EXCLUSIVE: After a last-ditch attempt at restructuring that was ongoing as recently as last week, longtime Hollywood marketing and branding agency The Cimarron Group is closing its doors altogether. This just in from Cimarron CEO Bob Farina: “It is with much regret that I announce the closing of Cimarron Group. I want to thank the incredible executive team and staff that has served this agency with their creativity and dedication. Over the past thirty-three years, our clients have meant everything to us and we appreciate all of them beyond measure.” Sources tell me contractors and vendors have gone unpaid for months without relief from the troubled company which started out specializing in movie trailers and ad campaigns and also offered theatrical, broadcast, in-home and home video/digital services. Cimarron had also attempted to branch out into consumer branding, resort hospitality, and location-based live entertainment services with clients like Feld Entertainment, MGM Grand, and Cirque de Soleil. Cimarron’s theatrical and digital studio campaigns include Fox‘s Ice Age: Continental Drift, Disney-Pixar‘s Brave, and Universal‘s Les Miserables and Snow White and the Huntsman. Recent contracts like Marvel‘s 2014 Marvel Universe Live touring show will return to clients during Cimarron’s transition.
Related: Cimarron Group Restructuring Amid Nonpayment Rumors
I hear the sudden closure went down after a financing deal in the restructuring process fell through. And in recent … Read More »
TV advertisers become depressed when the conversation turns to DVRs, which give viewers the power to record shows and then speed through the commercials. But movie theaters and studios have less to fear than just about everyone else according to a new online survey of 1,500 moviegoers by Worldwide Motion Picture Group. Read More »
Patrick Dillon, Seth Phillips Althoff, Brian Setzer, Peter Stark and Luke Silver-Greenberg have created BOND, a new entertainment-marketing agency. “We look to maintain all our current relationships and hope to work with every major studio,” said the BOND team today. BOND will specialize in print, digital and A/V services for film and TV. The industry veterans come from marketing and ad agency backgrounds at the likes of Trailer Park, Art Machine, BLT and Crew Creative. Dillon, who will be BOND’s Creative Director, had 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, ABC, A&E, Disney and Paramount among his clients at Art Machine/Trailer Park. Stark, who will be BOND’s print group Creative Director, developed the Star Trek, Spider-Man, and Game Of Thrones print campaigns when he was Creative Director at BLT & Associates. Althoff will serve as Managing Director at BOND. Setzer will be Director of Strategic Business Development. Silver-Greenberg will helm BOND’s digital and new business divisions. BOND has its offices in Hollywood.
Damon Wolf had been president of the Cimarron Group, a marketing agency with roots in movie trailers but that now offers a full range of marketing and brand services and has expanded internationally in recent years. In his new post as chief creative officer, Wolf will oversee all creative and marketing strategy for Cimarron’s US and international entertainment business as well as the company’s newer hospitality and brand business ventures. He joined Cimarron in 2009. Among the marketing and brand development clients Cimarron has worked with over the years are Summit’s Twilight saga, Universal Pictures’ The Lorax, FOX’s Glee and such upcoming releases as Despicable Me 2 and Five Year Engagement. Cimarron recently opened offices in Singapore and Beijing as it expands its business in Asia. The company, under CEO Bob Farina, also has a division in Italy.
Dave Wong, who has had a 19-year career in film and TV, will oversee all current marketing efforts for Arenas, which bills itself as the leading Latino film marketing company. Specifically, Wong’s mandate encompasses publicity, promotions, media and creative for such clients as Warner Bros. Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios, Icon and Relativity Media. Wong is also charged with initiating a general marketing division for the company as it seeks to expand beyond its entertainment base. Before joining LA-based Arenas, Wong was VP of National Publicity at Walt Disney Pictures. He also worked at Access Hollywood, E! Entertainment Television and Morgan Creek Productions. “I am very pleased that Dave Wong has joined the team. Dave and Arenas have made marketing magic in many projects before and I am sure under his leadership the Arenas marketing team will reach new levels of success,” Arenas founder and CEO Santiago Pozo said in a statement.
NBC’s new marketing president Len Fogge, who joined the network from Showtime last summer, is reorganizing the network’s marketing department, with fewer than 10 of the department’s 150 employees getting laid off today. The highest ranking among them is 26-year NBC veteran Jim Vescera, most recently EVP and creative director of NBC Entertainment Marketing, who sent out an internal good-bye note last night. Insiders described the process as “fine-tuning” as Fogge looks to tweak creative direction and eliminate redundancies created by several regime changes at the network over the past decade. It includes the cutting of some positions and reconfiguration of others. Fogge’s former Showtime colleague Richard Licata, now head of NBC’s publicity department, is expected to implement similar reorganization next week, with also fewer than 10 department staffers expected to be laid off. The moves come on the heels of the new NBC administration’s biggest marketing and promotional campaign to date for midseason musical drama Smash.
UPDATE: I can tell you that Bob Harper did NOT win the job.
As everyone waits for the announcement of Walt Disney Studios’ new chief of worldwide marketing today, this “list” is making the rounds of the marketing blogosphere. Some of these names are hysterical:
HBO is expected to make the announcement shortly. Pam Levine, a 16-year veteran of 20th Century Fox, was longtime co-president of marketing at Fox Filmed Entertainment before stepping down in December. At HBO, she will replace Courteney Monroe, who exited last month. This is the second major hire of a feature executive at HBO following the August appointment of Michael Ellenberg as head of drama. UPDATE: Here is HBO’s release:
Pamela Levine will join HBO as Executive Vice President of Marketing announced Eric Kessler, Co-President, HBO, to whom she will report. Levine will be responsible for overseeing advertising campaigns for all programming, providing strategic marketing direction for HBO and Cinemax as well as guiding digital platforms and retail marketing efforts for the company. She will start in her new position on November 15 working out of HBO’s headquarters based in New York. “We use event marketing strategies often employed in the theatrical arena to launch most of our series so Pam’s background makes her an ideal choice for this position,” said Kessler.
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EXCLUSIVE: Veteran marketing executive Alan Daniels is embarking on his third stint at Sony Pictures TV. I hear Daniels has rejoined the studio as SVP, Sales Planning, U.S. Distribution, coordinating all marketing on the distribution side. In an interesting twist, I hear the newly created position reports to Sony TV’s president of distribution John Weiser, not Kim Hatamiya, EVP, Marketing, Sony Pictures TV International, who oversees marketing for all TV divisions of the company. Daniels, a 20-plus Sony TV veteran, served as SVP of marketing and No.2 to former SPT president of marketing Bob Oswaks until 2009 when he departed in the first wave of layoffs at Sony Pictures Entertainment. Daniels was then brought back in April 2010, immediately following Oswaks’ abrupt exit, for a consulting gig that ended in December.
Courtesy of the 20th Century Fox marketing campaign for Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes which opens August 5th:
Vicky Free, who most recently led strategic marketing efforts at Turner Broadcasting System, has been named EVP Marketing at BET Networks, where she will oversee the strategy for BET, BET.com, BET Mobile and Centric. She will report directly to BET chairman and CEO Debra Lee. “We are thrilled to have Vicky join BET Networks given her strong experience in the cable industry and keen understanding in creating thoughtful brands and engaging the consumer it serves,” Lee said. At Turner, Free helped launch the Emerging Markets and Promotions Group, which created campaigns for Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and The Closer.
Marc de Grandpre has been named Chief Marketing Officer at IMAX Corp., where he will oversee the big-screen exhibitor’s global brand and marketing initiatives. Most recently the chief marketer for Qualcomm’s mobile commerce brand Firethorn, de Grandpre has spent the majority of his career at Red Bull North America, where he helped spearhead the launch of the energy drink in the U.S. “Marc has the business acumen, the leadership skills and the experience to help us further develop our brand and our reputation,” said IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond, to whom de Grandpre will report. “He will help us determine new paths that can tap into the emotional connection consumers have with The IMAX Experience.”
2ND UPDATE: Gee, if I were Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton, I wouldn’t let him go. But Sony Pictures’ Josh Goldstine has less than three months left on his contract. This is the guy mostly responsible for Battle: LA‘s really fresh ad campaign, along with The Social Network‘s. The announcement will be made possibly as soon as this week, and Michael Moses will remain as co-President of Marketing. But it’s a real coup for Universal to snag someone this good from outside the studio to replace Eddie Egan in the top marketing job at Universal Pictures. Fogelson had been talking to Egan and Goldstine about the move for the past few months. (FYI, LA Times today posted Goldstine’s name first.) And, yes, veterans will recall that Goldstine was suspended briefly after the advertising department he supervised at Sony Pictures was responsible in 2001 for fabricating quotes by a nonexistent film critic who praised four of the studio’s movies in its advertisements.
UPDATE: Well, that didn’t take long. Universal has confirmed Egan’s move. Here’s the release, below Deadline’s original break of the story.
EXCLUSIVE: I’m hearing that Universal marketing president Eddie Egan will be moving over to a top post at Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment. I hear he will transition slowly, straddling both jobs for a limited time. It’s the latest growth move for Illumination, the Universal-based family film company, which is 2-for-2 on movies with Despicable Me and Hop. Despicable Me, Meledandri’s first release through Universal, is also spawning a theme park attraction. Developing…
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, May 25, 2011 – After leading the domestic marketing of back-to-back breakaway hits for Universal Pictures in Fast Five and Bridesmaids, President of Marketing Eddie Egan has chosen to take on a new position as head of marketing for Illumination Entertainment. As Egan assumes the title and duties of Illumination’s President of Marketing, he will also continue to serve as a senior executive at his home studio as Executive Vice President for Universal Pictures, where he has spent 17 years and served for the last three and a half years as its domestic marketing chief. The announcement was made jointly today by Adam Fogelson, Chairman of Universal Pictures and Chris Meledandri, founder of Illumination.
In his newly created position at Illumination, Egan will oversee every aspect of marketing for the company’s slate, working closely with his new team at Illumination and his long-time colleagues at Universal. Illumination is planning to accelerate their output with Universal to two films a year starting in 2013.
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Former Marvel Entertainment executive Ira Rubenstein has been appointed EVP Digital Marketing at 20th Century Fox, charged with overseeing all digital activities for the domestic marketing group. The announcement was made by Chief Marketing Officer Oren Aviv and Chief Creative Officer Tony Sella, to whom Rubenstein will report. Rubenstein led all digital strategy at Marvel, where he spearheaded the formation of Marvel Digital Video channels on Netflix, YouTube, iTunes, Hulu, Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, and oversaw the company’s increased presence across Facebook and Twitter.
Veteran TV marketing executives Bob Bibb and Lew Goldstein will not be succeeding the CW’s marketing chief Rick Haskins who will be leaving the network in August. Despite a published report that Bibb and Godstein, who helped launch Fox and the WB, have been tapped to replace Haskins, I hear that new CW president Mark Pedowitz has yet to start a search for a marketing chief and that Bibb and Goldstein have neither met nor will be meeting for the job. The two most recently ran marketing for Lifetime until their contracts expired a year ago.
Rebecca Kearey has been promoted to EVP International Marketing and Distribution at Fox Searchlight International. She will continue to oversee international marketing and distribution for Fox Searchlight Pictures and recently took on the same duties at Fox International Productions. She will report to 20th Century Fox International Co-Presidents Paul Hanneman and Tomas Jegeus, as well as Fox Searchlight Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley. “Rebecca has consistently raised the bar on our campaigns and box office results, and we are fortunate to have an executive of her caliber on our team,” Hanneman and Jegeus said in announcing the move. Since 2005, Kearey has shepherded overseas campaigns for such Searchlight films as Black Swan, (500) Days of Summer and Juno.