Rajesh Iyer to spearhead The Bridge

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Marketing | March 10, 2009
Iyer joins from P9 Integrated, where he worked for about a year and a half

Rajesh Iyer is the new business director at The Bridge, the specialist entertainment and embedded marketing unit of Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) and ZenithOptimedia. In his new role, he will head the unit, along with Ravi Kiran, CEO, SMG, South Asia.

Iyer joins The Bridge from P9 Integrated, where he worked for around a year and a half. His last responsibility at P9 was that of general manager, institutional sales and media.

Prior to P9, Iyer worked with Mindshare. He was also part of the founding team of Broadmind Entertainment as director, entertainment marketing, where he started and headed the cinema activation division. Iyer's work for Nakshatra Diamonds (Diamond Trading Corporation) and the launch of DNA in Mumbai won Mindshare Gold Emvies.

Before joining Mindshare, he worked with TBWA, Creative Eye and Godrej & Boyce. Iyer is an also an honorary consultant to the Mumbai United Football Club.

Based out of Mumbai, Iyer will report to Ravi Kiran. In a release to the media, Kiran says, "As marketers get worried about consumer apathy towards classical advertising formats and falling return of marketing investments, particularly in these troubled times, the role of entertainment marketing is on the rise. Content owners are also more willing and ready than ever in welcoming marketer participation in content creation and brand integration, as long as the editorial integrity is respected."

He adds, "In this context, our belief in the power of entertainment marketing in bringing real world solutions to brands is stronger than ever. As our senior-most resource in the specialist unit, Rajesh will help us deliver on that belief,"

Iyer, glad to be on board, says, "While working in a rival agency, I had heard a lot about the holistic approach to entertainment marketing that The Bridge follows. I am looking forward to leveraging my experience for the good of our clients."

The Bridge was put in place in the Indian office in 2004, with the guidance of Pranay Anthwal, who headed the unit for the last five years. Right now on a sabbatical, Anthwal is exploring what to do next.

Originally formed as Starcom Entertainment in Chicago in 1998, The Bridge was conceived as an Asian brand, after Starcom Entertainment was renamed in 2008. The rechristening was done to better reflect the purpose and activity of the unit, which helps the clients of SMG and ZenithOptimedia leverage the possibilities of entertainment marketing in all dimensions. The Bridge operates in many parts of Asia as a branded unit, most notably in the Philippines and India.

The unit offers solutions on four main entertainment platforms - movies, television, celebrities and music. It strives to structure a full-service entertainment marketing strategy and activation solution, covering product placement, brand integration, promotional tie-ins, licensing and merchandising, celebrity endorsement strategy, negotiation and outreach programs, brand asset creation, advertiser funded programming and others. It also consults entertainment asset owners on making their offers more marketer and brand ready.

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