Entertainment Industry Consultant w/15+ years of entertainment industry experience. Voracious consumer of content and pop culture.
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Following the collective cultural trauma and societal change felt by many throughout 2020 and the continuing upheaval in the advent of 2021, streamer Peacock’s new series Noughts + Crosses enters the fray to showcase a view of an alternate future. In the vein of other alternate future series such as “The Man in the High Castle” — Noughts + Crosses imagines a future in which Africa became a global superpower — its united nations banding together under the banner of “Aprica”. Aprica continues to grow in strength and influence eventually overtaking Europe, establishing a multi-continent empire.

Aprica and its seat Albion (formerly London) is a gleaming futuristic metropolis seamlessly weaving the two cultures together in an impressive display of Afrofuturism that evokes the awe of Wakanda in Marvel’s Black Panther. …

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It would be a serious understatement and oversimplification to once again say that 2020 has upended the way in which we work and live. As January 2020 began, my consultancy found ourselves advising several musicians on digital marketing and social media strategy. Soon enough their worlds were cratered as tours/albums and appearances disappeared overnight.

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Blu Del Barrio & Ian Alexander Chart New frontiers for representation in Star Trek: Discovery

For a franchise known for exploring the unknown, Star Trek made one more big leap a the recent episode of Star Trek Discovery: “Forget Me Not” marked a franchise first and a major television achievement overall in showing a romance between a non-binary character (Adira, played by Blu del Barrio) and a trans actor (Ian Alexander).

Del Barrio and Alexander play two young Trill characters — Star Trek’s race of humanoids that exist as human hosts to symbiont lifeforms that retain the host’s memories and characteristics as the symbiont passes from host to host.

The Trill have long been a part of the Star Trek universe, most notably in the form of long-running Deep Space Nine character Jadzia Dax (Terry Ferrell) who later took the form of Ezri Dax. But the Trill began back in 1991’s Next Generation episode “The Host” which presented the Trill as a deeply complex race with a unique lineage and characteristics that would shape not just Next Generation and Deep Space Nine but future generations of Star Trek to come. …

Recently, I had the opportunity to collaborate with Daniel Bukszpan @ CNBC to analyze the November Box Office. Our final article is below.

Originally PUBLISHED SAT, NOV 23 201910:30 AM EST
by Daniel Bukszpan, CNBC


  • It started with the release of “Terminator: Dark Fate.” Despite reviews suggesting it was better than the previous three sequels, it made only $29 million at the domestic box office its opening weekend.
  • The following weekend, “Doctor Sleep” opened. …

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Protests in London during President Trump’s recent state visit.

Following Russian interference on Facebook during the 2016 election, how can we use new Digital Transparency tools to get a look inside the mind of one of the most maddening and mercurial minds in modern Politics?

Transparency may be the most disruptive and far-reaching innovation to come out of social media”

Paul Gillin, The New Influencers

As we collectively as a nation hurtle towards the 2020 Presidential Primary, social media has emerged as the preeminent weapon of choice for Candidates vying for occupancy of the Oval Office in 2020 and beyond. From the office’s current occupant and his oft-derided use of social media as a coded dog-whistle for white supremacists to the upstart Democrats using social media to rally and engage their eager, young and Liberal support base — everyone who has eyes on 2020 knows that social media is the true ticket to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. …

Originally published in The Drum

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That’s a wrap on SXSW 2019! As we mark the closing of the annual tech, film and music festival which since launching 31 years ago has morphed into a branding and marketing Thunderdome of sorts bridging the worlds of film, tech and music and providing compelling looks into the near-future and in some cases longer-term vision of the marketing and advertising trends. The London Times says SXSW still “sets the pace for music, film and technology.” and AdAge still calls SXSW the “world’s biggest experience stage.”

This is after-all fertile ground for marketing, innovation and re-invention, itself metamorphosing from a local music showcase with a $10 cover charge into a watershed cultural moment. …

Originally published on The Drum

That’s a wrap on CES 2019! I’ve spent the last week at the annual consumer technology confab showcasing the latest upcoming technology that will imminently break into the mainstream and into the hands of consumers. While it can all look a bit science-fiction from a distance this year’s CES proved that now, more than ever we are even closer to science-fact than ever before. The following is a brief recap of some of the emerging trends from this year’s show and what it all means for marketers and consumers at large.

AR/VR momentum slows

AR and VR, which have in previous years dominated the conversation at CES, showed signs of slowing as this year failed to produce a true VR or AR breakout app. …

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You wake up, flawless
Post up, flawless
Ride round in it, flawless
Flossin on that, flawless
I woke up like this

  • Beyoncé: Flawless (2013)

Beyoncé’s 2013 musical ode to self empowerment might actually be a Nostradamus-like vision of things to come in the experiential marketing world. (We will come back to this a little later on…)

I’m going to start out this article by making an unpopular statement (but, C’mon marketers — you know it’s true)… and that statement is:

“We have reached ‘peak Sprinkles Pool.’”

As we begin to wind down 2018 we most definitely have achieved peak “sprinkles Pool” (or “peak experiential”, if you prefer) . This sudden realization should come as no surprise now that every brand is (as the kids would say) doing it ‘for the Gram.’ it doesn’t take more than a cursory browse through your average Instagram timeline to see that carefully, painstakingly-curated and overly-aestheticized Instagram murals, sprinkle pools and increasingly curated moments of perfectly-adorned Avocado Toast rule the visual lexicon of 2018. Brands have certainly noticed this trend and have marshalled considerable resources towards creating the perfect “gram-able” selfie honey pots . This constant one-upmanship has locked brands into a unrelenting battle to outdo each other in the quest to create the most ‘gram-able’ experience possible, thus creating Gram-centric selfie pop-ups and other experiential experiences that pit consumers against each other in a Hunger Games-style Battle Royale for best branded selfie. …

By: Dan Ortiz — Director of Global Strategy & Innovation, Think Jam
& Mandy Rodgers — Director of Publicity, Think Jam

Contrary to what you may have heard on the bridge of the Enterprise — space is no longer the final frontier. In the marketing sphere for Entertainment brands — San Diego has remained the unchallenged zenith and, at times, the nadir, of entertainment and fanboy marketing for the previous 10 years of the comic confab’s 30 year history.

With 2018 officially in the books — San Diego Comic-Con or “SDCC” to the well-initiated caps off another year of frenzied fanboy-centric activity with several highlights, hits and misses and trends that we’re bound to see continue for many years and cons to come. …

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