June 26, 2007  |  The Beverly Hills Hotel, California
Published: June 28, 2007
Amy Powell Honored with Visionary Marketer Award

Powell told Summit attendees that original content and passion were key to her success in interactive marketing.

Scott Aversano, president, MTV Films & Nick Movies, told the attendees at the iMedia Entertainment Summit in Beverly Hills, Calif., that he agreed to introduce Paramount Interactive SVP Amy Powell for one single reason: fear.

"Marketing is nearly impossible these days and ridiculously expensive," Aversano said. "You're desperate for eyeballs. I need Amy to figure out how my movies will be sold. If she doesn't, I'm totally screwed."

Powell became the third person on Tuesday, June 26, to be honored by iMedia with the Visionary Marketer Award.

"One of my favorite things to do is to think of the fans," Powell said. "I love hearing the fan voice; it's a big mistake to ignore them."

Powell, who said opening up to fans has been a key to success in her interactive campaigns, proceeded to take the audience through some of her recent campaigns, gleaming lessons from each.

For the film "Failure to Launch," which tells the story of a successful grown man still living at home with his parents, Powell turned to MySpace.

"We wanted to find people like the main character, so we went to MySpace," she said. "We found a bunch of really great guys, and although they weren't exactly like Matthew McConaughey, we were able to put the title on 'The Today Show,' which did a special segment on the phenomenon that was featured in the movie."

Talking about the campaign for "Mission Impossible 3," Powell said she was able to harness the power of the internet to create a personal connection between mega-star Tom Cruise and his No. 1 fan by creating a contest where the winner got to screen the movie in their hometown with the star.

Although Powell said her favorite movie, "Team America," was not the commercial success she had hoped for in terms of box office numbers, she used the film's campaign as an example of a key ingredient for interactive marketing: passion.

Powell conceded that the campaign, which featured North Korean dictator Kim Jong II, likely did not create a call to action for viewers, but it did demonstrate the importance of engaging with the tone of the film. She also stressed that the film ultimately did find a passionate audience in the DVD market.

One tool Powell stressed to the attendees was the use of original content.

"For me, making original content will only become more important," she said. "I think pre-roll and banners will start to go away as time goes by."

Powell pointed to a confessional-style campaign her team created in the style of "The Real World" for the film "Nacho Libre." In the campaign, the film's star, Jack Black, made daily confessions in front of a video camera as Nacho Libre, the title character.

"Jack Black doing daily confessionals as Nacho Libre became one of the most successful podcasts on iTunes," she said. "And it only cost us $3,000 for the camera, which Jack didn't return to us."

Powell closed by showing footage from a similar campaign for "Blades of Glory," which featured more than 30 original clips of Will Ferrell doing commercials in character. According to Powell, the ability to leverage the star's appeal to create original content was a big reason for the success of the interactive campaign for the movie.

Michael Estrin is associate editor at iMediaConnection. Read full bio.