Hollywood, recognizing its most successful movies often hinge on savvy marketing, has elevated another top studio marketer into an expanded position with oversight on the kinds of movies that will be released. Oren Aviv, who was president of marketing at the Walt Disney Co.’s Buena Vista Pictures and more recently its chief creative officer, has been named president of production.
See excerpt of Oren Aviv’s speech at last week’s ‘Ad Age’ Entertainment Marketers awards luncheon in Santa Monica, Calif.
In appointing Mr. Aviv, Disney dumped production president Nina Jacobson, an eight-year Disney veteran with two years left on a recently signed three-year deal. Mr. Aviv is the second high-profile marketing executive to rise in the studio ranks recently. Marc Shmuger, a longtime marketing executive at NBC Universal’s Universal Pictures, was promoted to chairman this spring during a reorganization at the studio.
Steeped mostly in marketing, corporate partnerships and promotions, neither executive has had much hands-on production experience, though Mr. Aviv was an executive producer on the hit action drama “National Treasure.” He also originated the idea and had a story credit on the film, pursuing his interest in the creative side of the business.
Solid year Though Hollywood is having a solid year — box office figures are up about 7% and attendance has increased about 4% from the previous year — studio executives are evaluating their slates, pairing costs and paying more attention to what consumers want in their entertainment.
By promoting executives with strong marketing backgrounds, the studios are acknowledging that they need to respond to audiences that are increasingly distracted by other entertainment options.