Initiative, the Interpublic Group media agency, has been awarded media planning, buying and digital marketing duties for movie distributor Roadside Attractions after a review, the client and agency confirmed Wednesday.
According to Kantar Media, the client spent $12.5 million on ads for the first nine months of 2011. Estimated annual ad spending falls in the $15 million to $20 million range, according to sources.
The incumbent on the account could not be immediately determined. Also unclear was whether other agencies were considered for the assignment.
For Initiative, the new assignment adds a second film distributor to the shop’s roster. It has handled Lionsgate for a number of years and has gained attention for some of the innovative work it has done for that client, including the creation of an online channel dedicated to the “Saw” movie franchise.
Lionsgate and Roadside have connections. A while back, Lionsgate purchased a 43% stake in Roadside and the two companies frequently partner to acquire distribution rights to films, such as the recent “Margin Call,” with Jeremy Irons and Kevin Spacey.
Roadside is a distributor of mostly art house independent films. Other pictures the company has released include "The Cove," the Oscar winner for best feature documentary in 2010, "The Conspirator" and "Winter’s Bone."
“As an independent film distributor, it is paramount that we maximize our marketing budgets beyond just paid media and this made Initiative a compelling partner to work with,” stated Dennis O’Connor, head of marketing for Roadside Attractions. He cited the agency's "focus on creating campaigns that leverage owned and earned opportunities, as well as social platforms" as critical elements in the decision.
Initiative assumes the new assignment on Feb. 1.