Ketchum inks partnership with The Weinstein Company

The collaboration is designed to leverage respective partners' skill sets to supercharge cinematic storytelling on behalf of brands.

Ketchum won a PRWeek Award in 2015 for its work with the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.
Ketchum won a PRWeek Award in 2015 for its work with the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance.

NEW YORK: Ketchum’s brand film division has signed a production and distribution agreement with Hollywood legends Bob and Harvey Weinstein.

The non-exclusive deal between Ketchum Films and The Weinstein Company will give the Omnicom agency’s clients access to award-winning directors and producers.

A division of Ketchum Sports & Entertainment, Ketchum Films will share client briefs for feature film, virtual reality, and series productions with The Weinstein Company to consider for potential production and distribution partnerships.

The two companies have already partnered on projects including Lexus Short Films, a series designed to nurture the next generation of filmmakers, and they will now approach brands together to help them tell their stories.

Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, told PRWeek: "I’m super excited to work with Ketchum. They dazzled us with many impressive ideas and they have a cutting-edge outlook. This is not our business, but they’ve been very seductive in explaining the opportunities."

Ketchum Films has produced documentary features for clients including Mount Sinai Health System’s The Resilient Heart, Farmland for the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance – which won a PRWeek Award in 2015 – and A Fighting Chance for Samsung.

"Ketchum Films has brought the agency a totally differentiated offering that our clients are thrilled to learn about and leverage," said Marcus Peterzell, partner and head of entertainment at Ketchum Sports & Entertainment, in a statement.

Weinstein and Peterzell discussed the opportunity and challenge of brand films in a panel at Advertising Week on Wednesday, where the collaboration was announced.

"It’s a wonderful opportunity for brands to tell their own story," Weinstein said. "They have the opportunity to make a small investment [in a film] and get lucky or be really smart and have that go viral. When you make a brand movie or brand entertainment, the possibilities are endless."

The biggest challenge is likely bringing together the mindsets of the two separate industries, where PR wants to measure the ROI on a film and filmmakers focus on creating art. But Peterzell believes having those conversations between marketers and directors upfront will better align the expectations.

"It’s an entirely new model that brands are getting used to," Peterzell said. "We’re trying to marry together the brands and filmmakers. Brands are not going into this to get into the movie business, they’re going into this to tell stories."

The Weinstein Company launched in 2005. Some of its most notable productions include six-time Academy Award-nominated Lion and Academy Award Best Pictures The Artist and The King’s Speech.

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