While many of you are gathering swag in Vegas, nobody is going to bring back a better cherished treat than Memphis’ MIKE CUNNINGHAM. He and his lady love did the Vegas thing – they got married. Yes Elvis was involved at some point and it was a happy, fun wedding. He and the new Mrs. Cunningham are the best..and we’ll be sending them happiness and a Well Dunne! Mike is CSD at the Nexstar operation in the city known for Graceland.
RAY ECKE did an outstanding job covering Big PROMAX in NYC, and this is his last installment. Enjoy!
PromaxBDA 2018 Reflections
By Ray Ecke
Not sure why but the final day of PromaxBDA always feels a bit more focused compared to the previous two. Maybe it’s because most of the sales and business development folks have all headed back to the office, (or sleeping off the cumulative effects of the previous night’s party-hopping). Whatever the reason the net result usually is a final day of sessions that seems to attract the proverbial best-and-brightest who are looking to engage in a deeper conversation about what’s going on in our industry, good and bad, and discuss openly the challenges we face in our ever evolving world of content marketing, promotion and design.
That spirit was on display at sessions like “How To Build An Interactive Cult,” which took a deep dive into FX’s innovative awareness campaign leading up season 7 of American Horror Story, FX’s Stephanie Gibbons, Sally Daws and Jason Phipps shared the stage with agency Spark+Sizzle’s Cyndy Cecil-Bragg and Crystal Hall. Not on the stage but shouted out to was director Ian Karr of IKA Collective, New York.
Also worth noting was Tom Goodwin’s TV: RIP keynote, which challenged the notion that TV as a medium is dead, but instead to rethink the notion of TV itself and how to market via it. And of course State Of Our Art, gave everyone a glimpse at the extraordinary creative happening globally.
Following a lifetime achievement award to longtime BET Networks Chairman and CEO Debra Lee, and of course a guitar giveaway via Stephen Arnold Music, Dallas, where Hugo Creative’s Creative Director/Managing Principal Matt Guastaferro was hoping to take home psychedelic Gibson SG the leaders in sonic branding were raffling off this year (Sorry Matt, the lucky winner was Kent Devoll, Director, Promotions, Strategy & Scheduling at insp, Indian Land, SC), it was time to give away some glitzy gold statues.
Hosted by actor/comic Tone Bell, who is starring in new CBS comedy “Fam” this fall with Nina Dobrev, and also starred in Netflix’s “Disjointed” with Kathy Bates and NBC’s “Whitney” with Whitney Cummings, the 2018 PromaxBDA Promotion, Marketing and Design Awards honored FX Networks with North America Marketing Team of the Year for the eighth consecutive year, while CNN Worldwide won Global Excellence Marketing Team of the Year. Additionally, P+A was awarded North America Agency of the Year for work done on FX‘s
“American Horror Story: Cult” and Hulu‘s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” while Stun was honored as Global Excellence agency of the year. Full list of winners can be found here.
One of the more emotional moments of the evening came when CNN won for Brand Integration campaign for ”Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain.”
Outside in the lobby my old friends Michael Waldron, SVP Creative Dir. – Brand Design, Nickelodeon; and David Herbruck, President/Partner of creative agency Loyalkaspar, celebrated their wins (Waldron’s team at Nickelodeon won Gold for their Kids Choice Awards 2017 Program Campaign and the 2017 Nick Refresh; while Loyalkaspar took home multiple Silver’s for their Syfy rebrand).
Heading out toward the escalators that would deposit me back onto 6th Ave and a cool-nearly summer evening, I couldn’t help but contemplate the role the PromaxBDA and its members can play in speaking truth to power. Two years ago the Trump Presidency began in the very room where tonight CNN – the network most derided by Trump — took home the night’s biggest honors. Throughout the week there was undeniable sense of mission among many of the creatives I met not just to do great work, but make great work that matters. Hopefully that renewed sense of purpose will inspire those in attendance to create the needle-moving work we’ll be talking about next year. ###
Think About This: “Ethics is knowing the difference beteen what you have a right to do and what is right to do.” ~ Potter Stewart