Madison & Vine Revisited
A couple of years ago Scott Donaton, the editor of Advertising Age, published a book called Madison & Vine: Why the Entertainment and Marketing Industries Must Converge to Survive. Scott revisited ‘branded entertainment’ in a talk he gave recently, which has been published at the Madison & Vine section of Advertising Age. In the article he quickly explains what Madison & Vine is:
At its simplest, there were two primary factors that drove the entertainment and marketing businesses reluctantly into each other’s arms. For marketers, as I mentioned earlier, there was fear. New devices such as digital video recorders were giving audiences the ability to bypass traditional forms of media advertising. These devices let consumers decide when, how and whether they were going to interact with all forms of content. So some in the ad community decided that if they were going to avoid commercials, one valid reaction to that would be to embed products, logos and commercial messages into those entertainment vehicles viewers were choosing to spend time with.
Across the continent from Madison Avenue, those in Hollywood found their own business models and bottom lines under enormous pressure, partly from the same factors. There were other pressures felt all over Hollywood. For film studios, the costs of producing and marketing films became a huge burden just as some traditional sources of funding dried up. And the movie-business, too, was threatened by the same technologies disrupting the TV and music industries.
The result was that these two sides, the ad business and the entertainment business, which decades ago established outposts on separate coasts of the U.S. and mostly operated independently of each other since then were suddenly compelled towards each other. They realized that they had the potential to help each other out. If nothing else, the advertisers had the money and the entertainment companies had the creativity and the attention of audiences.
And covers some notable examples:
- Paramount Pictures, Hasbro and General Motors: Transformers feature film
- BMW: The Hire film series, comics and game
- Virgin America: Virgin Americans animated series
- Dove: Evolution video, part of Campaign for Real Beauty
- Sundance Channel and Grey Goose Vodka: Iconoclasts interview series
- Burger King: games
- Volvo and MSN: Mr Robinson’s Driving School
- Axe and MTV: The Game Killers