorship.Continue reading...

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Oscar is the Word: Academy Awards Officially Rebrand Show for 2013

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 20, 2013 06:01 PM

This year, the 85th Academy Awards takes on a new name with a younger tone, "The Oscars."

"We're rebranding it," Oscars co-producer Neil Meron told The Wrap. "We're not calling it 'the 85th annual Academy Awards,' which keeps it mired somewhat in a musty way. It's called 'The Oscars.'"

Still pursuing a younger demographic despite the failure of James Franco and Anne Hathaway as co-hosts in 2011, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences publicist Teni Melidonian said, "It is right for this show, but we could easily go back to using 'Academy Awards' next year."

"It'll be like the Grammys,” Meron added. “The Grammys don't get a number, and neither will the Oscars." The awards show hit a ratings high of 55 million in 1998, the year of Titanic, but have been on a decline ever since.Continue reading...

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A Google+ Hangout Plugs Google-based "The Internship" Movie

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 18, 2013 10:03 AM

As one of the commenters on the YouTube upload of the official trailer for The Internship movie notes, "I can't believe Google was okay with this movie." Not only did the brand approve all the teasing of Google's corporate culture, there was a Google+ Hangout for the film with Conan O'Brien chatting with co-stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.

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At Sundance, CAA Strays Far Off-Brand With a Wild, NC 17-Rated Blast

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 25, 2013 04:21 PM

This year’s Sundance Film Festival ends Sunday — but for the powerful Creative Artists Agency, it may not be soon enough.

Amid a crowded slate of brand activities in Park City, Utah, CAA threw a party that the venerable film festival will not likely soon forget, featuring “lingerie-clad women pretending to snort prop cocaine, erotic dancers outfitted with sex toys and an "Alice in Wonderland" look-alike performing a simulated sex act on a man in a rabbit costume,” the Los Angeles Times reported. 

"I said to my agent, 'Is this how you want to brand yourself? Pole dancers? Really?'" Oscar-nominated writer-director Naomi Foner, who was at the festival with the film "Very Good Girls," told the newspaper. Continue reading...

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Will Buzz Lightyear Battle Darth Vader? Disney's Infinity Console Makes It Likely

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 16, 2013 02:35 PM

Disney's Infinity game console is making a bold leap to secure a share of the booming video game market for itself — while giving gamers the opportunity to create stories with iconic characters from its most popular franchises.

The ‘Infinity Base’ device lets users engage real-world characters via power discs and activate original story-driven adventures within the game. Players collect characters, vehicles and gadgets from Disney titles such as "Monsters University," "The Incredibles" and "Pirates of the Caribbean" and save them to a virtual ‘Toy Box.’ 

Due in June, Infinity will be deployable across all major gaming platforms including PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS.Continue reading...

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Ron Howard Aims to Direct More Brands' Storytelling Efforts

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 8, 2013 03:19 PM

Ron Howard has wanted to be in the marketing business for decades now, but his wife told him that if he had time to take away from his work as a famous director, producer, and actor, he better fork it over to his wife and kids.

Well, the kids are all grown up now and Howard must have gotten buy-in from his wife because the partnership of Howard and producer Brian Glazer – the duo behind such classic films and TV series as Splash, Apollo 13, 8 Mile, A Beautiful Mind, Friday Night Lights, 24, and Arrested Development – are bringing their storytelling savvy to the marketing world, according to Fortune.

The appeal of working with brands, Howard told Fortune, is that marketers are “wide open” about their how they deliver content, using "long form, short form, live events.” They're also eager for better quality storytelling, and eager to bring Hollywood-honed creativity to their brands. Down the road, Howard says, "We could bring in an Academy Award-winning screenwriter to work on a brand."Continue reading...

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Darth Wars: Star Wars Franchise Poised to Bring Bucks and Good Times to Disney

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 9, 2012 04:55 PM

Now that Disney has agreed to spend big bucks to own Lucasfilm and all of its Star Wars goodies, the corporation is losing little time working the big brand into its plans.

DisneyParks released an amusing video on Halloween showing Darth Vader and a couple of his stormtroopers hanging out at Disneyland: riding a Dumbo ride, buying some popcorn, enjoying the fireworks. It has since racked up more than 3.2 million views on YouTube.

It is passion like that that Disney is hoping will make for excellent return on investment for its big purchase. Even without the Star Wars brand in its back pocket, Disney just reported a pretty good fiscal year, going up 3% to $42 billion in revenue while its profits went up 18% to almost $5.7 billion, Variety reports.

"We're entering a phase-out of investment mode and transitioning into more compelling growth mode," Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger told analysts. "We're seeing a ramping down of capital spending." He went on to say that the addition of Lucasfilm “will further fuel Disney's creative engine across our company to create additional value for our shareholders.” And attention holiday shoppes: Iger noted that Star Wars merchandise would be found soon in Disney stores and online. Continue reading...

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Star Wars Fans Not Thrilled that Disney is Embracing its Darth Side

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 31, 2012 04:43 PM

The Walt Disney Company's announcement that it's buying Lucasfilm — the production company owned by producer/director George Lucas — for $4.05 billion means every last bit of the Star Wars franchise is now part of the Mickey Mouse Empire. The deal shouldn't come as a huge surprise, given the success of Star Wars-themed weekends luring amateur Jedi warriors and Darth Vaders to Disney parks.

Even though series creator Lucas says that there is such “a large group of ideas and characters and books and all kinds of things” that new Star Wars movies could be coming out for the next 100 years, fans of the franchise are a little confused that their cinnamon-roll-haired Princess Leia is now on the same squad with such gals as Pocahontas, Snow White, Ariel, and Cinderella.

Fans won’t have to wait 100 years for the next film, however. The first one under new ownership, Star Wars VII, will hit screens in 2015. Some, though, are not happy about the news.Continue reading...

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