Several months ago, as I was finishing a video on the making of The Art of Immersion, Paul Woolmington of Naked Communications suggested I use the book's YouTube channel to create a conversation about the issues the book raises—for example, how the Internet blurs the distinction between author and audience, story and game, entertainment and marketing, fiction and reality. It's taken awhile, what with my travel schedule and a bit of consulting work I've taken on, but the idea is finally being realized. First up: Chad Stoller, managing director of the newly opened IPG Media Lab in New York, on the blurring of entertainment and marketing—otherwise known as branded entertainment.
One thing Chad talks about is how hard it is as an ad guy to compete with the average 14-year-old on YouTube. Don Draper never had to worry about this, but it's an issue I'm well aware of. Suffice it to say that I'll be studying a lot of 14-year-olds' videos over the next few weeks and may even start taking lessons from one.
In the meantime, I expect to produce one of these videos every few weeks, talking not just with people in the advertising business but those in entertainment and journalism as well. The first few, however, will most likely be from the ad world. Look for interviews with Scott Donaton, CEO of the branded entertainment unit Ensemble (and Chad's colleague at IPG), and Graham Hodge, director of branded content and creative services at LBi London. This spring I'll be speaking at South by Southwest and ad:tech Sydney, so look for some interviews from there as well. Who else would you like to see? Suggestions welcome.