How To Break Into This Industry
At least once a day someone, whether it be a friend, client, family member, or an unsolicited email to our office, asks our team how we got such a cool gig. “You read scripts!?” “You get to go to TV sets!?” “How did you get tickets to that premiere!?”
And let us tell you, even though it’s challenging, most of the time it’s every bit as fun as it looks. But, how did we get here? What steps can someone take to help further their own career in the entertainment marketing industry? In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares some tips and tricks on how to land a job in entertainment marketing for product placement, Hollywood event activations, social influencers and celebrity endorsement partnerships.
How To Academically Prepare For This Career
Considering the fact that this industry involves so many fields – marketing, business, music, merchandising, arts, etc., there are so many different majors/minors that are applicable. I personally majored in Communication Studies and minored in Sociology (because minoring in Marketing involved wayyyyyyyy too much math). I found both to be incredibly helpful. However, the single most imperative thing I took away from college were my relationships with the industry professors and the internships those professors connected me to.
My first internship was with the Chicago daily show Windy City Live, and I was recommended for that position by a Broadcast Journalism professor I had. That internship not only confirmed my passion for entertainment, but it also got me my second internship, which got me my first job. I believe that even more so than academics, college has the ability to make lifelong and potentially life altering connections and that to me, is more important than anything I could’ve learned in a classroom.
Important Qualities To Have
As with many other jobs in the communications/marketing field, and many jobs in general, it’s important to be personable. Whether you’re conversing with a client or convincing a social influencer to reduce their rate, a good personality is important.
It’s also important to be creative. The entertainment marketing landscape is changing daily so fresh, out of the box ideas are needed on a regular basis.
As with most industries, organization is a must. There are new clients and new opportunities thrown at us hourly so it’s important to have a structure that allows you to remember them all so that when that magic potential of brand + opportunity comes together, you can be the one to connect it.
A "Typical" Day On The Job
Typical is tough because the course of the day depends on what campaign(s) are going on at that time. However, you can assume that the first hour or so is spent catching up on emails and general client communication. Every morning about 20-30 minutes after we’re in and settled, the entire team quickly meets for a standing meeting to discuss each person’s to-do’s and outstanding matters. It’s proven to be an incredibly helpful meeting because we can see if someone has too much on their plate that day and who is free to step in and help out.
There are usually at least two conference calls a day. These calls can be with productions, sales calls with potential clients, social influencer agencies, social influencers themselves, current clients, etc. When there are those meeting-less and call-less moments, they are spent researching ideas for clients, negotiating the best opportunity for clients’ exposure, on set delivering our clients’ products or overseeing a shoot, reading scripts, etc.
Best And Worst Part Of The Job
My favorite part of the job is the satisfaction of a well-done campaign! There’s nothing better than working incredibly hard on something and hearing that the client is just as thrilled about it as you are. This usually happens when the content is more than spot-on, the exposure exceeds expectations, and the brand saw results, whether that be sales, app downloads, growth in website views, etc.
On the flip side of that, things don’t always go as planned and delivering that kind of news to a client isn’t as fun. This could be that a scene was cut or production over-promised on exposure. There are some things that are out of our control and those days stink! However, this is rare and worth suffering through for the ability to share the good news!
Best Advice On How To Get Into This Field
As this industry is constantly changing, it’s helpful to stay on top of it. Pay attention to the car brand when you’re catching up on the latest episode of The Voice or strolling through the grocery store looking a box of Cheerio’s with movie characters on it. If you’re careful, these things will start to become almost painfully obvious and they’ll help to brainstorm other, more out of the box ideas that this field of marketing is surely ready to explore.
Stay in the know of the latest celebrity gossip. This may sound elementary and not very professional, but it never hurts to know the latest on Logan Paul’s scandal before you suggest to a brand that he endorse their product.
However, the most crucial advice we have is to INTERN! Intern, intern, intern. Intern at as many places as possible starting as young as your freshman year of college. It will not only introduce you to people who could make a life-changing impact on your career, but it really allows you to immerse yourself in the field as best as possible. There are so many different facets to this industry – the agency side, production side, brand side, media side, etc. Internships allow you to explore the many paths this industry can take you down. And they might even cause you to change your college major.
Think You're Ready?
This job is fast, competitive, ever changing, but most importantly really fricken fun! To have a lasting impact here, it’s important to study the right things, get real life job experience before graduation, and have the personality to juggle it all. It’s never easy, but it’s incredibly rewarding. We hope to be working on a project with you soon!
To learn more about our internship program, check out this blog one of our former interns wrote: A Day In the Life Of An Internship At Hollywood Branded.
Also check out these blogs for more behind the scenes insight on our agency!
- Behind The Scenes: An Intern Visit To A Set
- On The Set Of Sons Of Anarchy
- Attending The AFI Film Festival
- At The Women In Film Crystal Lucy Awards
- Creating A Branded Product Placement Partnership
- Why We Blog (Besides The Sales Results We Get)
And if you do have interest in product placement, make sure you download our e-book Product Placement and Promotions 101 to learn the fundamentals of making a brand partnership come to life!