Starcom MediaVest Group has relaunched its branded content arm as The Bridge with a view to expanding the offering beyond Starcom clients.
The Bridge is a re-incarnation of Starcom Entertainment, a unit set up in Chicago in 1998 and expanded last year through a partnership with LA-based firm Pier3 Entertainment, which gives Asian advertisers access to Hollywood and US TV content.
Shanghai and Mumbai will serve as the North and South Asia hubs for The Bridge, respectively, while the Singapore office - which has not had an entertainment offering to date - will form the hub for Southeast Asia. The unit aims to be "Asia's most imaginative entertainment marketing offering" with expertise in product placement, celebrity endorsement and advertiser funded programming.
"We want to develop a large, ready database of talent and partners in each market - a bit like how eBay operates," explained Ravi Kiran (pictured), Starcom's CEO for South and Southeast Asia.
"We want exclusive partners who produce great shows - we will not try to produce shows ourselves," he stressed. Starcom's most high profile entertainment marketing initiatives to date have included a 'movie integration' project for Western Union and a campaign for P&G's Rejoice brand in the Philippines built around a popular song.