JWT launches Amplify in the US

MUMBAI: J. Walter Thompson (JWT) has announced the formation of an expanded brand entertainment content development and placement practice in the US. A newly created unit called Amplify was the result of a merger of JWT's Brand Entertainment Group and Hill & Knowlton's Showcasee

A company release states that Amplify specialises in the strategic integration of brands into all aspects of entertainment. They include television, film, gaming, magazines, books and music. This is accomplished through the creation of original brand content as well as product placement. Its service offering includes planning, creative support, ideation, metrics, entertainment industry relations, negotiations, legal and business affairs.

The Los Angeles headquartered Amplify is led by its executive director Rob Donnell. It serves as a resource for all the WPP group companies. Amplify's principal client is Ford Motor. The unit handles the brand entertainment assignment of Ford global marketing and represents all the Ford brands such as Ford, Mazda, Volvo, Jaguar and Aston Martin to the entertainment industry.

Amplify under its previous Brand Entertainment Group banner had in the past orchestrated a string of successful branded entertainment media events for Ford. One example was the promotion and integration of Lincoln Navigator in a new movie Are We There Yet. It has also created original content integrating Ford vehicles into television shows like Fox's 24, ABC's Alias ( both of which air in India on AXN) and Fox's American Idol which airs on Star World.

Donnell added, "We have seen first hand the significant return on marketing investment that can be gained by using entertainment as a strategic brand-building tool. Our goal is to leverage popular culture to create breakthrough ideas that surround our clients' brands with compelling entertainment experiences that connect with consumers in channels of their choosing. Amplify will enable us to partner with the best that Hollywood has to offer."

JWT celebrates its 140th anniversary this year. It claims to be the largest advertising agency brand in the US and one of the world's largest full-service global networks. Its parent company is WPP.

The release adds that JWT's heritage in building brands through entertainment dates back to the 1930's when the agency pioneered such radio and TV programmes as the Lux Radio Theatre, Kraft Music Hall and the Kraft Television Theater.

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