The Drum Awards Festival - Extended Deadline

-d -h -min -sec

Author

By Doug Zanger, Americas Editor

July 17, 2017 | 2 min read

Caressa Douglas knows that we live in a world of branding, and that writers and producers recognize that as well. Brands help authenticate real life stories and are therefore needed when telling stories through entertainment.

As senior vice president, content and branded integration at Branded Entertainment Network (BEN), Douglas – who will go more in-depth about her personal and professional story in an upcoming episode of Exceptional Women of the World – is keenly aware of the importance of product placement and brand marketing strategies. She says that brands and the entertainment industry need to be collaborative to be authentic and tell meaningful stories.

While Douglas sees great work happening all the time, she does have a top three of the best product integrations she has worked on. They include a Zombieland and Twinkie pairing, Entourage with Xbox Kinect, and Wonderbread and Talladega Nights. All involved a suspension of reality and a risk, but all paid off for the stories and the brands.

She says that a key for brands is to let the filmmaker tell the story rather than the brand, since there’s a fine line between entertainment and being commercial that needs to be led by the storyteller. Her dream is to be able to feature future technologies from the aerospace industry in film, which she says hasn’t been done effectively yet – take note, Top Gun 2.

See Douglas's view on storytelling in our What's the Story? series.

What's the Story? is sponsored by Branded Entertainment Network (BEN), the first global network for branded product integration in the entertainment industry, across all media, including the influencer space.

Product Integration What's the Story Branded Entertainment Network

Other episodes in the series

Episode 1

Tina Brown, author of The Diana Chronicles, on what makes a great story

What’s the Story? is a storytelling video series dedicated to learning what truly makes a great story, told through the lens of the world’s talent and practitioners of the craft in entertainment, marketing and beyond.

Episode 2

Hip-hop icon Warren G and director Karam Gill on what makes a great story

What’s the Story? is a storytelling video series dedicated to learning what truly makes a great story, told through the lens of the world’s talent and practitioners of the craft in entertainment, marketing and beyond.

Episode 3

Glenn Gainor, Sony Pictures Screen Gems exec on what makes a great story

What’s the Story? is a storytelling video series dedicated to learning what truly makes a great story, told through the lens of the world’s talent and practitioners of the craft in entertainment, marketing and beyond.

Episode 4

Documentarian Cheryl Dunye on what makes a great story

What’s the Story? is a storytelling video series dedicated to learning what truly makes a great story, told through the lens of the world’s talent and practitioners of the craft in entertainment, marketing and beyond.

Episode 5

Sony Pictures Screen Gems exec, Glenn Gainor, on successful brand integration in film

After 25 years in the entertainment business, Glenn Gainor, head of physical production at Sony Pictures Screen Gems, knows plenty about great films and stories. He also knows what it takes to create successful integration for brands — and points to the seminal ET/Reese's Pieces hookup as the gold standard of integration.

Episode 6

Prop master Scott Bauer on how brands can drive a story

As a story unfolds in film and TV, there are plenty of those who help craft the work. Though writers, producers, directors and actors get the spotlight much of the time, the rest of crew plays invaluable roles in making it all come to life.

Episode 7

Sir John Hegarty on the best brand story he’s told

What’s the Story? is a storytelling video series dedicated to learning what truly makes a great story, told through the lens of the world’s talent and practitioners of the craft in entertainment, marketing and beyond.

Episode 8

Brand storyteller and film producer Tim Perell on great storytelling

What’s the Story? is a storytelling video series dedicated to learning what truly makes a great story, told through the lens of the world’s talent and practitioners of the craft in entertainment, marketing and beyond.

Episode 9

Amir Bar-Lev, Long Strange Trip director, on passion in storytelling

What’s the Story? is a storytelling video series dedicated to learning what truly makes a great story, told through the lens of the world’s talent and practitioners of the craft in entertainment, marketing and beyond.

Episode 10

PopSugar's co-founder, Lisa Sugar, shares what makes a great story

What’s the Story? is a storytelling video series dedicated to learning what truly makes a great story, told through the lens of the world’s talent and practitioners of the craft in entertainment, marketing and beyond.

More from Product Integration

View all