Southern Star launches ad funded venture

Endemol-owned Australian production company Southern Star Entertainment has launched a joint venture with major advertising agency Mitchell Communication to produce branded content.

The deal will see the two companies team up to produce a number of brand-funded projects and is the first official venture of its kind between a producer and advertiser  in the country.

The first series is expected to be announced in the next few weeks.

Mitchell Communications, through its TV production arm Picture This!, was involved in Nine Network’s road trauma reality series Sudden Impact, which was funded by the VIctorian Transport Accident Commission. Southern Star has also produced ad funded content before, particularly Ten’s No Leave No Life, sponsored by Tourism Australia.

Mitchells chairman Harold Mitchell said: “Brand funded content has come of age in Australia as a marketing tool, which is evident when you look at the increasing use of product placement in high-quality, primetime programmes.”

Southern Star managing director Rory Callaghan added: “A successful brand funded TV series is one that delivers on an advertisers message, but still obeys all the rules that go with creating an entertaining and engaging program for audiences. It’s a mix that isn’t easily come by, but when you work with experienced people who understand both sides of the fence, the results speak for themselves.”