How ICM’s Branded Entertainment Chief Connected David Harbour With Tide

Carol Goll aligns brands with artists

Carol Goll structures deals and builds brands for A-list talent in film, TV, sports and music. - Credit by Chyna Photography
Headshot of A.J. Katz

Carol Goll has a passion for products—and she really loves cars. That passion is what landed her a highly successful tenure at Mercedes-Benz USA, a company she called home for 13 years. Goll was the company’s general manager of brand marketing until her departure in 2007. Under her leadership, MB USA became a powerhouse luxury lifestyle brand.

“The things that I did there were new—partnerships with celebrities, partnerships with the entertainment industry and the fashion industry,” said Goll. “It was helping to create the aspirational quality of why you would buy a luxury product, or a luxury car.”

Goll is now partner and head of global branded entertainment at ICM Partners after moving to the Hollywood talent agency a decade ago. In her current role, Goll structures deals and builds brands for A-list talent in film, TV, sports and music. She also founded ICM’s corporate representation business.

But Goll, who is from Detroit, didn’t totally leave her love of cars in the dust. She considers 2011’s two-minute Chrysler Super Bowl commercial—featuring fellow Michigan native Eminem—to be her most significant deal while at ICM. She’s also proud of the work Tide did with Stranger Things star David Harbour on 2018’s Super Bowl spot. Goll was instrumental in connecting Tide with the actor.

“I thought that content was very clever and compelling,” said Goll. “I also like how they broke it up throughout the game, how they used media and did things outside of the box.”

Goll is acutely aware of the changing ways people are consuming content. Social media mobile platforms, for example, are ideal for branded entertainment and endorsement opportunities.

“The engagement factor the artist has with the brand is important because everything is physically in the palm of your hand,” said Goll. She explained that this tactile element makes people “feel connected to an artist” rather than the distance of TV screens and commercials.

Like many forms of media, branded entertainment is evolving, and Goll is ready for a challenge. “I love talking to artists and understanding what their passions are, and then going out and looking for the right brand partnerships,” she said. “Creating something from the ground up is a passion for an artist, and it’s really rewarding.”

Curriculum Vitae

Partner, head of global branded entertainment, ICM Partners, 2008–present

General manager, brand marketing, Mercedes-Benz USA, 1994–2007

Job Profile

Goll is partner and head of global branded entertainment at ICM. In her role, she structures deals and builds brands for A-list talent in film, TV, sports and music. Goll also founded ICM’s corporate representation business, which provides strategic entertainment marketing counsel and development of campaigns for high-end luxury, automotive and fashion brands.

How She Got the Gig

Goll worked with ICM when she was at Mercedes, and when she heard it was looking to fill a global branding spot, she reached out through “networking with industry friends” to get a meeting with ICM Partners founding partner Chris Silbermann. “After several interviews with the team, I landed the position and moved from New York to L.A. for my dream,” she said.

Pro Tip

“Let talent have input,” Goll said. “It’s not only just finding the right person, but it’s really embracing their artistic nature into the spot in the campaign or whatever it may be.”

This story first appeared in the April 16, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

@ajkatztv A.J. Katz is the senior editor of Adweek's TVNewser.