Brandweek: Dateline Industry Insights Summit

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By Scott Hettrick - April 11, 2001

The shift in format will allow the event to set up presentations by many TV networks in L.A., where participation has always been the heaviest anyway... Product Placement Huddle to Include TV Broadcast and TV network executives will join their theatrical and home video brethren for the first time in presenting their upcoming slate of promotable products at the fourth annual L.A. Office Road Show meetings this fall.

But the term road show will be a misnomer as the annual three-day meetings with ad agencies and corporate sponsors will be held only in Los Angeles Sept. 10-12 for the first time instead of a day each in New York, Chicago and L.A.

The shift in format will allow the event to set up presentations by many TV networks in L.A., where participation has always been the heaviest anyway, according to L.A. Office president Mitch Litvak.

L.A. Office was established six years ago to facilitate better communication between advertisers and studios for cross-promotional opportunities. The road show began in 1998, with every studio participating in one or more of the shows.

Par abstained

Every studio except Paramount made a 45-minute presentation last year, with New Line and Miramax making presentations separate from their parent companies.
So far five have already confirmed to participate again in the program that drew 550 participants last year, 300 of which were in L.A. alone.

Past attendees have included representatives from AOL, BMG, Campbell Soup, Columbia Records, Creative Artists Agency, Kraft Foods, M&M/Mars, Microsoft, MTV, Nike, Nokia, People, Sega, Taco Bell, Toys 'R' Us, Vanity Fair, Virgin Atlantic, Visa and Warner Music.

Although the theatrical and home video presentations will be made in much the same manner as the past in a theater in Hollywood to be announced soon, TV networks will each have their own theater setting to present to six to eight groups each day.

Litvak said the program, which he describes as a kind of trade show with networking opportunities, attracts retailers, fast-food restaurants, corporate partners, advertising, promotions and publishing agencies, and cable companies.

Deals are not typically struck at the program, but it educates potential partners about all the promotional opportunities and status of more than 100 upcoming productions.