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The Inevitable Marriage of AdLand and Hollywood
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Doesn't everyone have a pair of friends, or people you know that date on and off, again and again? Their partnership seems perfect — looks perfect — yet they each conjure up a reason to break it off.

We know that sooner or later, it is going to happen.

Thus is the story between AdLand and Hollywood. Advertising and the entertainment industry have been flirting with each other for ages. There have been countless articles and predictions about when this predictable bond will occur, and how. First we figured that creative directors from the ad world would trickle over to the entertainment industry, or film directors coming over to the ad world to be creative directors. We assumed that the partnership wouldn't happen until there was a mix of cross-disciplinarians who knew how both industries worked.

Then, with the rise of "native branding" and owned content, paired with product placement, we wrote several months ago that the partnership could look like branded films and content.

A recent article by Stuart Elliott of the NYTimes tells us that our latest prediction was right.

Elliott wrote how Manhattan advertising agency Brooklyn Brothers are teaming up with a number of writers and producers from Hollywood to create a joint partnership called "BB Hollywood." If you are unfamiliar with Brooklyn Brothers, it is the agency that was behind the New Era Cap Company's trash-talking video clips with Alec Baldwin. The article goes on to say that BB Hollywood will compete against the likes of Ogilvy Entertainment, CollegeHumor, Funny or Die, and Break Media.

The article then continued to point out reasons from Hollywood writer and the Brooklyn Brothers partners about why this partnership should work. 

Why wouldn't it work?

It is the combination of the best of all worlds: you are giving the consumer a reason to be entertained, and a reason for a brand to be part of a story. People love stories, businesses love being in front of people, and us advertising and entertainment folks love the challenge of putting together a compelling storyline. 

The theory is sound; it is the execution of the theory that is the question. If this joint operation's first campaign is a dud, no doubt industry critics will jump on them, citing that the partnership, though we all want it to happen, may always seem too good to be true. But if they are successful, which we think with the right brand and the right story they will be, we can easily see this blossoming into a beautiful relationship.

Will it end happily ever after? That remains to be seen. Both industries have their share of dirty laundry and internal conflicts that need to be resolved. And who is to say that this partnership will bring to light more complications? Those unknowns shouldn't stop these two lovebirds from trying to make it work.


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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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