The New York Television Festival and Advertising Week V Partner To Launch Nexus NYC Branded Content Development Forum

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Producers Michael Davies, Howard T. Owens, and the William Morris Agency headline the top TV and digital creatives who will meet with corporate brand representatives at the September 2008 event.

As a company, we are lucky enough to be able to work with some of the greatest creative minds in the business

The New York Television Festival (NYTVF) today joined with Advertising Week V to announce the launch of a new forum dedicated to the creation of original branded video content initiatives. Nexus NYC will be held the week of September 22nd in New York City during Advertising Week V. Nexus will unite television, online, and digital producers with corporate brand managers and executives looking to promote their companies and products through branded entertainment. Through a series of structured face-to-face meetings and events, brands will be given the opportunity to receive dozens of pitches by some of the most talented content creators in the industry. Producers participating in the event include Michael Davies, President and CEO of Embassy Row Productions; Howard T. Owens, Managing Director of Reveille LLC; and an additional group of top producers represented by the William Morris Agency.

"The New York Television Festival is proud to be working with Advertising Week on a forward-looking initiative like Nexus," said NYTVF founder Terence Gray. "Brands are adopting an increasingly active role in content development, and putting them in the room with established producers will only accelerate the creative process. Nexus fits perfectly with the NYTVF's mission of establishing new and innovative pipelines for producing cutting-edge video content."

"As we embark on our fifth year of Advertising Week, we are constantly challenging ourselves to widen the playing field by offering more and more unique opportunities within advertising and neighboring industries. Nexus is just such an event," stated Advertising Week Executive Director, Matt Scheckner.

Nexus organizers will invite accomplished producers to meet with the brand managers and marketing executives from companies looking to develop original branded content. Participating brands will meet with a number of producers, each offering ideas for programming specifically tailored to the companies' marketing objectives. The goal is for participating brands to adopt one or two ideas from the dozens presented to them and to foster the creation of a pilot program or potentially even a short series. Thus, the meetings at Nexus will serve as an incubator for new programming that allows producers and advertisers to work together as creatives. Michael Davies, executive producer of shows such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Power of 10, and Wife Swap, and Howard T. Owens, executive producer of American Gladiators and My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad, headline the producers who will present their ideas directly to brand representatives.

"Nexus represents a bold new step in the creation of branded entertainment," said Michael Davies, President and CEO of Embassy Row Productions. "As corporate brands continue to explore original content as a marketing tool, they need to meet and develop with producers who they can trust with their messaging, and to deliver."

The William Morris Agency is supporting the inaugural Nexus meetings with several top-tier members of its producer talent roster. Top WMA-repped producers, working in all fields of video media, (television, online, digital, mobile, etc.,) will be given the opportunity to present pitches for original and customized programming. In Nexus, a new and unprecedented platform for connecting the worlds of content production and advertising has been established to streamline the process of branded entertainment development.

"As a company, we are lucky enough to be able to work with some of the greatest creative minds in the business," said Jon Rosen, Senior Vice President at WMA. "Nexus provides a unique opportunity for our clients to not only be intimately involved with the creative process but also to work closely with the brands themselves."

Corporate brands participating in the inaugural presentation of Nexus will be announced at a later date. For more information about Nexus, please visit http://www.nytvf.com/2008_nexusnyc.htm.

The NYTVF debuted in 2005 as the industry's first showcase for independent television. Television pilots that premiered at the Festival have been sold to major networks, including the scripted comedy Split the Difference to NBC Universal Television Studios and the improv comedy pilot Criss-Cross to A&E Television Networks. Additionally, the reality series Off the Hook was purchased and developed as a series in 2006 by Versus. The fourth annual NYTVF will be held in Midtown Manhattan this September.

The 2007 NYTVF was supported by Signature Sponsors MSN, Xbox and Procter & Gamble Productions. TV Guide and the William Morris Agency were Official Supporting Sponsors. Official Network Sponsors for the 2007 NYTVF included NBC Universal, FOX, ABC, A&E, Bravo and E!. The NYTVF works in conjunction with the Mayor's Office of New York City.

For more information on the NYTVF, please visit http://www.nytvf.com.

About the New York Television Festival
The NYTVF was founded in 2005 as the industry's first recognized independent television festival, providing a platform to elevate the work of artists creating for the small screen. Held annually each fall in New York City, the birthplace of modern television, the Festival unites artists, executives, industry figures, and fans together in one forum to celebrate the medium and to help shape its future. Along with the Independent Pilot Competition, the Festival features panel discussions, network premiere screenings, and other special events designed to honor television as an institution and as an art form.

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Gretchen Wagner

Jodi Sevin
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