We Threw An Event For 200 Celebrities - Come Check It Out


Table Of Contents


Why Explore Event Sponsorships? 

For the last few months, I've been sharing our ramp-up to the massive celebrity media interview lounge we built in partnership with TV Insider and TV Guide around Comic-Con. The event happened, we're finally coming up for air, and I'm happy to report that it went fantastically great. Now we're gearing up to build next year's 2023 event and a few more along the way.  

Event activations can seem daunting, but they're an incredible way to get your brand in front of millions. From gifting items to celebrities, to meaningful PR campaigns, and massive content takeaways -  event activations are the gift that keeps on giving. We should know. We sponsored this one ourselves. And we did indeed get in front of millions. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares a recap on our TV Guide and TV Insider celebrity media lounge partnership


We Sponsored The Lounge

We had 200+ stars from more than 40 popular sci-fi, fantasy, and super-hero-themed series and films participating in the media lounge activation where our theme was... wait for it...

That A Content World Without Brands Is… Bland.

Bet that's not what you were thinking of as a theme! It's not what we were planning either. Still, after the title sponsor fell out, our team decided that we were going to try something a little different and practice what we preach - that partnerships with celebrities and Hollywood helps build your brand. So we became the client and used stars to help us celebrate our 15th Anniversary in a big way while marketing our agency as the event's title sponsor. 

Lounge Ambiance_AM_02

Photo Credit: Alexa Mancilla

The Hollywood (un)Branded Lounge

The Hollywood (un)Branded Lounge was designed to highlight the importance of brands in storytelling to create authenticity, define characters, and showcase that pop culture's power is equally effective in targeting B2B and B2C decision makers. I mean, after all, we are B2B. Our customers, though, are people. They don't walk around in life and say, "hey, I am a business buyer!!!" nope. They say, "hey, I'm a mom-dad-fun-happy-perplexed-overwhelmed-tired-whoever that is, person."  A real human being who, at the end of that long day, flops down on their couch and flicks on that remote to watch a show and zone out for a bit. Or pans down their phone catching up on their favorite show gossip. And there... is our brand, front and center stage - a star embedded and part of that content. Always. 

Front and center. Anywhere you looked. There we were. Hollywood Branded in the house!!

Our logo was on the walls... in the interviews, on the pillows, on stickers on the selfie station, on the gifting table, on the team hats-lanyards-shirts - adorning pretty much any available space to be found. I overdid those instructions to our team, and took a hard swallow that first night as I turned around and looked at "HOLLYWOOD (un)BRANDED everywhere the eyes could see. When we said, we went (un)Branded... there was a bit of irony there. But that was part of the story! And it worked out so well!

The step-and-repeat stylized signage behind the interview couch had brand categories instead of brands to prove our point: a content world without brands would be bland and disruptive to watch. From the cars driven, the snacks eaten, to the clothing worn on screen, brands bring a pop of color to an otherwise black and white fictional world. 


Photo Credit: Alexa Mancilla 

The Secret Of Getting CPMs That Costs Pennies 

When done right, I know that the best product placement creates mutually beneficial partnerships. I've done this for over 25 years and built over 10,000 partnerships through my agency—brands impact content considerably. Brands help viewers feel like they can step into a genuinely existing scene, a crucial goal of creators. Viewers additionally benefit as creators reallocate savings to secure better music licensing, talent, and special effects.

Brands help creators bring better, more relatable stories to life by helping build sets, define characters, and save millions in marketing through co-promotional partnerships. In return, brands receive boosted reputation benefits from co-starring alongside celebrities, becoming part of pop culture forever, impacting awareness, and driving sales for the decade to come. This creates the lowest CPMs available in advertising, as content continues repeatedly airing globally. We've gotten BILLIONS of impressions for clients where the overall CPM of the lifetime of the content on air will equate to pennies. If even that.   

There is no other marketing tactic that does that. NONE. I dare you to tell me of one. Honestly - I would love to know. 

Paper Girls (Amazon Prime) Intv 11 (SJW)

Photo Credit: Sara Jaye Weiss

Our Brand Partners (And Media Partners!) Made The Event So Much Fun

Onsite activities included celebrity photo shoots, interviews, our Hollywood (un)Branded interactive game show play (WHICH WAS AWESOME!), social media contests around dances and songs, and gifting from our brand partners.

Renowned celebrity and advertising photographer Maarten de Boer crafted a multiple-set photo shoot, including a small set inside a box, to the surprise and delight of celebrity attendees. Thanks to Martin, I managed to sneak in a new headshot update during the festivities! Cast and production team executives were interviewed by TV Insider, providing fans a glimpse behind the upcoming scenes of their favorite shows.

Our HB team member and TikTok influencer Nathan Piland performed as host for our Hollywood (un)Branded Game Show - where celebrities played the fast-paced question and answer game themed to brands and pop culture. Questions were built around historical instances of product placement and celebrity endorsements, with brands adding to the fun by providing prizes to the most branded pop culture astute celebrities. Nathan ROCKED IT and did a fantastic job as a significant trooper as the days and nights were long. 

Our team also curated a phenomenal 'Brands Celebs Love' gift bag that talent received from our awesome brand partners.

If you are interested in learning how YOUR brand can participate in 2023 or any other upcoming Hollywood (un)Branded event this year, where brands make it more fun... drop me a note, and we can share what is coming up next!  

Don't YOU want your brand to be hotly competed for by celeb talent who laugh, jump up and down, and have a ball? We can make that a reality!

We Launched Our 1st Capsule Collection

To help us build on our 'proof' that partnering with celebrities WORKS... we decided to launch our first capsule collection and debuted a limited edition Hollywood (un)Branded baseball hat, which was gifted to, and then worn by attending celebrities. Big shout out thanks to all those who donned that hat, took a selfie or did a social dance/song, and played our games. How many famous heads are now wearing Hollywood Branded VERY branded swag? So many. Lots, lots, lots!!! Like well over 100 :)  Those are pics we have to use now for social content and proposals to help us win new business. As the celebs who may be a less known career's grow, our brand with their face will be forever etched in Google images. 

Cast members even signed hats for us to auction off to support our charity initiative - where we provide complimentary services to build marketing programs that allow nonprofits to leverage the power of pop culture partnerships. Go check it out - the Hollywood (un)Branded line is available for purchase and was created to help do good for more. Buy a hat, and help us do just that! Visit https://hollywoodunbranded.store

AM hat

Photo Credit: Alexa Mancilla



Who Was At The Lounge

Series and films participating in the Lounge included The Walking Dead (AMC), Archer (FX), Evil (Paramount +), Interview With A Vampire (AMC), Mayans MC (FX), Resident Alien (Syfy), Rugrats (Nickelodeon), Teen Wolf: The Movie (Paramount+), SpongeBob (Nickelodeon), Star Trek (CBS), Ghosts (CBS), Superman + Lois (CW), Tales Of The Walking Dead (AMC) the highly anticipated The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power (Prime Video) + dozens of other productions.

Celebrities included Mike Judge, Chris Parnell, Patrick Stewart, Gwendoline Christie, Patton Oswalt, Terry Crews, Norman Reedus, Jack Quaid, Rose McIver, Thomas Middleditch, Tommy Davidson, Paul Wesley, Charles Edwards, Aisha Tyler, Matthew Lillard, Jessica Szohr and hundreds of other stars.

Matthew Lillard 2 (SJW)

Photo Credit: Sara Jaye Weiss

Brand Prizing Partners

Thank you to the brands who came to support our celebrity lounge event!  

Hollywood (un)Branded Game Show Partners

• Aurezzi 24k gold-plated toothbrush box kit 
• Barely Canadian super soft clothing supporting foster youth 
 Broadway On Demand premium live stream of events
• Canned Water 4 Kids aluminum bottled water provides sustainable clean drinking water programs 
• Clippers game tickets 
• Cosori smart air fryer 
 Echelon Connect Bike EX-3 and gear 
• eero fast smart Wi-Fi extender 
• FOREO UFO smart mask device and mask 
• Levoit smart HEPA air purifier 
• Moccamaster café-quality coffee brewer 
 Pirani insulated party tumbler 
• Roborock S7 MaxV automated vacuum with sonic mopping
• Trapiche Argentinian Malbec wine 

Brands Celebs Love Gift Bag Partners

• American Licorice Company Red Vines and Sour Patch Straws 
 Bahlsen indulgently delicious European chocolate cookies 
• Beautyblender fan favorite makeup sponge 
• Botanic Tonics wellness supplement 
• Boxed Water sustainable water 
 City Beauty plumping lip gloss 
• Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream and Pro-Collagen Naked Cleansing Balm 
• Mad Tasty hemp-infused sparkling water 
• Pilot G2 Pen, the ultimate pen for the everyday overachiever 
• VooDoo Ranger golden IPA 
• Ollie healthy dog food 
 Urban Decay eyeshadow palette and primer.

We also had our 12-year client, PassionRoses, provide beautiful hand-picked roses grown in the fields of Bogotá, Colombia, to help us decorate the Lounge.

Gifting Table_SJW_01

Photo Credit: Sara Jaye Weiss

Eager To Learn More?

Interested in activating at next year's Comic Con? Look no further! We'd love to help you create an exciting brand activation at one of the biggest pop culture conventions in the world. While you mull over activation possibilities, take a look at the blogs below to learn all you can about Comic Con. 

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