Commerce, Content Gulf Remains

NEW YORK While some agency-generated branded content has thrived, there’s still plenty of room for refinement, as advertising and entertainment require different skills that aren’t always transferable, panelists at a Monday session of the Future Marketing Summit agreed.

Moderator Mitch Kanner, founder of 2 Degrees Ventures, noted that The Martin Agency would likely have limited creative control as its Geico “caveman” concept is developed into an ABC sitcom.

Catherine Davis, svp, marketing services at Diageo North America, said the gulf between the two worlds makes that inevitable.

Mike Tunnicliffe, global director of client and network development at Initiative, said “agencies aren’t geared up for longer form entertainment. Much of it is really bad. I’ve not seen anything from the agency side that matches anything on the entertainment [industry] side.”

Mike Fischer, CMO at Microsoft’s Xbox, told an anecdote about how initially difficult it was to develop a screenplay based on the Xbox’s Halo game series.

“Guys that wrote the game wrote the script,” Fischer said, adding that eventually director Peter Jackson and his team had to perform major rewrites. “They know what makes a good narrative story,” Fischer said of the filmmakers. “It was a matter of matching the right task with the right skills set. And in this case, that’s Hollywood.”

Adweek co-sponsors the event, which continues here today.