Making an unforgettable movie is not the only requirement to win the prestigious best picture Oscar. Add millions of dollars for TV and digital ads, plus actors’ travel, hair and makeup for events to promote their work on the busy film campaign trail.
If the race is close, as it is heading into Sunday’s awards ceremony, studios must dig deeper to gain an edge with the roughly 8,000 voters in the Academy for Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
Studios also are trying out new experiences, said Marc Becker, chief executive of The Tangent Agency, which works with Hollywood studios on marketing campaigns. Netflix, for example, put together an exhibition of “Roma” costumes and props.
“They have always wined and dined people,” Becker said of awards campaigners, “but now they are immersing them even more in the world of the properties.”
Read the full article: Want to win an Oscar? Spend millions on the film campaign trail (Reuters)
Several technologies exist to replace the physical credit card, such as mobile wallets and wearables. Yet traditional credit cards remain as popular as ever. Jonathan Wilk, CEO at CompoSecure, one of the largest producers of metal credit cards, agrees.
“We’re seeing more and more issuers differentiating themselves in this competitive market with unique and/or limited-edition cards that generate instant excitement with consumers and build brand loyalty over time. Some issuers are using these designs for launches to attract new customers, and we’ve even seen certain cards designs be ‘trending’ on social media.”
Read the full article: The Coolest Limited-Edition Credit Card Designs (The Points Guy)
Now in its fourth year running, Built in Austin’s 50 Startups to Watch list highlights local tech companies less than five years old that are bracing for a big 2019. This year’s list includes startups with big ambitions for everything from improving mental health to leveraging emerging technologies like blockchain, robotics, quantum computing and more.
CrowdOut Capital hosts a lending platform that lets middle- and lower-market companies raise money. In November of last year, the fintech startup raised $2.5 million from members of its investor network who participate in their loans, as well as from its CEO and co-founder, Alexander Schoenbaum. Individuals interested in investing can put $1,000 or more directly into corporate loans ranging from $3 million to $50 million.
See the full list: Built in Austin’s 50 Startups to Watch in 2019 (Built In Austin)
After sitting out last year’s Sundance market entirely, Amazon returned with a roar, spending some $47 million on five films — more money than any other studio has ever shelled out in a single year at the festival. With Jen Salke at the helm, the studio spent some $47 million on five films — more money than any other studio has ever shelled out in a single year at the festival.
“We will see the big streaming platforms flexing their spending muscles to continue acquiring content, but as we all know if the subscriber numbers and the return on investment isn’t there, these high prices aren’t sustainable,” says marketing consultant Marc Becker, whose Tangent Agency works with all of the major studios. “That being said, the way streaming services are going to rise to the top is by having the best content.”
Read the full article: Sundance Wrap: Amazon Takes Control of an Explosive Market (The Hollywood Reporter)
The Journal of mHealth today named Cloudbreak Health, LLC (“Cloudbreak”), a leading unified telemedicine solutions provider, one of the top 100 Global Digital Health companies of 2018 for its innovations in healthcare technology. The Global Digital Health 100 is one of the HealthTech industry’s foremost technology award programs, celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship. The list recognizes and supports health technology companies that are demonstrating the greatest potential to change the way that healthcare is delivered.
“At Cloudbreak, simplifying and humanizing healthcare is our core mission,” said Jamey Edwards, co-founder and CEO of Cloudbreak Health. “We deliver on that mission through putting solutions in the field that address major healthcare disparities by building trust between patients and providers.”
View the full list here.
While brands have been increasingly flirted with political and social issues in their advertising campaigns in recent years, they’re taking a step back — at least for Super Bowl Sunday.
“While I’m all for standing for what you believe in, brands also run the risk of alienating a large percentage of their target audience,” The Tangent Agency’s CEO Marc Becker told Business Insider. “Even if they have research showing a portion of their target consumer agrees with their political views, not everyone wants to flaunt their politics.”
Plus, at $5 million for a 30-second ad, big game spots are expensive and should typically be used to kick off longer-term campaigns for brands, he said. Taking the risk with a one-time political statement may not be worth it.
Read the full article: Big brands such as Budweiser and Gillette are getting increasingly political with their advertising. Just not at the Super Bowl. (Business Insider)
REX, the most effective and least expensive way to buy and sell a home, announced today it had secured Series C funding of $45 million.
REX is the first licensed residential real estate brokerage to successfully circumvent the outmoded MLS real estate agent model through its use of AI and big data. The Series C proceeds will be used to accelerate REX’s national expansion and add to its service offerings.
REX offers a fixed two percent commission covering both sides of the transaction and a professional team handling everything from listing to close, including escrow, titling, mortgages and insurance shopping. REX reduces the complexity and stress of home buying and selling while saving consumers an average of 60 percent on what they would pay a traditional agent.
“REX is delivering a residential real estate solution in step with how consumers actually behave and what they actually want,” said REX investor Scott McNealy, co-founder and former CEO of Sun Microsystems. “REX has expanded rapidly and has been managing its business with incredible focus, and we’re delighted by the way home buyers and sellers across the U.S. are responding.”
See coverage below:
Olmstead Williams Communications closes 2018 with 35 percent growth in revenue.
“Our growth correlates directly to our clients’ success, and we’re proud to play a role in driving clients’ revenue, building their brand and engaging employees,” said Tracy Williams, CEO and founder of Olmstead Williams Communications. “As we look to 2019, we see tremendous opportunities in our key market sectors of technology, healthcare and financial services despite a challenging geopolitical climate.”
Top client highlights include:
- TaskUs, the world’s leading customer experience and business process outsourcing firm for rapidly growing companies, earned six industry awards for excellence in company culture and employee happiness. Most notable is the company’s debut on Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work list. The company also attracted a $250 million investment from Blackstone, announced a global expansion into two new countries and the creation of 2,000 new jobs.
- CrowdOut Capital, a pioneering non-bank private lender for middle market companies, saw dramatic growth in its assets under management (AUM), increasing 8x in 2018 to reach $165 million.
- CURE Pharmaceutical, an innovative drug delivery and development company, became the first and only pharma drug delivery company to have a DEA license for schedule 1 manufacturing to further the research and development of cannabinoid-based pharma products. The company achieved tremendous revenue growth and is preparing for an IPO in early 2019.
- Geneva Health Solutions, created better outcomes for patients with implanted cardiac devices by providing doctors with timely and critical information from implant data. The company tripled its client base and workforce and quadrupled the number of devices being monitored through its service and grew its revenue tenfold.
- Cloudbreak Health, a leader in telemedicine solutions, earned top recognitions including Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2018 E360, Becker’s Top Telehealth Companies to Know, Medical Marketing & Media’s Top 40 Healthcare Transformers of 2018, the 2018 MedTech Breakthrough Award for Best Videoconferencing Solution and one of Insights Success Magazine’s Most Recommended Language Service Providers of 2018.
- CompoSecure, L.L.C. became the leader in the manufacture and design of bespoke payment cards shipping more than one million of its dual interface premium financial cards for the contactless market.
- Saban Community Clinic, a federally-qualified health center that supports more than 114,000 visits from low-income and uninsured patients, saw record patient enrollments this year resulting from events including a one-day Back-to-School vaccine clinic where enrollment spiked 40 percent.
As 2019 unfolds, investors at pension funds, endowments and other institutions will be anxiously monitoring numerous cracks in global markets. But it’s the uncertainty around U.S. economic and trade policies makes investors sweat most of all, according to survey results released Thursday morning.
Forty-four out of 100 allocators said their biggest fear for 2019 is the effect of geopolitical issues on financial markets, which experienced significant volatility last year. According to the poll by institutional services firm Murano Connect, big global investors are primarily focused on U.S. instability and Washington, D.C., dysfunction. More than one-quarter are jittery about policies in the U.S. Their most-cited challenge is the ongoing global trade battle between the U.S. and China.
Read the full article: Allocators’ Biggest Worry for 2019 (Institutional Investor)
TaskUs, the world’s leading customer experience and business process outsourcing firm for rapidly growing companies, was recently recognized for its exceptional company culture. TaskUs received six industry awards in just the last month.
TaskUs debuted in the top half (#40) of the Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award, recognizing the 100 Best Places to Work in 2019. The Employees’ Choice Awards program is based entirely on input from employees who provide feedback on their jobs, work environments and the company. This year, TaskUs had an impressive 4.3 (out of 5) score on the platform and 99 percent voiced their approval of CEO Bryce Maddock.
Read the full announcement: TaskUs Emerges as Clear Leader in Employee Engagement and Excellence in Company Culture (BusinessWire)