Branding entertainment through New Media


Jake Brenner spearheads Marathon’s Emerging Media consulting initiatives, advising established media companies on emerging media opportunities and early stage media and technology companies on growth and revenue strategies.Jake manages the sale of branded entertainment and direct response inventory to advertisers and clients across multiple programming and distribution channels. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and was a Fulbright Scholar to Singapore.Jake is Vice-President of the New York Chapter Fulbright Association and salsa dancing instructor.The work of the company can be accessed at

Marathon pioneered the use of digital technology in branded entertainment, creating digital brand integrations for CBS, FOX, Warner Bros and others.

Question What are the challenges your company faces in branding entertainment products being shown on the web?

Jake :The standards have been defined in the case of traditional media and one just has to follow the pattern already laid down. The biggest challenge for us is to get the right business model for the web so that entertainment products of our clients to be shown on web attract advertising. But this is easier said than done. Web is completely a different medium and the rules which operate here are completely different from those in traditional media.

 Question Can you elaborate?

 Jake : Consumer behaviour is an integral part of advertising therefore it is a key to understanding this issue. Consumer behaviour on web is completely different from that in traditional media. While a person on television was prepared to listen to three-minutes commercial break, on web a person is just not prepared to do the same. Web is a multi-task medium as a person does number of things at a time. In other words browsing on web is a lot more as compared to browsing on traditional media. While a consumer is seeing a programme on fire-fox he is also checking his emails on web. Attention span of the consumer on the web is less than that in traditional media.

 Question So how do you tackle this issue? Consumer behaviour on web makes it difficult for the advertisers so what do you do.

 Jake : There is an alternative and one has to understand the medium and know the people who are using it. On web one has to be very specific with advertising. Only through right targeting of the consumers, one is able to make the audience watch the advertisement. For instance automobile advertisement for a middle-class consumer in New York, who anyway uses less automobile in the day, may not be relevant but it may be relevant for a person living in other state who use more automobile in his daily life. The targeting of the audience on web is the key and then only one can make advertising a viable option. Obviously here lot of legislative issues will come into play as the question of privacy will be paramount.

 Question  How difficult is it for your company to make your clients realize the importance of use of new media technology for airing their products and also getting advertisers for them?

 Jake As more and more people start using the net and see the content there, there is a need to for the companies to make a switch over from traditional media to web. New media is still in a nascent stage yet but nobody can doubt its potential. A year back several advances were being made in this regard as people were prepared to experiment and look for unconventional ways to sell their stuff. The problem came in when the economic recession started.

 Question How are you coping up with the economic recession with specific reference to exploiting new media in your business ?

 Jake : There are two approaches. One is the vertical pattern where one invests in developing concepts for new media in our business. And wait for the returns and then invest more. Then there is the horizontal approach where we work with traditional media. Right now we have reduced our investments in new media due to the volatility but we are keeping a close watch on the trends. New media is robust and it will be wrong to underestimate its potential. This is true for our business.





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