So, what’s a new search engine on the block to do in order to grab some of Google’s turf? Employ savvy marketing tactics.
At the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Bing sponsored a bar and employed Attack of the Show‘s Olivia Munn to interview any film stars or creators who happened by. But what’s more intersting, Bing had a film in the festival itself.
Para Fuera is a short-form documentary centered on the incredibly lucid centernarian Dr. Richard J. Bing and the decisions he’s made throughout his life. The film came to fruition when Dr. Bing wrote a letter to Microsoft noting the similarities between his name and their latest internet product, and explaining how he would soon celebrate his 100 birthday. Sean Carver, Director of Brand Entertainment at Bing, jumped at the opportunity to share Bing’s story.
Carver’s now looking for more opportunities to market Bing through branded content. He’s teamed up with “next generation studio” Electus and the New York Television Festival for the Bing ‘Decisions’ Project Pilot Competition. Here’s how it works:
- Content creators must submit a three to 15-minute pilot presentation that showcases the theme ‘Decisions.’ How you showcase that theme is up to you, but it must be central to the story or format of the show.
- The show can be scripted or nonscripted, with any format or tone. You are free to incorporate Bing into the pilot itself, though that is not necessary.
- If you do feature Bing explicitly, keep in mind it is available across a wide variety of platforms, and please use an artistic eye in deciding how to incorporate it. Avoid overuse. Remember that the most important part of your entry is the show itself.
- Entries must be received by January 31, 2011. The winner receives a $25,000 development deal with Bing and Electus. Official rules and submission forms can be found here.
“Sean’s a person who is really at the forefront of branded entertainment,” Terrence Gray, Founder and Executive Director of the New York Television Festival told me over the phone. “We pitched Sean the idea of a partnership with Ben Silverman and Electus. The contest is certainly going to be very exciting for content creators.”
The Bing ‘Decisions’ Project is the festival’s first foray into branded entertainment, but it’s just one of many of NYTVF’s pilot competitions.
Earlier this year, web series Greg & Donny was awarded a $25,000 development deal with IFC, while animated online show 9AM Meeting won a similar $5,000 deal with MTV. The festival is also currently accepting entries in the Sony Pictures Television Format Competition. The winner will receive a $10,000 deal from Sony, as well as an opportunity to pitch the program to global content buyers at MIPCOM 2011 in Cannes, France.
“We’ve grown the scope and size of our development deals every year,” Gray explained to me. “What’s really coming to the forefront is the talent and the quality of the producers, creators, writers, and actors in the NYTVF community.”