By Michael O'Connell Posted January 27, 2010, 3:53 PM EST
After 14 years in business, branded content broker Brand in Entertainment kicked off the first in an anticipated annual series of auctions last Wednesday at Christie's for more than 70 media buyers.
The company—known for pairing television and production studios with marketing professionals and brands from companies such as Procter & Gamble and Panasonic—had more than 400 opportunities for brand placement on the block. A group of celebrities who've partnered with the firm before, including former N.B.A. player John Salley and actor Corbin Bernsen, joined Brand in Entertainment chief operating officer and licensed auctioneer Tere Morris for the live auction.
To connect with its East Coast clientele, Brand in Entertainment reached out to Honeysweet Productions and Empire Entertainment to produce the inaugural event and design the silent auction to look like the company's Los Angeles headquarters. With so many items up for bid, the silent auction was the focus of the evening.
Opportunities to work with platforms ranging from film and television to Web series and graphic novels were organized by key demographics (18- to 24-year-old females) and suggested products (food and beverages). Representatives from advertising agencies used electronic bidding systems from IML to bid on items like product integration in a new comedy starring Jessica Biel. The audience response systems allowed silent bidding at the event and over the phone for those not in attendance.
Following the presentation and auction by Morris—who planned the event alongside C.E.O. Rolfe Auerbach—country singer Heather Myles performed a short set for the crowd.