NEW YORK: Edelman launched a new division, Edelman Studios, to allow aspiring filmmakers, or anyone, to pitch and develop creative content for its clients, including short and feature films, TV shows, and webisodes. It solicited content from directors, producers, and screenwriters, including newcomers still at the college level. Users submit their ideas to the "virtual film studio" via its Web site, www.edelman.com/studios.
"So many clients are looking for new ways to connect," said Nancy Ruscheinski, Edelman US president and COO. "This is the continuing evolution of the way we've tried to expand the definition of [PR]."
Current Edelman clients that signed up for Edelman Studio content include Burger King, Butterball, Expedia, and Kraft's Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
Chitra Ebenezer, director of marketing for cheese and dairy for Kraft, said her brand was looking for fresh content.
"Philadelphia Cream Cheese recognizes that consumers are going to different places than in the past for content," she said. "We're really excited [to see] fresh content, that ends up in everybody's in-box."
Edelman's Matter team, which specializes in entertainment marketing, will choose the best three ideas and schedule pitch meetings to present to the client like a "regular Hollywood studio," according to Andy Marks, MD at Matter.
"The idea is to express the brand in ways that may not be directly tied to the product, so much as a brand attribute," he said.
The new unit, the first major partnership between Matter and Edelman Digital, was unveiled April 28 at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The idea for Edelman Studios was first developed about a year ago, according to Ruscheinski. It was funded through money the firm had set aside for new ventures.