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Introducing the Brand Storytelling Advisory Board

The women of Soufra, directed by Thomas Morgan and produced by Rebelhouse Group

This newly formed Advisory Board of brand marketing executives and agency leaders will help us to produce the highest quality live events and guide our editorial content to deliver the greatest value to all constituents in the branded content ecosystem. We are super grateful for their contribution of time, ideas and willingness to share their expertise. Be on the lookout in the coming weeks for interviews and editorial contributions from our advisors. This issue features an interview with Advisory Chair, Todd Barrish. You can meet him and the rest of our advisory board in January during Brand Storytelling at Sundance Film Festival 2018:


What is the mission of Brand Storytelling?

Our goal is to create something bigger and more enduring than the sum of its parts. The Sundance and Elevate events serve as a meeting ground and jumping off point for presentations and working groups that focus on the ever expanding importance of and opportunities in non-interruptive advertising. The conferences themselves are illustrative of the breadth of that opportunity and provide valuable insights into intersection of entertainment and commerce. Beyond that, however, we are building a community of thought leaders that expands beyond the events themselves - with the ultimate goal of stewarding the growth and maturation of our industry. Our hope is that by providing a framework of touch points - including conferences, industry awards and editorial content - we build the community and tools to elevate business of brand storytelling.

How were the advisors chosen and what will their role be?

The process was fairly simple - we identified those who have both ushered in the modern era of non-interruptive advertising and those who will continue to lead its evolution and growth. We are truly at an inflection point as the definitions of linear and digital accelerate toward convergence. The advisory board is representative of the pioneers in the space - those who are passionate about advancing the role of storytelling in brand communication, as well as the way the end product is ultimately distributed, consumed and validated.

I couldn't more honored or excited to work with this amazing group.

What is being planned for Brand Storytelling at Sundance 2018?

Now in its third year, the event has grown in importance within the brand community. With over 80 brand marketers now attending along with agency, media and content studio executives, it’s a rich mix of storytellers. This year, we are working with the partner companies to bring case studies and best practices to the stage. Brands will discuss new productions, engage in fireside chats with directors and creative officers, attend exclusive screenings and more. Presentations will offer much more than just an overview of capabilities or production slate previews. Instead, our partners will give attendees a deeper look into recent successes and previews of future projects and trends.

How does Brand Storytelling at Sundance differ from 'Elevate'?

Where Sundance is a celebration, driven by case studies and great creative work, 'Elevate' is where the industry comes together to tackle common issues and surface upcoming trends.

'Elevate' was created in direct response to feedback from our Sundance attendees who requested a forum to address topics that directly affect the creation, distribution and monetization of branded assets with their peers. Going back to the idea of building a community of thought leadership, the two events feed off of one another - creating an organic continuity between conferences. To fill in the gaps, we are organizing quarterly gatherings where advisors and attendees can keep the conversations going from even to event - ultimately steering the content for future programs.

I hear you like to ski. Will you be doing that in Deer Valley this January?

I've been known to dabble ;) Fun fact: in my 11 consecutive years of attending the Sundance Film Festival, I have yet to see a single film. While I'm genuinely interested in the real Sundance experience and avid consumer of indie films and documentaries, my inner wanna-be-ski-bum always wins out in Utah. If you want to take some turns together, sign up for our First Tracks program during the event. One of the more unique opportunities you'll find outside of the content programming, First Tracks gets you access to a private mountain for a full hour before the lifts open to the public (and no ski patrol standing around telling you to slow down)... See you on the slopes!


About Todd Barrish

With over 19 years of experience in the advertising space, Todd Barrish helped to shepherd its evolution from traditional to digital, beginning with the early days of ad serving and rich media, to the current convergence of entertainment and marketing. Todd is currently a Managing Partner at the content focused consultancy, Polymath Group, as well as the Co-founder and Advisory Chair of Brand Storytelling/FPT Media.

Most recently, as the EVP of Creative Partnerships at Endemol Shine Beyond, Todd led revenue strategy across both branded content and original format sales efforts. Previously, Todd built and managed the productization of branded content and media offerings as of SVP, Strategic Partnerships at The Walt Disney Company's Maker Studios. During his five-year tenure at Maker Studios, Todd also launched in-house agency MakerMADE as well as Maker Offers, a bidding platform that democratized the submission of content proposals and RFP responses across Maker’s network of 12,000+ influencers.

Todd first entered the original online video content space as VP, West Coast Sales at Digital Broadcasting Group where he developed innovative programs for companies including McDonald’s, Ubisoft, Infiniti and Warner Brothers. Previously, Todd led the rich media sales team for Google’s Los Angeles office, DoubleClick division, working hand-in-hand with top entertainment studios and other marketers alike to develop leading video and immersive campaigns.

Todd started his career at New York based full service agency, Mezzina Brown and Partners cutting his teeth creating major consumer advertising campaigns for clients such as R.J. Reynolds Finlandia Vodka and Disney. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland.

-- Watch for weekly news updates from Brand Storytelling in your inbox by subscribing, and share this with other storytellers in your network. Of course, if you’d like to contribute to the story, We'd love to hear from you. Email us!

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