Some trainees are asked to ponder sociocultural questions, like “What is a media person today?”FBRFS18.BODYRemembrance Panasonic

Looking to affirm its position as an one-stop online marketplace for the media production industry, Los Angeles-based today announced it is integrating recently acquired subsidiaries, an Oakland, Calif.-based online TV commercial footage clearinghouse with The Source Maythenyi (, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based interactive talent database.

As a result, an advertising agency seeking TV production companies, directors, talent representatives and individual artists can, for a fee that varies based on the scope of the request, access QuickTime or Windows Media Player-generated video reels of past work in addition to contact information. “We’re trying to make the process more efficient,” said Allen DeBevoise, chairman and CEO of the 2-year-old Creative Planet. “Not only does it provide advertisers and production companies with better information, it gives TV commercial creative talent a powerful way new way of exhibiting their work on the desktops of ad industry leaders.”

With $38 million in second-round equity funding secured last month, 300-employee Creative Planet’s desire to be all things relevant to advertising creatives is underscored by 12 interactive affiliate properties, including, a digital filmmaker’s resource site;, an animation information site;;, which showcases the art, technology and business of motion design;;;;, an electronic literary marketplace; In, a development and production landscape resource;;; and, a data management site. Registered users of SourceTV have access—via a password-protected search engine—to national, European or music video databases that contain examples of more than 2,000 TV commercials, 12,000 music videos, 1,400 production companies and 5,000 directors, editors, and composers. To Pam Maythenyi, who started The Source in 1989 by databasing credits of TV commercials, the inclusion of Powerplanet will reduce the number of times ad agencies and TV production companies have to frequent their local Federal Express outlets exchanging three-quarter-inch reels. “When the advertising business started going national and international, you couldn’t find anything you needed to know about who did what or where this [director] was without making calls for weeks to New York,” said Maythenyi. “[The site] saves the average agency about $200,000 a year on reels.” It also saves them time. Many creative directors are connected out in the field with their agencies through laptop computers, which allows them hands-on access to data, according to Flo Babbitt, director of broadcast production with ad agency Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco. “In production we have a lot down moments, whether you’re between casting, location casting or the crew is out doing a technical scout,” said Babbitt. “[With The Source,] you can go to the site and see who shot what immediately.” While experts believe Creative Planet’s attempt to centralize TV advertising production online is a sound business strategy, they also see the company in a fight against entrenched traditions. “As the Internet continues to grow, there is going to be increased needs for companies to develop rich-media ads on the Web and provide better-targeted ads through video-based or other kinds of advertising,” said Eric Scheirer, a media and entertainment analyst with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research. “It’s unclear whether the existing vertically integrated ad agency has all the right skills that are needed to develop rich-media marketing on the Internet,” Scheirer said. “Creative Planet is making the bet that an e-business network of advertsing components does. It’s not fundamentally about changing the nature of the exisiting production of TV commercials, but rather, the next stage of TV advertising.”

Club Med NY

Publicis in New York has launched the beginning of a $20 million New York-centric campaign for Club Med, tagged, “Re-new,” well in advance of the peak winter season. Appearing on buses, subways, kiosks and outdoor billboards, the ads show vibrant, sunny photos of vacationers who are windsurfing, snorkeling and skiing. “Here, when people walk up to you, there’s no need to pretend your deaf,” one ad reads. Another asks, “Know why the city never sleeps? Because it’s too freezing cold.” Yet a third shows a pristine white beach dotted with palm trees and surrounded by the bluest of water. “Freezing wind. Itchy wool. What are you, a masochist?” A national push comes later in the fall with outdoor in Miami and Los Angeles and print ads in such publications as People, Working Mother and Men’s Health. TV ads break Oct. 1.

Joe Lonsdorf, a principal at mid-51990’s Southeast creative powerhouse Tausche Martin Lonsdorf, died last week of a brain tumor in his native state of Wisconsin. He was 63. Lonsdorf got his start at Tatham Laird & Kucher Advertising in Chicago, but made his mark after coming to Atlanta in 1975. Though he became a regional player as executive vice president at McDonald and Little, it was as president at TML that he reached the pinnacle of his career. Teamed with creative director Kurt Tausche, TML served national clients like Honda and won awards like clockwork. “He was a partner at one of the best agencies in the history of Atlanta,” said Michael Palma, of the city’s employment firm Creative Search. “They caught lightening in a bottle.

Panasonic has begun rolling out three TV ads from Grey Global Group for individual products this month, starting with a spot for its Palm Corder that shows an old codger preparing to bungee jump from a bridge. He records the entire experience on the digital device and then sends the entire file via PC to his horrified family members back home. A second spot breaking this week, showcases the Panasonic microwave. A fish lying in a microwavable tray turns its face to the camera and sings “Just a bit of Magic,” a recording of original music by Russo Granthan and lyrics by Grey art director Jim Trippler and copywriter Tony Alfano. The song is used in all of the spots and was used in the last campaign. The third spot for its high-definition television opens on a TV set showing a scene of colorful fish in a fish tank. Believing the scene to be real, a little blonde girl stands on a chair and

dumps fish food on top of the set. In the next scene, a bird bounces violently off of a screen showing clouds in a blue sky. The third scene has an army of ants swarming a Panasonic HDTV showing a watermelon on a dish.