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When: Wednesday, September 30
Where: The New School, Theresa Lang Auditorium
55 West 13th St.
New York, New York  10011
United States

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    The PGA New Media Council invites you and a guest to...


Wednesday, September 30
6:30pm: Doors open
7:00pm: Event begins
Theresa Lang Auditorium 

The New School
55 West 13th St. at 6th Ave.

Branded entertainment is defined as a stand-alone program or series which utilizes creative storytelling and entertainment to fulfill its content and marketing strategies, and is distributed in a single or multiple media platform. The forms of "Branded Entertainment" may include, but are not limited to, web series, short-form content, long-form content, games, and apps. 

Branded entertainment, or branded content, is usually funded by a brand or a corporation, rather than a studio or network. With the multiplier effect of social media, branded entertainment has moved far beyond the days of sponsored content, which gave birth to the genre “soap operas” (e.g., ‘The Luxe Radio Hour’). The early 21st century saw multi-platform branded entertainment masterpieces such as ‘Terry Tate: Office Linebacker’ for Reebok and BMW’s ‘The Hire’ – a series of 8 short films produced for the web. More recently, Nissan’s ‘Highway Sing-A-Long’ went viral and dovetailed into its sponsorship of NBC’s ‘The Voice,’ while Lego partnered with Warner Bros. to re-imagine a world for its toys in ‘The Lego Movie.’ 

Far more than product placement, branded entertainment can seek its own audience through media awareness (Thinkmodo’s ‘Devil Baby’) or develop a new franchise altogether. The US market, the largest global branded entertainment market, represented almost half (47.1%) of the world’s branded entertainment industry, generating US $34.53 billion in 2014, a 7.3% gain compared with the prior year.

Warren Weideman, Founder, Weideman Productions
Warren Weideman is a leading producer of branded entertainment, having produced major TV and film projects with TNN, CBS, Showtime and others, integrating brands including Toyota, Ford, USPS, and many others. He currently integrates multi-platform experiences for branded content. He was previously director of entertainment marketing with Young & Rubicam and founder of product placement firm Krown. Warren is a long-time member of the PGA.

Ian Schafer, Chairman, US CEO, and Founder, Deep Focus
Founder of Deep Focus, a leading New York-based digital experience firm, Ian is one of the thought leaders in the growing branded entertainment space. He helped create early digital brand engagement experiences while with Miramax and i-traffic. Ian is a long-time member of PGA New Media Council East. Last month, Ian founded a branded content studio, DFx. 

Michal Shapira Sperling, Senior Vice President, Head of Integrated Marketing, CNN/HLN
Michael Shapira Sperling is the senior vice president, head of integrated marketing at CNN/HLN, based in New York. She works with the CNN branded content studio, Courageous, which launched earlier in 2015. Michal was previously the vice president of media innovation at The Wall Street Journal. She was the executive director of the Condé Nast Studio, and prior to this held marketing positions at AOL and iVillage.

Colas Overkott, CEO, Sync
Colas Overkott is the CEO of Sync, the first company dedicated to creating synched multi-platform ad experiences. Sync has developed partnerships with leading brands and advertisers to deliver engagement that extends stories from TV, out-of-home, and game platforms to mobile devices. Colas formerly led Visiware, a leading 2nd-screen platform provider, and helped launched TF1’s Internet business in Paris. 

Andy Oakes, Managing Director, The Drum
Andy Oakes is Managing Director of The Drum, the largest marketing and advertising title in Europe with offices in London, New York and Singapore. Andy is the former publisher of New Media Age, Reputation Online and Digital Professional.

Chris Pfaff, PGA New Media Council East
A former board delegate of the PGA New Media Council from 2006-2013; former PGA New Media Council vice chairman, and former PGA Board of Directors delegate, Chris has been a PGA New Media Council member since 2004. He leads a consultancy – Chris Pfaff Tech/Media LLC – that represents some of the leading service providers, audio/video technology firms, networking vendors, and media companies in the world. A veteran of the venture world, Chris helped launch more than 20 ventures from the Lucent New Ventures Group, including iBiquity Digital; Flarion; Lucent Digital Video, and GeoVideo Networks, among others. In addition, he has helped launch AT&T’s Internet strategy; the Viacom New Media division of Viacom, Inc.; Sony Electronics’ Digital Betacam format, and Sharp Electronics’ LCD product division, among others. 

This invitation is non-transferable and has no cash value.