Forget Your Reel, Let Me See Your Show

Agency holding company MDC Partners is moving into TV production, and its new company, Shout Media, is already developing a show for Bravo called “Pregnant In Heels.”
Miles Nadal, MDC’s CEO, says marketers are “consistently seeking new and inventive platforms to deliver immersive brand engagement, entertainment and ongoing interaction with consumers.” (Actually, I don’t think he speaks like that, but his press release writer must.)
Along with producing traditional TV series, Shout will develop branded entertainment content for clients represented by MDC shops. Media Post notes that branded-entertainment arms at holding companies have produced network content before, “but investing in traditional production — with its many risks — is unusual.”
As more and more marketers come to terms with the fact that they are in the media business today, investing in “production” is going to be more and more common. But what kind of production?
The twist that MDC appears to be adding here is an investment in producing original entertainment, versus just branded entertainment. The shows will stand on their own as entertainment vehicles, but clearly, MDC clients might support these programs through traditional ad placement and brand integration.
There are two ways to go as a content producer–find a client, or clients, and make episodic content on their behalf, or make the show first (as is the tradition) and then find corporate sponsors. It sounds like MDC will wisely pursue both paths.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.