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
As was the case with the amazing TV people in Houston, the Florida TV pros stepped up and did epic work covering Irma. They still are. The internet allows us to see their news on-air, which is a modern miracle imo. The Florida, Georgia, South Carolina markets all shone. So many stories…so many deserving our attention and applause. So let’s start and keep adding to the honor role. And interest role, since we’re starting with blatant WDT promotion.
Well Dunne! Talent’s DARYN JOHNSON is a TV director for Fox’s WTVT in Tampa and was making it all happen on the air while sleeping in an office at the station on West Kennedy. Well Dunne! Talent’s SEAN CALDWELL headed to Atlanta and Irma followed him up I-75. An Atlanta resident already, RICH VANSLYKE read copy for Florida markets while preparing to have the hurricane mess with his town. Big-voiced MITCH PHILLIPS kept his sense of humor from the Fort Lauderdale area. All are safe.
In Jacksonville, WJXT’s Meteorologist JOHN GAUGHAN (pronounced Gone) did an A+ job on Irma in the Jax market. Promo that man with “GAUGHAN WITH THE WIND”. (Sorry SHERRY CARPENTER…had to use that.)
Creative “architect” STAN MELTON heads up DC’s ABC affil WJLA…and he recently teamed up with STEPHEN ARNOLD and his music, using the SAM cut “Waking Up My Day” for the station’s American Idol Front of the Line contest. The cut is part of the new “Ready” promo package. Well Dunne! Stan Stephen and CHAD COOK, VP of Creative for SAM.
Think About This: “What if I told you that 10 years from now, your life would be exactly the same? I doubt you’d be happy. So, why are you so afraid of change?” ~ Karen Salmansohn
Copyright © 2017 KDBacon/WellDunneTalent
The yin and yang of life…balance always seeking to right itself. Up-down. High-low. Hot-cold. One talented writer producer is doing the yin and yang to perfection, and it’s a wonderful thing. KRISTEN TWELE is heading to Orlando where she’ll be adding her talent to the creative services pool headed by CSD KYM PEOPLES at WKMG, the Graham CBS in the Big O. That’s the hot part. The cold part is Denver, where she has been promoting at KDVR, the Fox affil. The Memphis bred Kristen has worked in the south before – at Fox affil WBRC in Birmingham. She interned at WMC in her hometown. Best of luck to Kristen on her new adventure. Let’s all give her a Well Dunne!
STEPHEN ARNOLD not only has the best hair in the business (he’s been told that in person – he shyly smiles…) but now the music man working with his CSD CHAD COOK has a new campaign called Ready. Pictures are worth a thousand words….check it out yourself.
Tuesday was a great day for KTVU’s ERIK CANDIANI. He loves films…loves writing even more. And Tuesday his screenplay Tribal got not one but two kudos…it was just named a Quarterfinalist in the 2017 BlueCat Screenplay contest and a Semifinalist in the PAGE Awards. Well Dunne! Erik. You can ask him about the script…it sounds very exciting. And we thought Tuesday was only exciting because of the tacos…
Think About This: “A well developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.” ~ William Arthur Ward
Copyright © 2017 KDBacon/WellDunneTalent
Dispatches from PromaxBDA Day 2 & 3 By Ray Ecke
For many creative professionals, the motto is ‘less is more,’ but don’t tell that to the organizers of this year’s PromaxBDA 2014. There were so many fascinating panels Wednesday it was impossible to see them all. Highlights included the State of Design featuring Stephen Price of Stash Magazine showcasing some of the best work of the last year; New Best Practices 2014, in which the always insightful Lee Hunt spoke in detail about measurement and how networks can better retain viewers; and leftchannel’s Alberto Scirocco’s Promo Bootcamp session Internet Killed The Promo Star that discussed new ways to inspire your creative soul and avoid ruts. Day 2 wrapped with an amazing discussion with filmmaker and founder of the El Rey Network Robert Rodriguez. His emphasis on living a full creative life was eye-opening. As he noted, “Ten percent of anything is understanding, the other ninety percent is being creative.” It was also fascinating to learn that he has a paint studio on all of his sets so actors when they are not shooting can go there and paint and “keep their creative juices flowing."
At the hotel bar, I had a chance to sit with voiceover artist and fellow “Jersey boy” Harry Legg (yes he swears that’s his real name). Over Diet Cokes (it was still a little early for drinks) we discussed his transition from radio to voiceovers, and the state of medium of radio in general. Are we the only two people who miss the classic DJs from the old WABC and WNEW New York radio stations? I hope not. If you get a chance to meet Harry, do get his business card, shaped like a hairy leg (get it, hairy leg/Harry Legg).
The night wrapped with a trip downtown to the Videohelper party. Inside their cool space with instruments hanging on every wall, guests were greeted with top shelf booze, a pool table and a free-for-all jam session in their soundproof studio. Spotted at the shindig were Steve Marino, director/CD at Nitrous Studio, master rep Stuart Sternbach of Pangea and design house The Goods’ EP Jason Sonner.
All of which led to the Day 3…
Highlights from the Thursday sessions were “Fresh & Flashy But Familiar: The Art of the Episodic Promo” featuring JD Currey of Fresh Cut Creative and Joe Tamanini of Studio City, who got into ways to liven up your promos; and “A Deep Dive Into The Rebranding of CCTV International” featuring Stephen Arnold and Chad Cook of Stephen Arnold Music, Tim Saunders and Caroline Aldridge of Broadcast Design International and Stefan Mueller of Flint Skallen, which went deep into their collective work for CCTV’s relaunch of 6 channels.
Before that session though, Stephen Arnold Music did its annual guitar giveaway. The winner this year of a Fender Strat signed by Tom Petty was Jon Fox, Executive Creative Director of Hothaus Creative, Atlanta. Later at pre-awards reception Jon wondered about the best way to get the guitar back to Atlanta (definitely on the ‘no’ list was the airline baggage check).
At the awards show, hosted by the very clever comic/actor Jeff Leach, some of the notable winners included Nickelodeon and 20th Century Fox’s Walking with Dinosaurs "Dino Rap"; Comedy Central — Franco Roast in the category of Entertainment Promo Spot; and CBS Television – "Under the Dome" Launch for Entertainment Program Campaign. The Agency of the Year Awards went to L.A.-based Stun Creative (North America), and The Corner London (Global Excellence).
The complete coverage and list of winners is here: (http://brief.promaxbda.org/content/fx-networks-wins-big-at-2014-promaxbda-north-america-awards)