Believe Media Goes Back to the Future!

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Believe Media Launches iBelieve with Online Entertainment Pioneer David van Eyssen at the Helm.

iBelieve Launches

"The new generations occupy the digital medium as their birthright. So we need a new mindset to understand this evolution in user behavior. That’s iBelieve’s mission statement - to supply that demand.” David van Eyssen

Luke Thornton and Liz Silver - founders/owners of Believe Media - announce the launch of iBelieve, a digital and interactive division of Believe Media, to be headlined by online entertainment pioneer, director David van Eyssen.

iBelieve reunites Thornton and van Eyssen, who crafted interactive media content under the Believe Media banner when the company was originally founded in January 2000.

Thornton declares; “David did interactive work with Believe before there was a client demand for it – we were at the forefront of nontraditional advertising. Then we decided to build our brand in the more traditional advertising space, and today Believe is a force to be reckoned with.”

“Lately we’ve thought about concentrating more on nontraditional advertising again. Our new venture, iBelieve, will remind people of the strong brand that Believe has become and the highly progressive work that David has created. We’ll be offering unique digital solutions from Day One.”

“If you look at the surge in premium web content over the past year, it’s clear that audiences aren’t making a distinction about where their entertainment comes from,” says van Eyssen. “Where the audience goes, brands have to follow – which means that production companies and agencies need to deliver new forms of advertising for today’s consumers. It’s clear this next phase of advertising will be all about engagement, creating an experience that’s more social and interactive – at a quality that competes head-on with traditional.”

When van Eyssen joined the fledgling Believe a dozen years ago, he was one of the first people to create content for the Internet. He and Thornton targeted powerhouse agency Fallon/Minneapolis, producing interactive pieces for accounts such as Nordstrom, Nikon, ABC and Starbucks among others.

Van Eyssen was also creatively involved at the inception of the groundbreaking BMW Films series – a handful of short, dramatic web videos that proved that there was an audience for quality content online and which remain a benchmark in the ad world today.

Van Eyssen went on to develop original Internet content with his company, Science2Fiction Transmedia. Most recently his award-winning six-episode series “RCVR” (pronounced ‘Receiver’), a new breed of scripted drama about the role that alien intelligence has played in prompting technological innovation, generated enormous buzz. (Variety headlined its review of the show “Could the Fall’s best series not be on TV? Meet “RCVR.”).

Compared favorably to “The X-Files” and sponsored by Motorola Mobility and Google and distributed via Machinima/YouTube, “RCVR” netted 6.2 million views - 4.4 million of them unique - in its first month of release and is now being developed for other platforms, exploring new areas of story. It also received a 97% “like” response – a rare feat in the hypercritical world of online video.

Thornton says, “With the launch of iBelieve, David will be working on an array of projects with very forward-thinking agencies and clients in the arenas of advertising, branded content and program sponsorships. Of course, he will also continue to create his own projects with the support of his team at Untitled and CAA”.

Van Eyssen notes that the Internet is a very different space than it was when he first partnered with Believe. “Since Luke and I first worked together, marketing communications has reached beyond traditional and into the world of consumer entertainment. At the same time, the web experience has become a full-screen blend of TV, movies and games – with advertisers still trying to fit into a TV-style, spots and dots model”.

“iBelieve provides advertisers with new ways of integrating into entertainment, transforming marketing strategies into something consumers can be part of – whether that’s interactive or social participation. That’s where we think advertising is headed – towards deeper user engagement but at a quality that’s consistent with the high-level work that a company like Believe delivers.”

Van Eyssen emphasizes that today “the Internet is where ignition takes place. We leverage the power of the network with short-form to build a core audience. But every device is now a distribution platform, so how a story is told completely changes.

He believes that the production of premium-quality digital content is “eroding the tyranny of the big rectangle”, the dominance of the TV and movie screens. “People now experience their entertainment through many different rectangles, each with its unique set of rules and behaviors. The linearity of the large screen, the interactivity of the Internet, and the social nature of mobile means that we have to re-think how stories are told – for brands and audiences.”

Van Eyssen’s recent success with Season One of “RCVR” demonstrates the excitement and reach of the Internet: The series tied into an alternate reality game, a character-written blog and a wide range of supporting content camouflaged as third-party websites.

He is anticipating Season Two of the series and has partnered with an A-list showrunner and TV creator to develop the long-form version of “RCVR.”

The director is also eager to explore storytelling and interactivity in user-directed content in another project, “13,” whose pilot and interactive prototype have been completed. Developed when van Eyssen was in a first-look deal at Paramount (where he also created “Circle of Eight” for Pepsi), the series features 13 characters that find themselves trapped in a hotel. Interactively, viewers decide the fate of the characters and discover the hotel’s secret. “‘Big Brother’ meets ‘Lost’,” he says.

In little more than a decade since the first combined efforts of Believe and van Eyssen, “consumers have become engaged in every aspect of entertainment,” Thornton points out.

“When we worked on BMW, everyone wondered if there was an audience with connections fast enough to watch the films,” van Eyssen recalls. “Now look at connection speeds, the depth of programming on the web, the shift towards social media and mobility. "The new generations occupy the digital medium as their birthright. So we need a new mindset to understand this evolution in user behavior. That’s iBelieve’s mission statement - to supply that demand.”

For more on iBelieve please visit:
http://www.ibelieve-media.com

For more on Believe Media, please visit: http://www.believemedia.com

ALL Media contact: Kevin Fetterplace at Believe Media
Kevin(at)BelieveMedia(dot)com

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