What is Elevate? Advisory Chair Todd Barrish Breaks it Down


Taking in the view of Deer Valley, Utah

Pictured: Shane Maidy (Polymath), Todd Barrish (Polymath) and Andrew Serby (Zefr)


Todd Barrish is an industry leader working broadly within the advertising/content space for nearly 20 years. Currently the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Polymath Group, a content-centric consultancy, Todd previously served as EVP, Creative Partnerships at Endemol Shine Beyond, spearheading the development and sales of digital formats. Prior to Endemol, Barrish served as SVP, Global Strategic Partnerships at Maker Studios, where he led the team that launched the company’s programmatic native content technology solution. Before Maker, Barrish was VP, Sales for Digital Broadcasting Group and the Rich Media Team Lead for Google/Doubleclick.

As Chair of the Brand Storytelling Advisory Board, Todd is leading the content development and agenda for Elevate, the annual summer retreat for brand storytellers and their partners. We connected with Todd to get the ins and outs of what to expect at Elevate:


Can you give our readers a brief background on Elevate, how it came to be and the mission that drives this event?

Of course! Elevate was the direct output of conversations started at Brand Storytelling at Sundance in 2016. The idea was to mobilize the Brand Storytelling community to dig deeper into the mechanics and greater purpose of brand funded content initiatives. That mission, to “elevate” the business of brand storytelling through working sessions with thought-leaders and trail blazers, is what truly sets this event apart.

What did you discover from the 2017 event that is guiding the content development and agenda for 2018?

The biggest takeaway is that the definition of Brand Storytelling is ever evolving. We are no longer simply talking about short form video series, influencers, etc… but, rather, the expanding universe of mediums from streaming/OTT to Podcasts to Cable to Social and beyond. With the widening of the definition, the conversations around format specific production, distribution and measurement have never been more necessary in driving the growth and maturation of the industry.

Presenters take the stage for 'Trail 1 - Setting the Scene' Pictured: Shannon Pruitt (The Story Lab), Kate Santore (Coca-Cola), Eric Korsh and Chip Russo (Zefr)

Can you describe the “Trails” that have been created for Elevate 2018 and the process the advisors went through to establish them?

As with everything with Brand Storytelling, the content is truly the result of the advisory board’s expert guidance and stewardship. For 2018, we are going to focus the conversation on the consumer experience, how brands and agencies choose to create and support projects and tactical discussions around distribution points and measurement. We’ll be taking attendees on a journey from the inception of a content strategy through the post campaign measurement. The event will kick-off