Director of Brand Strategy – Branded Entertainment and Experiences Team, Microsoft
Russ Axelrod is the Director of Brand Strategy for Microsoft Advertising's Branded Entertainment and Experiences Team (BEET), widely recognized as the leading team in the industry.
Russ is responsible for heading up the team's efforts to develop custom branded content and experiences on behalf of key Microsoft clients looking to create deeply integrated programs across the Microsoft Media Network (MSN, Xbox, etc.) In addition to leading a national team of 5 strategists, Russ also spearheads the team's relationships with its major content and production partners.
Previously at Microsoft, Russ was on the US marketing team for the Xbox division. While there, he led the team's branded entertainment and alternative marketing initiatives, generating over 10 on-air shows in 2 years, for such networks as MTV, Spike and The Speed Channel to support the Xbox 360 and the 1st-party game portfolio (Halo 3, Gears of War, etc.) In addition, he worked with several of the team's strategic partners, including Pepsi, Comcast, Fox and 7-11.
Prior to Microsoft, Russ was the Director of Marketing and Promotions at Zilo Networks, a leading college entertainment company. While there, he led the company's live event division, producing over 75 sports, music and comedy events on behalf of such partners as General Motors, Coca-Cola, Motorola and the U.S. Army.
While attending NYU's Business School, Russ co-founded ProMotion Pictures, a groundbreaking branded entertainment initiative, where he brought together grad students from both the film (Tisch) and business (Stern) schools to create short films for advertisers. The program raised over $750,000 within the 1st 2 years, generating work for such clients as Volvo, Verizon, Heineken and Axe. Russ is still an acting member of the board and continues to help the current students in their sales and strategy efforts.
He holds a M.B.A in Finance, Marketing and Entertainment from New York University's Stern School of Business, and a B.S. Degree in Marketing from University of Maryland at College Park.
As Creative Director of OgilvyEntertainment, Otto oversees the development and production of both branded and unbranded projects for the group. A multi-award winner, he has told and sold stories on five continents for a kaleidoscope of brands. His ongoing client roster includes Philips, DuPont, and IBM. His current media partners encompass BBC World News. The Huffington Post, Fortune Magazine, Times Now of India, and National Geographic.
Otto is a graduate of the prestigious WPP Fellowship program and holds a Masters in English Literature from Oxford University. He lives in Downtown Manhattan and enjoys photography and riding his Harley Davidson.
Executive Vice President of Advertising, Electus
Laura Caraccioli-Davis is the Executive Vice President of Advertising for Electus. She is responsible for changing the way content creators and advertisers interact to bring top-quality programming to consumers via the web, TV and film.
Prior to joining Electus, Laura served as Executive Vice President of Starcom MediaVest Group, one of the largest brand communication companies in the world, driving innovation in content, programming and branded entertainment for blue chip clients such as Kellogg's, Disney Studios, Applebee's, Walgreens, Bank of America, Samsung and Blackberry to name a few. As the link between marketers and the entertainment industry, Caraccioli-Davis created exclusive opportunities that integrated brands into the very fabric of pop culture and entertainment and forged extensive relationships throughout the entertainment, media and advertising communities.
Most recently for Samsung, Caraccioli-Davis executive produced WCG Ultimate Gamer – an 8-episode, gaming reality series which recently completed its successful run on SyFy and USA Networks. She also led the orchestration of a multi-channel, fully-integrated initiative with the Time Warner companies for Bank of America around the platform of financial well-being. Additionally, Laura was the thought-leader behind Applebee's key role in NBC's critically-acclaimed Friday Night Lights, a partnership that extended for three seasons. Other Starcom clients for whom Caraccioli-Davis has leveraged the impact of entertainment and pop culture include: Disney, Hallmark, Walgreens, Kashi, Kellogg, Allstate and Nintendo.
Before Starcom MediaVest Group, Laura served as Director of TV Programming at Leo Burnett USA where she executive produced all client-funded programming. In previous years, Laura served as Director of International Co-Production & Sales at PBS/WTTW-TV and Director of International Co-Production & Sales for PBS/WTTW-TV respectively where she was responsible for selling television formats and negotiating co-production deals.
In addition, Laura sits on NBC's Women Advisory Board. She has also been named by Mediaweek to its prestigious roster of 2003 Media All-Stars and Advertising Age's list of 2002 Media Mavens. At Starcom, Laura has won numerous awards including short-listings at 2009's Valencia Festival of Media Awards and recognition via Promo Magazine's Entertainment Marketing Award, and two MediaWeek Plan of the Year awards. She and her Starcom team have consistently been honored at the Cannes International Advertising Festival. Other external awards include Effies, Buzz Awards and numerous client distinctions.
Executive Vice President of Advertising Sales at CNN
Katrina Cukaj is Executive Vice President of CNN Advertising Sales. In this capacity, Cukaj is responsible for the creation and execution of multi-platform sales, sponsorship and integration opportunities for CNN, HLN and CNN Airport networks. Based in New York, Cukaj reports to Greg D'Alba, president, CNN News Networks and Turner Digital Ad Sales.
Cukaj joined CNN in 1999 as an account executive and continued to hold ascending positions in responsibility and title; she was named vice president in 2006, and senior vice president in 2008. As vice president of CNN Ad Sales, Cukaj led her New York sales team in successfully selling some of CNN's largest programming initiatives such as Planet In Peril, Heroes, and Fit Nation, working with a number of the largest media agencies, including Zenith Media, Initiative Media and Universal McCann. She also collaborated with CNN International sales offices to secure global advertising alliances and dollars, and led CNN Advantage, CNN's multicultural sales and marketing unit.
Cukaj holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Fordham University. She is an active member in Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), Women in Cable & Telecommunications (WICT) and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), and resides in upstate New York with her husband and two sons.
CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is the most trusted source for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; CNN Digital Network, the No. 1 network of new Web sites in the United States; CNN Newsource, the world's most extensively syndicated news service; and strategic international partnerships within both television and the digital media.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news; entertainment; animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world. Turner brands and businesses include CNN/U.S., CNN International, CNN.com and HLN; TBS, TNT, truTV and Turner Classic Movies; Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim; and Turner Sports.
Wieden + Kennedy Entertainment produces branded and original
content. WKE is currently developing and producing TV, film and
web projects for P&G, Dodge, Nike and Old Spice. WKE is also
developing several original feature film and television properties. Bill is a
Wieden + Kennedy partner and 25 year agency veteran.
President & CEO, Ensemble
Scott Donaton is President & CEO of Ensemble Branded Entertainment, a content development company that delivers innovative, strategic solutions to marketers across platforms, including TV, web, mobile, film and music.
Ensemble is a unit of Interpublic Group's Mediabrands arm, and works with clients of the global media-management firms UM and Initiative (including L'Oreal and Chrysler), as well as dedicated clients (such as Denny's, Taco Bell and Meredith Corp.). Ensemble's unique approach to content creation is a collaborative model that accesses the creative thinking, production expertise and distribution muscle of the world's leading content developers, studios and networks.
In naming Mediabrands as "Media Holding Company of the Year," Mediapost wrote: "In branded entertainment, Mediabrands innovated again, bringing in former Entertainment Weekly and Advertising Age publisher Scott Donaton, a pioneer in the field, to run a new unit called Ensemble."
A recognized expert on branding, entertainment and media, Donaton "has the uncanny ability to anticipate the next thing," said Media Industry Newsletter in honoring him as one of the "21 Most Intriguing People in Media." Before launching Ensemble, Donaton served as publisher of Entertainment Weekly. During his tenure, the title was named one of AdWeek's "Magazine Brand Leaders," in print and online, and one of MIN's "Most Engaged Media Brands."
Before joining Time Inc., Donaton was longtime editor and publisher of Advertising Age. He founded the highly successful "Madison & Vine" multi-platform franchise. He also authored a book on branded content, "Madison & Vine: Why the Entertainment and Advertising Industries Must Converge to Survive."
Donaton's achievements have been widely recognized. In addition to the "21 Most Intriguing List," he was named to the Folio 40 in 2008, and was inducted into the American Advertising Federation's Advertising Hall of Achievement. Donaton is a signature columnist for Direct Marketing News, a guest writer for various media outlets and a frequent speaker in national media and at industry conferences.
Rob Donnell, Owner, Brand Arc
Rob Donnell, an award-winning veteran of the advertising industry, is founder and president of Brand Arc, a Santa Monica-based branded entertainment firm responsible for groundbreaking product integrations across TV, film, video games, mobile and digital platforms.
His deals for longtime client Toyota include three consecutive seasons of highly visible integration into ABC's Emmy-winning comedy, "Modern Family," nine consecutive seasons in Bravo's hit competition show, "Top Chef," and car giveaways to recession-wracked guests on the syndicated talk show "Ellen." "Modern Family" ranked as the top scripted show in brand recall in 2011, according to the New York Times, and "Ellen" ranked in the top 5 for unscripted series.
Though securing screen time is important, context is king, Donnell says.
"A brand integration needs to be fluid, natural and organic," Donnell says. "It can't be interruptive – that's a commercial. It should always fit within the show and make sense in the story."
Donnell and his team created the first-ever co-promotion between a pharmaceutical marketer, Roche, and a Hollywood studio, Warner Bros., in 2006. Animated characters from the blockbuster "Happy Feet" touted healthy cold-weather habits and flu prevention, directing consumers to a specially created brand-backed Web site for Tamiflu.
Donnell helped integrate the Toyota Yaris into five separate sketches on Fox's late-night comedy, "Mad TV," giving the young target audience its first peek at the new car. The Association of National Advertisers touted the deal as one of the year's "Best Practices in Branded Entertainment."
In other memorable firsts, Donnell created brand-financed mobisodes for the action thriller, "Prison Break," with partner Sprint. He also worked on the first-ever brand-sponsored DVD prequel for Fox's hit drama, "24," putting Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer behind the wheel of a Toyota Avalon in this original, exclusive content. The DVD became a top seller in holiday 2005.
Though Donnell launched his company in 2005 primarily to service Toyota, he has also worked with an impressive list of clients including Lexus, AT&T, Roche and GSW.
One of the pioneers of branded entertainment, Donnell previously founded Amplify, ad agency J. Walter Thompson's in-house branded entertainment arm. He managed Ford's burgeoning relationship with the entertainment industry, serving as the liaison between the marketer and Hollywood.
Donnell shepherded a first-of-its kind deal with Sony Pictures' Revolution that placed Ford products in the studio's films and gave filmmakers access to the auto manufacturer's research and design centers. Early results of the alliance included Ford vehicles with starring roles in the hit action movie, "XXX: State of the Union" and family comedy "Are We There Yet?"
Donnell also was involved in Ford's integration into ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," and helped launch the carmaker's multi-layered deal with Fox's "American Idol" that continues today. He forged the deal for the first fully brand-financed primetime TV series, "No Boundaries," built around Ford trucks and sports-utility vehicles.
He served as executive producer for a Ford-backed series of short independent films in 2001. One of the shorts, created by Jason Reitman, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He and his Amplify team secured high-profile placements for Ford nameplates Aston Martin, Jaguar and Thunderbird in the James Bond movie, "Die Another Day."
Prior to his work at Amplify, Donnell headed up J. Walter Thompson's JWT Digital with clients such as Ford, Goodyear and White Castle. Within two years of its launch, the group had racked up more than 40 International Automotive Advertising Awards, Clios and other industry honors.
Donnell cut his professional teeth in the advertising business, working as a creative leader on such A-list marketer accounts as Procter & Gamble, Kellogg's, Pepsi and Chevrolet.
Executive Producer, RSA Films
Tom Dunlap joined RSA Films in July 2009 as an Executive Producer. Dunlap was formerlyDeutsch, Los Angeles' SVP/head of integrated production. Tom heads new business opportunities for the global RSA companies in the digital and entertainment worlds.
Branded initiatives from RSA Films include: The Dodge Ram Challenge, directed by Tony Scott; USA Character Project, a series of short films produced for USANetwork; Re:Generation, a feature documentary with Hyundai; and Friday Night Fights, currently in production on its third season for Activision and Call of Duty Elite. Additionally, in 2010 RSA Films teamed with Budweiser for Bud House, a branded series that took place at the World Cup and aired on BudUnited.com.
Prior to RSA Films, Before he joined Deutsch in 2007, Dunlap was a veteran of Advertising Agencies, Deutsch, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles and Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam, where he oversaw production of Coca-Cola's "Happiness Factory" spot.
Head of Entertainment Strategy, Facebook
Howard T. Stein is the Head of Entertainment Strategy at Facebook Inc. As a member of the Global Creative Solutions team Howard is responsible for developing ideas and foundational social strategies that inspire innovation for networks, studios, and fortune 100 brands aligned with existing entertainment properties. Additionally, Howard consults the creative community in building socially enabled film and television formats.
Prior to Facebook, Howard served as senior Vice President of Digital Development at FremantleMedia North America where he developed and executed the company’s product, digital content and distribution strategies. Howard’s efforts helped define the direction of American Idol, America’s Got Talent, Price Is Right, and Family Feud’s digital presence as well as the company’s original digital content efforts.
Previously, Howard was Head of Production and Development at Yahoo! where he pioneered Yahoo’s! Branded Entertainment sales and distribution strategy that combined the sensibilities of traditional media with technology. In this role, Howard executed the largest and longest running Branded Entertainment digital partnerships in Nissan Live Sets and Pepsi Smash that in aggregate generated over 75 million dollars in revenue.
Mr. Stein started his career at E! Entertainment Television as a producer for E! True Hollywood Stories where he produced several episodes of the flagship docu-series.
Howard’s creative eye, business sensibility, and rich understanding of the digital entertainment industry bring a diverse set of skills to Facebook.
Mr. Stein has a Bachelor of Science Degree from California State University, Northridge where he studied Radio Television and Film while earning a degree in Psychology.
Outside of work Howard consults for Face of Tomorrow a non-profit that provides surgical services for underprivileged children suffering from facial deformities around the world. He holds an Advisory seat with SoJo Studios; a gaming company whereby a portion of the revenues are donated to charities that are thematically aligned with the gameplay.
Managing Partner, Generate
Former CAA literary and new media agent Jared Hoffman joined Generate as a Partner in 2007 and currently oversees Generate Talent Management with founding partners Dave Rath and Kara Welker as well as well as overseeing day-to-operations in branded entertainment, developing, working with and executing strategies for Ford, Microsoft, Microsoft BEET, Ogilvy Entertainment, Mindshare, Team Detroit, Johnson & Johnson, Kimberly-Clark, Britta, Remington, Disney, Trident, Qualcomm and Unilever, among others. During his tenure with Generate, Hoffman has worked closely with Jordan Levin and Pete Aronson, producing various television, digital and film properties for NBC, Comedy Central, USA Networks, Twentieth Century Fox Television, Fox Searchlight, Fremantle Media and TheWB.com.
Prior to Generate, Hoffman was at CAA where he spent 11 years working in various departments including the Feature Film Literary Division and was part of the team that built the company's Corporate and New Media Division. Hoffman was an early advocate of new media and is recognized for his work at the agency developing corporate and alternative distribution opportunities. He was instrumental in creating relationships for the IMAX corporation with Warner Bros., Fox and Sony which led to IMAX 2D and 3D movie exhibitions of "The Matrix", "Spider-Man", "Star Wars: Episode II", "Happy Feet", "Polar Express", "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Batman Begins", "Superman Returns", and "300." He was also integral in developing synergistic entertainment opportunities for worldwide recognized brands including Motorola, Imax, Nextel, G-3, Harley Davidson, Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines. His work with the Indy Racing League was instrumental to the company's redesign of their consumer experience including the launch of the IRL Experience tour and development of a television series based on the world of racing for Spelling TV and Fox Television. He brokered the landmark deal between Major League Baseball, G3 and actress Alyssa Milano for the creation of Touch, the first ever sports clothing line designed by women for women. Touch has become one of the top selling clothing lines in sports today.
Hoffman's work in the Feature Film Literary Division has helped launch and build the careers of many noteworthy writers, directors, producers and actors. His clients have included writers Eric Abrams (Married with Children), Mike Colton & John Aboud (Best Week Ever), Bill Devlin (Icebreakers), Ethan Lawrence (Asylum), Josh Lobis & Darin Moiselle (Macho Steve, Bobbleheads), David McHugh & Mathew Flannigan (Blonde Ambition), Chris Poole & Mike Arnold (The Grackle), Dave Reynolds (Finding Nemo) and Mike Soccio (King of Queens); directors Peter Askin (Trumbo), Scott Marshall (Keeping Up with the Steins, Blonde Ambition) and Fred Savage (Daddy Day Camp); writer/director Eli Roth (Hostel) and Sal Stabile (Rescue Me, Where God Left His Shoes); writer/director/producer Brent Bell & Matt Peterman (Stay Alive), and Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City, Look); writer/director/actor Trevor Moore (Whitest Kids You Know); writer/actor Cedric the Entertainer and Mike O'Malley (Yes Dear, Searching for Certainty); actors Jessica Simpson, Alyssa Milano; and comedian Artie Lange (Beer League), among others.
Global Director, Business Development & Strategy, 'Content Connection' a WPP & GroupM Initiative
Oliver Laubscher joined 'Content Connection' a WPP & GroupM initiative to develop creative and strategic opportunities in content financing, production and distribution across WPP clients, agencies and investments (such as VICE Media, MRC, The Weinstein Company). In addition, 'Content Connection' incubates digital products for the entertainment sector.
Oliver has worked most of his career the intersection of media, content and technology, developing integrated marketing solutions for global brands and publishers.
He worked at Y&R in Zurich, Ogilvy in London, Schematic and WPP Digital in NYC.
Prior to WPP, Oliver founded a fashion label in Berlin and managed operations for an NGO in Sarajevo.
Oliver holds a BA and MA of Arts (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Zurich.
Vice President, Branded Entertainment Group, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment
Kevin McAuliffe joined NBC Universal from his role as SVP Branded Entertainment for Universal Television Networks when the companies merged in May 2004. McAuliffe is currently the Vice President of the NBC Universal Cable Branded Entertainment Group. As the founder of the branded entertainment practice, McAuliffe focuses on creating and delivering original content based partnership opportunities for NBC Universal's vast range of brand clients. Reporting in to the NBC Universal Cable Entertainment Sales Division, McAuliffe is responsible for overseeing branded entertainment efforts across USA, Bravo, Oxygen and Syfy.
More specifically, McAuliffe develops strategic content and media based partnerships including co-financed programming models and integration partnerships for brand clients, as well as exploring early stage co-development opportunities. In each case, his efforts are focused on media platform based brand partner alliances based on each individual client and network needs.
According to McAuliffe: "The media and entertainment landscape has changed dramatically across the last decade. Our business must not only adapt to the change, but take a leadership position in driving new models, new partnership levels and thusly, new revenues and marketing strategy opportunities collectively. This industry shift presents us with an opportunity to re-define how brands and entertainment companies come together around strategic content partnerships to benefit all parties – brands, producers, distributors and consumers. It's truly a marketing strategy sell across the content lifecycle." To that end, McAuliffe's efforts in this new era have yielded opportunities that extend across co-developed programming, licensed goods, original short form and long form content and multiple 360 partnerships spanning all partner assets.
McAuliffe's background includes deep experience across agency and client side brand management, as well as entertainment property and media marketing that is driven by an "idea first" philosophy with hands-on experience from all sides of the table. His agency experience includes managing the Pepsi Entertainment Group, as well as several brand campaign strategy efforts across multiple consumer market categories; on the entertainment side, he has held top level management positions for NBC Television Network, News Corp., TV Guide and NBC Universal Television Networks. Mr. McAuliffe graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in Advertising, and a minor in music performance.
Mr. McAuliffe resides in Connecticut with his wife and two daughters.
Executive Creative Director, VICE
Eddy Morettie is the Executive Creative Director of Vice. In 2007 Eddy co-directed Heavy Metal In Baghdad, official selection at The Toronto International Film Festival and Berlin Film Festival. In 2009 Eddy co-authored and co-produced White Lightnin': The Jesco White Murders, official selection at Sundance. Most recently Eddy was Co-Executive Producer for The Vice Guide to Everything on MTV and is currently co-Executive Producer with Shane Smith and Bill Maher on a new original series VICE for HBO.
Eddy holds an Hon. B.A. in Cinema Studies from University of Toronto and an M.A. in Cinema Studies from NYU, and he serves on the Chairman's Council of Conservation International.
Executive Vice President, Executive Creative Director, LiquidThread North America, Starcom MediaVest Group
As Executive Vice President, Executive Creative Director of LiquidThread North America, Brent Poer heads SMG's branded content division, which is now serving 15 global markets for SMG's marquee clients,
Prior to his current role, Brent served as Executive Vice President, Managing Director of the former MediaVest West Coast operation beginning in 2009, as well as the West Coast lead of LiquidThread. In this capacity, he oversaw all aspects of the Los Angeles operation, including client relations, product quality, and planning and buying services, working with a diverse roster, including Comcast Entertainment, E!, G4, Style networks, Mattel, and Public Storage. For the 2011 fall TV season, Poer was LiquidThread's driving force behind a partnership between Microsoft and The CW, which resulted in "TV to Bing About"–the first advertising program to take over a network's slogan and integrate network
In 2003, Brent came to MediaVest for the first time to help launch connectivetissue, the content creation unit that preceded LiquidThread, but left in 2008 to become General Manager of theWB.com. During his time at theWB.com, he launched and supervised all business, creative, and operational aspects of the interactive entertainment property. He produced industry firsts including CWNow and The Poocherellis, the 90-second sitcom for Febreze, as well as created popular content like My Life as a CoverGirl and the Emmy-nominated Dove Chocolate Channel.
With more than 20 years of media and content creation experience, Brent previously worked at Lifetime Network for many years, leading integrated marketing programs for clients like P&G. He began his career at Reebok as a producer of video and TV content.
President, Participant Television
Evan Shapiro joined Participant Media in May 2012 as President of Participant Television. Shapiro is responsible for the conception, development, and production of original television programming that will follow the company's model of commercial and socially relevant entertainment.
Prior to Participant, Shapiro served as president of IFC TV and Sundance Channel, where he steered both networks to new business and programming models, garnering each first-ever primetime Emmy nominations, as well as a first-ever Golden Globe award. Additionally, he executive produced numerous well received original documentaries and series, including This Film Is Not Yet Rated, which took on the MPAA for its ratings practices; the Peabody Award-winning Brick City, which chronicled a year in the life Newark's Mayor Cory Booker; At The Death House Door, Steve James' documentary on the death penalty; R. Kelly's one-of-a-kind "hip-hopera" Trapped In The Closet; and most recently, the hit series, Portlandia, which just garnered a second Peabody Award.
Shapiro is active in public service and education. He has served on the Board of The Ghetto Film School for eight years, serving three years as Board Chair, helping the organization open the nation's first Public High School for Film and Video; he is Chair of the 25th Anniversary Gala of the Social Venture Network; he serves on the Board of the NY Chapter of WICT; serves as the Chair of the Cable Center's Cable Mavericks Masters Program; and is an Adjunct Professor of Television Management at NYU's Stern School of Business. He is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.
Manager, Smarter Analytics Leadership Marketing, IBM
Noah Syken currently manages Smarter Analytics Leadership Marketing at IBM. He recently lead the development of the marketing and brand integration for the "Jeopardy: IBM Challenge" where IBM developed a computer named Watson which successfully competed on a 3 night special broadcast of Jeopardy. His current focus is on delivering world class content within emerging and traditional platforms which will engage the public in IBM's Smarter Planet agenda. In addition to spearheading the launch of IBM's consolidated presence on You Tube – he continues focus on elevating the quality and relevance of IBM's video programs across all platforms. Additionally, he has led IBM's efforts to communicate how the innovations IBM produces for it's sponsorship partners (ie NFL, US Open Golf &Tennis, and The Masters) – are relevant to IBM's B to B client base. Noah has been with IBM for the past 12 years, and prior to that ,held a variety of traditional and digital media positions at Ammirati Puris Lintas and Ogilvy and Mather.
Director, Branded Entertainment, JWT New York
Mike Wiese is an established leader in branded entertainment, focused on the creation of multi-platform entertainment and integrated marketing solutions with leading brands, ad agencies, media companies and production partners. During his career he has generated critical acclaim and millions of dollars in revenue through innovative approaches to the merger of marketing and entertainment.
At JWT he leads development of content including digital, television, publishing and live events. Clients include Microsoft, J&J, Macy's, Nestle, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Rolex, Cadbury, Smirnoff, and HSBC.
Prior to joining JWT, he developed the unscripted TV series "The Pit Masters", premiering on TLC last December.
Throughout his career he has developed partnerships with a variety of media companies and creative partners, such as Universal Pictures, MTV Networks, NBC, IslandDefJam, EMI/Capitol, First Look Pictures, HBO, PBS, MySpace, Discovery Networks, The Independent Film Channel, Meredith Publishing, Original Media, Lizard King Media, POW! Entertainment, FlavorUnit, , AtomFilms, United Talent Agency and The Barbarian Group.
Mike is originally from Seattle, where he attended the University of Washington, followed by UCLA's Graduate School of Film and Television.
Founder & CEO, [L]earned Media
Sam Zises is the Founder and CEO of [L]earned Media, a New York-based branded content marketing company that focuses on social, mobile and earned media. [L]earned Media has serviced clients including Budweiser, BlackBerry and David Blaine, among others.
Before [L]earned Media, Sam founded the social planning tech startup, Wendr, which was featured by Mashable two weeks after its launch as “The #1 App for Planning Your Perfect Night”.
Prior to Wendr, Sam managed marketing and business development at Ogilvy & Mather’s industry leading entertainment marketing arm, OgilvyEntertainment. At OgilvyEntertainment, Sam worked on the group’s corporate communications and public relations efforts, developed several original entertainment properties while also helping to execute campaigns for clients including American Express, UPS, Kodak and IBM.
Prior to joining Ogilvy, Sam managed business and brand development for a leading social media agency, Big Fuel, where he worked to develop campaigns for clients such as Colgate-Palmolive, Fisher-Price, McDonald’s, Yahoo! and KFC.
Sam’s prior experience also includes NBC Universal, Warner Bros. Records, MTV Networks and Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners.
While at Ogilvy, Sam represented the organization as the youngest member of the 4A’s Branded Content Committee. Sam has served on the UJA-Federation of NY’s Young Entertainment Executive Committee for more than four years. Sam is a leader of the Northeastern University New York City Alumni Chapter, where he graduated with a degree in communications and a concentration in media studies. Sam serves as Founder and Chair of the Birthright Israel Alumni Council of New York and has played host to several YJP Media events throughout Manhattan. Sam is also the youngest member of the Branded Content Marketing Association’s (BCMA) Advisory Board.