First Look Green Lights Special Ops for Lead Role

NEW YORK First Look Studios has tapped Special Ops Media as its lead interactive agency, solidifying a relationship that began four years ago.

The New York-based digital shop will handle creative duties and online media planning and buying for the independent entertainment company’s theatrical titles. It will also oversee the client’s online movie publicity.

SOM’s initial assignment as First Look’s lead digital agency involves The Dead Girl, which opens in theaters Dec. 29. Designing the movie’s Web site and spearheading an exclusive trailer promotion with AOL are among its tasks for the mystery thriller.

SOM’s past First Look efforts have included various digital chores for The Proposition, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints and the DVD releases of Baywatch.

Since opening its doors in 2002, SOM has created viral campaigns and guerrilla marketing efforts (among other interactive pushes) for clients such as Coca-Cola, MTV, Puma, Showtime and Universal Pictures, among others.

“They’re always on the cutting edge in terms of ways to reach that elusive digital demographic,” said First Look marketing svp Brooke Ford. “They combine press, promotion and advertising into one and make our campaigns extremely efficient and creative,” she added.

“First Look’s integrated approach dovetails well with the way that Special Ops conceives and implements integrated interactive marketing campaigns,” said SOM co-CEO Jason Klein, referring to the client’s mix of film and TV development and production, home and theatrical distribution, international sales and branded content.

“That makes it possible to seamlessly move from creative ideas to strategic execution to measurable results,” he said.

“There are very few relationships that exist between studios and agencies like ours,” noted Klein, explaining that clients may typically hire an interactive agency to buy digital media without considering a comprehensive marketing strategy.

“First Look is looking at it holistically,” he said.