Meet Viacom’s Nine 2017 Cynopsis Rising Stars

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

They work in marketing, communications, programming, or gaming. They’re planted around the organization, helping to drive some of our most prominent networks and divisions: MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, CMT, TV Land, VH1, Logo, Viacom Velocity. And though some have been here for years, they’re all just getting started in promising careers. They are the nine young Viacom standouts who earned recognition as Cynopsis 2017 Rising Stars.

This year’s awards follow a strong 2016 showing for Viacom, when six employees across a variety of brands were acknowledged. The nine honorees this year are Kelly Andersen, Ned Berger, Katrina Bucu, Rachel Burns, Kassie Deng, Marisa Mazart, Brielle Urssery, Jacqueline Vinci and Alexandra Woog.

Cynopsis will honor these young standouts at a reception on September 15 in New York City. Here’s a bit more about how each of them is forging their career at Viacom:

KELLY ANDERSEN – MANAGER, COMMUNICATIONS FOR MTV, VH1 AND LOGO

What she does: My days tend to include writing press releases, communicating with media outlets and escorting network talent to press appearances.

Tenure: Six years

On being named a Cynopsis Rising Star:  My coworkers had secretly submitted me so I thought it was a spam email and I almost deleted it.

What helps her fit Cynopsis’ description of a rising star as someone who has “proven success in aligning strategic objectives with end goals?”: I’m passionate about the work we are doing at MTV, VH1 and Logo, and with so many exciting things coming down the line, organization is key. I like to write everything down and map out a timeline to reach publicity goals for each series.

What is the most exciting thing happening with her team right now?: We are all prepping for VMAs!

What she is most looking forward to about the awards reception: I have no idea what to expect so I am just happy to be there!


NED BERGER – DIRECTOR, CONSUMER MARKETING, NICKELODEON

What he does: I’m with the Consumer Marketing department at Nickelodeon where I’m responsible for marketing for our tentpole events, including overarching strategy, off-channel execution, influencer marketing, content partnerships, and innovation projects.

Tenure: Four years

On being named a Cynopsis Rising Star: I was thrilled to find out I would be receiving the award. To be recognized by my bosses and by Cynopsis for the work that I do is a real honor.  

What helps him fit Cynopsis’ description of a rising star as someone who has “proven success in aligning strategic objectives with end goals?”: A big part of my job is being a brand steward. Nickelodeon is an incredibly strong brand and I work to provide kids with creative and fun ways to experience the brand. Our tentpole events (like Kids’ Choice Awards) truly bring the Nick brand to life, and the marketing of those events brings together brand strategy, creative innovation, and business goals.

What is the most exciting thing happening with his team right now?: We are going to be part of the team working on The Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the newest version of our animated series. We’re all excited to work on such an iconic property and to be part of its reinvention for a new generation of fans.

What he is most looking forward to about the awards reception: I’m most looking forward to meeting bright talent from around the media and entertainment industries and forging new connections and relationships.


KATRINA BUCU – MANAGER, INTEGRATED MARKETING, VIACOM VELOCITY

What she does: I strategically develop and pitch multi-platform, integrated marketing programs across MTV, VH1 and Logo aligned to tentpoles, programming and editorial initiatives in order to drive advertising revenue.

Tenure: Since I graduated from college a little over five years ago. I like to say I’m Viacom born and raised.

On being named a Cynopsis Rising Star: It was such a great way to start the week on Monday morning and I immediately told my friends and family! I was honored that my team had nominated me for this award and it’s an amazing feeling to have your work recognized, not only by your team, but by the industry.

What helps her fit Cynopsis’ description of a rising star as someone who has “proven success in aligning strategic objectives with end goals?”: Key parts of Integrated Marketing include storytelling, negotiation and organization. In this role, I have been able to craft a marketing story that sells big ideas both internally and externally as the concepts need to match the objectives of the channel and brand to create an organic fit, building client relationships for key partners like Taco Bell, P&G and more.

What is the most exciting thing happening with her team right now?: The return of TRL! It was a key program during my teenage years. I’m excited for how it will be reinvented for today’s generation and how we can weave our advertising partners into the pop-culture platform.

What she is most looking forward to about the awards reception: I’m excited to celebrate with my fellow Viacom Velocity peers as they’re all deserving of this honor and it has been a pleasure to work alongside them. I’m also looking forward to meeting the other honorees and to learn from our shared passions and successes.

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Viacom Demonstrates Marketing and Creative Excellence with 103 PromaxBDA Awards

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

In a sweeping global affirmation of Viacom’s deep brand stable, adaptability across platforms, and overall marketing excellence, the company rolled up an impressive 103 awards between PromaxBDA’s 2017 North American and global Promotion, Marketing and Design Excellence Awards.

Nickelodeon, Spike, BET, TV Land, Comedy Central, Viacom18, Viacom Velocity, Viacom International Media Networks, and Viacom Catalyst all received honors at the ceremonies in Los Angeles on June 8. Juries of best-in-craft peers chose the winners in each category, infusing each nod with a coveted expert’s stamp of approval.

“That Gold Statue stands for the highest level of marketing and creative excellence in our industry,” Andy Baker, chairman of the PromaxBDA awards committee, wrote in his letter to honorees.

Here’s a look at all of Viacom’s 2017 winners:

Image courtesy of PromaxBDA. Used with permission.

CHANNEL: HOLIDAY OR SPECIAL EVENT CAMPAIGN

1) GOLD Kids Pick The President Campaign, Nickelodeon

2) SILVER Halloween, Nickelodeon

 

ONLINE PLATFORMS, CABLE/SATELLITE: ON-SCREEN SERVICES PROMOTION SPOT/CAMPAIGN

3) GOLD BET TV EVERYWHERE, BET Networks

 

INTERNAL MARKETING OR SIZZLE

4) BRONZE Nick at Nite Upfront Sizzle, Nickelodeon

 

OUT OF HOUSE PROGRAM PROMO

5) BRONZE Lip Sync Battle “Beat It” Promo, Spike

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YOUTH IN FLUX Shows MIPTV How Global Youth React To Today’s World

Viacom’s Christian Kurz presented YOUTH IN FLUX, the latest study from the Viacom Global Consumer Insights group, to industry professionals at MIPTV, a leading international TV industry event taking place in Cannes right now.

The research examined the new reality of youth around the world, their individual and collective goals, and the life strategies they use to survive and thrive in a difficult world.

After speaking with more than 7,000 individuals ranging from 16 to 24 years old across 14 countries, including Australia, South Africa, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and the United States, the group released its findings about how youth see themselves in the world today. Here are some of their findings:

It’s not easy being young: An incredible 93 percent of youth aged 16 to 24 feel it’s hard to be young today.

What makes it so hard?

For one, only one-fifth (21 percent) of youth have no trouble blocking out bad news, and half (53 percent) say they have a love/hate relationship with social media. This means they understand social media doesn’t accurately reflect reality, but just can’t seem to quit.

Youth are uniquely themselves – and they love it: The vast majority (96 percent) of youth surveyed globally say feeling comfortable in their own skin is important, and most (95 percent) also believe in following their heart versus their head.

Youth are optimistic about a more inclusive future…but also realistic: Almost all (97 percent) of those surveyed are guided by the words, ‘live and let live.’

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MTV Slays at the Cannes Lions Festival: Let’s Hear a Roar of Applause

Every year in June, hundreds of creative agencies, tech companies and media powerhouses converge in the South of France for The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. It’s a celebration of the year’s boldest ad campaigns; a chance to attend seminars with industry experts and drink champagne on yachts along the French Riviera.

The most visionary companies leave with the coveted Cannes Lyon Award—essentially the Oscar trophy of the advertising world.

You might remember 2015’s trippy, GIF-inspired VMA green-screen. The creative encouraged fans to download photos of their favorite VMA artists, such as Miley Cyrus, and customize them with fan art, emojis, and flying tacos.

Now the psychedelic promo has won a Cannes Gold Lion.

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Breaking Down Viacom Velocity in Four Key Points

by Zac Coe

1. Higher creative standards are standard.

Viacom Velocity is a full-service marketing and creative content team within the Viacom Marketing and Video Partner Solutions group, built to super-serve our advertising partners.

2. With great marketing comes great responsibility.

We build strategic and creative custom content solutions across all platforms that connect our partners seamlessly into the fabric of our brands, driving value for our partners and loyalty with our fans.

3. Viacom Velocity is where innovation meets collaboration.

Our innovative, data-driven marketing products like Echo, Vantage, Viewprint, Social Talent Platform and the Velocity Content Network create even more ways for our partners to connect with our audiences wherever they are.

4. Its got that new website smell.

We’ve refreshed our website to reflect our newest work, products and capabilities, plus company news and a whole lot more.

Check us out at velocity.viacom.com.

Viacom Velocity & Comedy Central Head Up (Literally) Hauntingly Funny Spot for Reese’s

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

The headless horseman and his flaming pumpkin head – the ubiquitous Halloween duo are forever charging along moonlit trails, in menacing pursuit of terrified mortals. But what do these scary season mainstays do when they’re not scouring the autumn earth in search of the lost rider’s noggin?

In a hilarious reimagining of the galloping villains, Comedy Central portrays the eternally intertwined duo’s domestic life in a seasonal spot for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

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Consumer Insights: 10 Ways To Make The Millennial Connection

by Chanon Cook, Comedy Central

makingmillennial connectionComedy Central spends a great deal of time thinking about, engaging with, measuring, and talking to its audience about its brand and competitors. In “Making the Millennial Brand Connection,” Comedy Central set out to broaden that conversation and gain a strong understanding of the brands that Millennials connect with and, most importantly, how those brands connect with them. Based on the analysis of a selection of brands that Millennials love, Comedy Central identified 10 “connection points” or commonalities among these brands. These points were consistent regardless of the product or service offered by the brand.

Key Findings

Millennials love brands that come off as: Read More

Consumer Insights: Comedy Central’s ‘Outrageous & Contagious: Stand-up Study’

by Angela Hamlin, Research, Comedy Central

Tracy Morgan

Social platforms have fueled a new golden age for comedy, in which fans develop personal relationships with comedians and share stand-up content throughout their personal networks. In its study “Outrageous & Contagious: Stand-up Comedy,” Comedy Central delved into this trend and expanded on its research into the Millennial humor experience to better understand the role of stand-up for this age group. The findings reveal that stand-up is a fan favorite that’s on the rise, and identify key factors that make for the ideal stand-up experience. Read More

In a Sea of Endless Content Choices, Will Brands Sink or Swim?

by Walter Levitt, Comedy Central

Remote

It’s a debate as old as the TV industry: do people watch shows or networks?

For decades, the debate has been heated and, if we’re being honest, dramatically over-simplified. Passionate programming and development people have been adamant that “content is king,” the centerpiece of success. A TV network without any hit shows, they contend, is never going to be successful. Read More

Be Viacom’s ‘Talking Shop’ Sparks Dialogue Around Brands, Millennials

by Mandy Westhorpe, VIMN UK

Talking Shop

The rain may have been out in London during Be Viacom’s exclusive Talking Shop event in late February, but that certainly didn’t dampen the mood (or turn-out).  The event hosted at London’s uber-cool Century Club brought together the crème de la crème of media agencies, marketers and advertising execs, with VIMN’s Christian Kurz showcasing the key findings of Viacom’s “The Next Normal: An Unprecedented Look at Millennials Worldwide.” Despite the early start, the room was buzzing with excitement as everyone waited for Christian to reveal how the study’s findings could help brands engage with Millennials. Read More