Marblemedia establishes new dept for integration opps

The prodco has hired Lisa Reis to head a department that will handle content integrations across Marblemedia, broadcasters and brands. Several shows featuring integrations are currently in development and production.

In an effort to more effectively span the gaps that can exist between all the different players in any media production, Toronto-based Marblemedia has created a new department dedicated exclusively to integrating brands into its productions.

Headed by new hire Lisa Reis, an 18-year veteran of the media and advertising world, the new department will handle integration opportunities initiated by Marble at the idea stage, and will help brands bring long-form television project ideas to life. It will also help to develop integrations brought to Marble by broadcasters and their partners in an effort to make the process smoother for all parties involved.

‘We produce both the TV and the interactive under one umbrella, but at the same time we work very closely with the broadcaster across all of their different departments to ensure that we’re not cutting anyone out of the mix,’ Mark Bishop, executive producer and co-founder, Marblemedia, told MiC. ‘It’s actually enhancing what everyone does at the sales and marketing side of the broadcaster and provides an opportunity that hasn’t existed in the past with independent production.’

The goal was to have a single point person within the organization who was familiar with the needs of both the brands and the broadcasters, said Bishop. As productions have become more complex and embrace more media elements, the need to have one person handling relationships related to all aspects of a production has become more critical, he said.

The company currently has several shows featuring integrations in production, including the adult-oriented The Dating Guy (also featuring a live-action webisode component called The Morning After Show) on Teletoon in September 2010, and Skatoony, which will feature kids competing against cartoon characters both on-air and online, also on Teletoon in 2010. Details on integrations for both shows were not available at press time, but discussions for integrations in both are ongoing. (Bishop notes that Marble is careful in handling integrations involving kids’ shows, adhering to stricter-than-Canada US policies because so many of their shows are sold in the American market.) Another game show in production is the live-action remake of game show Just Like Mom and Dad, which will also feature an interactive online component to allow viewers to play along at home.

‘For us the online component is really where it gets exciting,’ Bishop says of brand integrations. ‘The online for us is really that opportunity for engagement with the audience.’

Marblemedia specializes in cross-platform media and funding the expanding role of interactive media that complements TV – or vice versa – has created the need for a different approach to production, Bishop said. ‘It’s something that [co-founder] Matt [Hornburg] and I have believed for a while: there has to be a new model [for] how we, as independent producers, collaborate with broadcasters and find new ways of engaging with audiences.’