The one and only RAY ECKE, who is a PR man deluxe and writes so well, he writes for us. This is his take on the first two days of PROMAX NYC. You know, Big Kids PROAX. So thrilled he was able to catch up with CHRIS SLOAN and MIKE BENSON.
PromaxBDA 2018: New York – Reporter’s Notebook
By Ray Ecke, Well Dunne Talent correspondent
“Man that is a long line,” said one PromaxBDA attendee as the escalator delivered him to the 2nd floor of the New York Hilton and greeted him with a registration line that snaked seemingly the length of an entire city block.
Yes, lines suck, but the sessions and all around good vibes present here would made it all worth the wait.
Scott Rogowsky, the comic and host and creator of the groundbreaking mobile app game show HQ Trivia, began day one with a quick game of trivia and joked about how the Grand Ballroom here also the site of the Trump campaign’s victory party in 2016 and that we had to work hard to exercise those demons.
From there he introduced Dawn Ostroff, President of Conde Nast Entertainment for an in-depth talk about the state of the TV in the age OTTs like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu growing in dominance. She noted that while content is “queen” that good content not only makes an impact but also is memorable as evidenced by Architectural Digest Open House video series featuring DJ/Producer Zedd that not only got 14 million views but informal market research (she asked her kids) they not saw it but registered the magazine brand behind it.
From there, Ad Age Magazine’s media reporter Jeanine Poggi interviewed Angela Courtin, Global Head of Marketing, YouTube & Originals, followed by Mike Benson, Head of Marketing, Amazon Studios.
Benson, a former marketing executive for ABC, noted how interesting it was for him to be in the audience for the recent Upfronts as a media buyer rather than on stage presenting. “Linear TV still works,” Benson said noting that Amazon bought a Super Bowl ad for the first time to promote the upcoming series Jack Ryan, “but we need to figure out how to better use it.”
The highlight of the day was the conversation with actress Laura Dern and Me Too movement founder Tarana Burke, moderated by ABC’s 20/20 co-anchor Amy Robach.
“We slowly shift culture by shifting our narrative,” said Me Too founder Tarana Burke. “Entertainment industry folks are at the forefront of that.”
“It’s a much larger issue that we all need to consider for the next generation,” Dern added.
Second day of PromaxBDA is always my favorite: everyone is settled in and acclimating to the pace, which for sessions at Promax this year has taken on more of a TED-like vibe with 3 mini sessions totaling 90 minutes wrapped under a unifying theme. Plus, Wednesday is always party night for attendees, with shindigs hosted by numerous Promax mainstays such as Stephen Arnold Music, Videohelper and IKA Collective.
One of the more effecting sessions was “Be The Change: Using Your Platform For Social Good” that featured Chris Sloan, Owner/President of 2C Creative; Lara Richardson, Group EVP, Discovery and Science Channel; and Kim Rosenbaum, EVP, Marketing and Chief Creative Officer, Nickelodeon Group.
Sloan, who is also Co-founder of Caleb & Calder Sloan’s Awesome Foundation, the non-profit he founded to honor his late son whose fundraisers and community outreach efforts have benefitted Lehrman Community Day School, Miami Children’s Museum, Centro Mater Child Care Services, #HashtagLunchBag, Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift, Operation Puerto Rico Gift-Lift and others. Sloan highlighted the work the organization did bringing meals to Puerto Rico’s hurricane victim.
He’s also supporting Operation Backpack, which under the guidance of Rachel Weinstein, VP, Communications & External Relations, was enlisting help from PromaxBDA attendees to fill backpacks with school supplies for thousands of New York City’s homeless children. Weinstein told me she was deeply affected when she noticed many New York City school kids were heading to school without a backpack because they couldn’t afford one, or the school supplies to go inside it. She vowed then to make a difference, and she certainly has. For more information go to www.OperationBackpackNYC.org.
Of course one of the must-see’s was Lee Hunt’s Best Practice’s 2018, which focused media consolidation and the continued trend toward network’s creating their OTT apps and how their promo breaks directed viewers toward these emerging viewing platforms. His complete findings are available at http://leehunt.com/articles/LeeHunt_BestPractices2018_video.pdf.
As for the parties, Stephen Arnold Music’s rooftop soiree was a lot of fun with the music company of course giving away one of its prized guitars. Hanging out was Grammy-winning engineer Juan Cristobal Losada, whose credits include Santana, Jon Secada and Shakira among many others.
The picture is Noelle Alains, Tinsley Bone and Chad Cook of Stephen Arnold Music with lucky winner of their psychedelic guitar.
Think About This: “Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.” ~ Jack Kerouac