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Farmland Adds Radio Element With New Pact

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A TV commercial production company in Los Angeles and a radio production company in Portland, Ore., are joining forces to provide one-stop service.
Farmland, the newly launched entertainment venture of award-winning commercial producer Scott Gardenhour, will share directing talent with Radioland, a creative entity that has written and produced radio spots for clients including Nike, Coke, Pepsi and Starbucks and agencies such as Deutsch and Wieden & Kennedy.
"We see this as an opportunity to be an additional resource for agencies," said Gardenhour, whose company includes noted commercial directors Jeff Gorman and Gary Johns. "Radio [advertising] tends to be an afterthought. We're creating a powerful new approach by bringing together two media that have traditionally been kept separate."
"Virtually every radio project has a TV job attached to it," added Michael Niles, vice president of creative development at Radioland. The partnership with Farmland, he said, will allow Radioland to work on the creative strategy for a campaign earlier in the process. "We will be involved with casting or musical recommendations," he said.
Radioland will continue to be based in Portland, but has opened a studio in Hollywood, Calif.
Niles worked with Johns and Gorman in the mid-1980s at the former Chiat/Day in Venice, Calif. Niles and Austin Howe, Radioland's founder, president and creative director, began a program earlier this year of hiring TV directors to work on radio spots in hopes of attracting bigger talent and enhancing the radio message.
While advertisers and agencies spend nearly $14 billion annually on radio spots, the medium is often considered "the bastard child" of advertising, Howe said.
Gardenhour said the alliance will give his young directors a chance to hone their skills. "When words alone have to create the image and deliver the message, directors learn to conjure up magic," he said.