Warner Brothers Creative Services
By Sharon Donovan -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/20/2004 8:00:00 PM
Senior vice president
When you juggle as many as 100 marketing and promotion campaigns at once, the thought of the day-in day-out challenge tends to make Lisa Gregorian giggle, if not laugh out loud.
"Laughter relieves the stress," she reasons. "Around here, I do laugh a lot, even at my own jokes."
As the head of the year-old Warner Bros. Creative Services, she oversees the considerable library of Warner Bros. Television and Warner Bros. animation product. In real numbers, she has to keep her eyes on six divisions of the company.
"Our philosophy is to find ways to enhance and assist our broadcasters in making our shows successful," she says. "In the U.S., the focus is product integration and working to be top-of-mind with advertisers looking for more value beyond the traditional ad buy."
It's tough to get noticed in a congested environment. Everybody wants to be top-of-mind.
"It's a matter of understanding what everyone is looking for," she says, "and allowing yourself to hear another point of view about how to get something done."
Gregorian has what is essentially a non-stop brainstorm with hundreds of TV networks worldwide airing Warner Bros. programming to ensure that they get the maximum marketing and promotional bang. Her responsibilities also include overseeing product-placement and promotional opportunities, as well as serving as liaison with AOL for TV properties on its platform.
Her vision has to be broad. For example, for the season premiere of Smallville, Warner Bros. Television and The WB worked with Verizon Wireless on a multi-layered marketing program. The campaign spread from on-air and print to online and, unlike most promotional programs, had the creative muscle of the drama's writing team behind it. Verizon's ubiquitous "Test Man" appeared in a series of 30-second spots on other WB shows, as well as on cable channels, inviting Verizon customers to receive text messages with Smallville trivia, pictures, polls, and updates.
But a big part of Gregorian's year was focused on maximizing the departure of an icon: Friends.
Warner Bros. TV and NBC teamed up to enlist fans, via AOL and Internet voting, to choose six Friends episodes to air during the farewell weeks.
A partnership between Warner Home Video and Target introduced consumers to the exclusive Friends Party Pack, a collectible gift set featuring an exclusive DVD, titled "The One With All the Parties" and containing seven party-themed Friends episodes, and a CD.
Supported by an extensive multimillion-dollar marketing and media campaign, Gregorian snagged the cover page of the March 7 Target national newspaper insert circular.
Again with AOL, The WB, and Warner Bros., she focused on Everwood. An episode of the show was made available online and on-demand the morning after it aired, a first for any network show.
With all that happening, the office runs at top speed. "We're adrenaline junkies," Gregorian says proudly of her staff. "If things die down, we get worried."
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