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Red Giant's Short Idea: A Love Letter to Hollywood

Posted by Michael Waltzer on June 30, 2011 05:30 PM

When your brand is built on selling creative tools, then your brand had better be creative in marketing its wares. Case in point: Red Giant, a software company that sells visual effects tools to the film and television production industry.

Hat tip to iO9 for flagging the above short film, titled Plot Device, pays homage to the whiz-bang effects of a sci fi/summer blockbuster (popcorn not included), which riffs on the cliches of the genre, injects a sly sense of humor into the nine-minute (!) film, and — oh yeah — plugs Red Magic's latest offering, Magic Bullet Suite 11.Continue reading...

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Simon Cowell, Branding Impresario

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 29, 2011 12:30 PM

Simon Cowell is arguably the king of creating entertainment brands, particularly when it comes to packaging pop stars.

Cowell has made a very lucrative business for himself out of creating British game shows and exporting them successfully to America. He has the added joy of being known as an overly confident, brash, opinionated guy who wasn’t afraid to say some blunt and nasty remarks to the brave soul who've come before him for juding in a variety of talent shows.

As his X Factor talent show prepares to jump the pond from the UK to the US, he's not ignoring X Factor UK — far from it.Continue reading...

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GM Extends Tentpole Strategy with The X Factor Deal

Posted by Dale Buss on June 6, 2011 02:30 PM

A bigger brand story demands a bigger audience and a bigger canvas.

General Motors has been returning its advertising to mega-stage “tent-pole” broadcast “events” like the Super Bowl and NCAA March Madness over the last several months as CMO Joel Ewanick works his strategy for re-energizing the company’s remaining Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC brands.

And now GM has opted for yet another big-marketing gambit: a major sponsorship of The X Factor, Simon Cowell’s American Idol competitor that will begin airing on FOX this fall.Continue reading...

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Tom Hanks Son Crowdsources Tower Records Doc

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 1, 2011 11:00 AM

Tom Hanks made his name first TV buffoonery before becoming a Serious Dramatic actor and then producer and documentary producer.

His eldest son Colin appears to be following in those exact footsteps. Except, where Hanks Sr.'s documentary interest has leaned toward conventional Americana (World War 2, NASA), Hanks junior's is a different element of American culture.

Colin Hanks is looking to tell (and sell) the story of the rise and fall of Tower Records, the music retailer that closed its doors in 2006. And you can own a piece of it.Continue reading...

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As Scotty McCreery Launches Career, Cue the Idol Speculation

Posted by Dale Buss on May 27, 2011 02:00 PM

Last year, after the departure of Simon Cowell as the acerbic judge and the face of the show, American Idol confronted a fateful moment: How would the FOX mega-property fight a long-term slide in ratings without its fascinating bad boy and its most compelling personality – especially one who was going to create a competing show that would debut on the same network this fall?

Idol producers succeeded handsomely, bringing in Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler as judges to join holdover Randy Jackson, and making the show’s narrative about really developing really good talent instead of allowing not-so-good singers into the final ranks and then savaging them when they performed down to their level.

Viewership for Wednesday night’s finale was 29 million people, up about 18% from last year’s according to Variety. Votes cast for the two finalists, winner Scotty McCreery and runner-up Lauren Alaina, totaled well more than 100 million, easily a record for the show (thanks largely to its addition of online voting to the old-fashioned phone medium). Inevitably, Idol questions about how long it can keep going, now arise.Continue reading...

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Will The X Factor USA Be Simon Cowell's American Idle?

Posted by Dale Buss on May 13, 2011 03:30 PM

On the list of unsympathetic figures in the entertainment business, Simon Cowell certainly has to rank in the top ten – maybe jostling for #1 or #2 with Donald Trump. Such status is ensured by a decade of absorption of his often-biting persona on American Idol and his opportunistic exit from the show after last season, when presumably Cowell saw it as a sinking franchise.

But if you’re ever going to feel sorry for the glowering, acerbic, v-neck-clad Brit, now might be the time to do it. Not only is Idol arguably better in the post-Cowell era, and with renascent ratings, but there also is an unexpected competitor to the music impresario’s plan to launch an Idol fighter this fall in a U.S. version of his UK hit talent show, The X Factor.Continue reading...

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Hyatt Promotes Spurlock Movie Sponsorship With Greatest Movie Contest

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 2, 2011 06:00 PM

Just after our resident product placement tracker, Abe Sauer, posted his review of POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and interview with the film's director, Morgan Spurlock, we got word of how one of the brands that sponsored the documentary is leveraging its relationship with Spurlock.

Hyatt is inviting the public to submit their own movie trailers for a competition that will be judged by Spurlock, with prizes including two other sponsors of the movie (JetBlue and title sponsor, POM Wonderful).Continue reading...

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Parody: It's a Jersey Shore Thing

Posted by Michael Waltzer on April 27, 2011 04:00 PM

With the third season of MTV's Jersey Shore now wrapped, and the fourth season in Italy not quite in sight, parodies of the show that made stars of Snooki, The Situation and JWoww and added "GTL" to the lexicon, have begun to arise.  

One recent parody burning up YouTube aired last week on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night talk show on ABC. It stars Martin Short, Martin Short, Martin Short, and Martin Short, as the comic actor spoofs each cast member in turn. The video, a mock “red band trailer,” is (of course) called Jersey Short.   

This isn’t the first video to spoof the show, or even the first to appear on Jimmy Kimmel. And to add to the fun, MTV is now parodying the series with its own knock-off.Continue reading...

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