“There is no greater burden in life than that of having potential.” ~Charlie Brown

September 5, 2007 Hearst-Argyle Television Taps The Brand Gallery for Innovative High School Playbook campaign

September 5, 2007 – New York – With the launch of HighSchoolPlaybook.com – a new social networking site devoted to high school sports developed by Hearst-Argyle Television – the broadcaster turned to New York-based boutique agency The Brand Gallery to develop an edgy new brand and a major creative campaign to resonate with the high school audience.

For years, Hearst-Argyles’s local TV stations have been providing in-depth coverage of high school sports in their respective markets. But with the launch of www.HighSchoolPlaybook.com the broadcaster is taking it to a whole new level, incorporating social networking with comprehensive statistics, interscholastic comparisons, and individual athlete profiles. The site will feature personal profile pages, blogs and SMS voting as well as video content generated by Hearst-Argyle’s professional TV videographers and specially trained student reporters outfitted with Canon HDV cameras, as well as user-generated content from students and fans. All of this is supported with an equally impressive cross-platform promotional strategy developed by The Brand Gallery to launch the brand, and reach out to the target demographic.

“It’s a social networking site, and that’s a hot trend these days,” said Phil McIntyre, CEO of The Brand Gallery. “And sports is a huge content engine, so to marry that with social networking and a user experience that’s intuitive, that’s easy to use, that’s appropriate to the demographic, that’s well branded and promoted – you’re positioning yourself for success.”

McIntyre called it a landmark cross-platform campaign for The Brand Gallery. “As it hits, it will include a bunch of different deliverables – TV, cinema, online, rich media, mobile and print, ” he said.

For The Brand Gallery’s Chief Creative Officer, Iain Greenway, the essence of the project was: “how to come up with a creative campaign that has the right kind of resonance for the high school audience, and how to best target a campaign to create the most buzz within the target demographic – to take it past what I see as a very cliched way to look at high school sports.”

That demographic includes not only the athletes and fans, but also their parents, families and friends.

“We thought a long time about how we would approach it. We felt that the primary target was the social networking aspect of the site, because it gives it a ‘coolness’ and it hits at the grass roots level,” explained Greenway.

Initially, the campaign includes four 30-second spots that will play around the news programming on Hearst-Argyles’s local stations, as well as a series of viral video elements for online distribution. “We’ve created a lot of viral elements for the campaign, which we feel is again giving the ‘hipness’ that it needs. They have this edgy sort of irreverence to them, and they’re pretty funny.”

The brand launched in seven of Hearst-Argyle’s 26 markets: Orlando; Sacramento; Pittsburgh; Baltimore; Cincinnati; Greenville/Spartanburg, SC; and Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC.

“The design of the brand campaign drives the on-air presence. It’s a news product for sports, so when you tune to your local news station, you’ll see a sports section in each local marketplace, that will have this HighSchoolPlaybook.com wrapping around it. So we’ve created a template with this graphic branding and look for the channels to add their own logo, so it will say ‘HighSchoolPlaybook.com powered by KCRA Sacramento.”

The web element of the campaign includes Point Roll banner ads that expand when the mouse rolls over them to deliver a rich media experience.

In addition, the sideline reporters are outfitted with branded merchandise, like T-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps and microphone flags. “Everything incorporates the iconography of the brand, so it’s entirely cohesive,” said Greenway.

The spots and viral elements were co-directed by Greenway, and bi-coastal (New York/LA) Streamline Content’s Peter Kagan. Both The Brand Gallery and Streamline Content are repped by New York-based PGM Artists.

“There’s a new paradigm for reaching kids,” said Kagan. “For one thing, everybody’s a filmmaker. Everybody’s got a camera. Everybody’s got a cell phone that can record video. The ‘youtube-ification’ of what we do is pretty significant in the experience of every kid these days.”

The spots were shot in high definition on a tight one-day schedule at a high school in Greenwich, Conn. “We’re not layered in bureaucracy, so on the day of the shoot we were able to be very ‘run-and-gun’ effective,” said Greenway.

The spots focus on one of the “sideline reporters” trying to interview athletes while an enthusiastic face-painted fan jumps into the interview, drawing attention himself, offering his opinion, and always repeating the spots’ slogan “BOO YAH!!”

“In the sense, he’s kind of the fan that needs to get a life,” said Greenway. “He’s just ever present to the point where, of course, he kind of bugs everyone, but they tolerate him. He’s irrepressible. He’s an expert at all the sports and he knows all the stats. He even takes it upon himself to be a spokesperson on camera and steals the limelight.”

The face-painted fan is a character thread that also drives the viral elements with his comical and irreverent interjections.

The spots end with the tagline – “download, upload, network, whatever -HighSchoolPlaybook.com.” Greenway explained that, “when high school teenagers who are used to social networking sites like Facebook see this, they’ll intuitively understand what it’s about. You need to have guts to reach the younger audience.”

Overall, he reported that, “I absolutely feel we achieved what we wanted by Peter and I being on the same page with the essence or the spirit of these spots, and really developing the writing and the characters, and giving them the personality that they needed.”

Greenway explained that for clients like Hearst-Argyle, one of the key advantages of dealing with a boutique agency like The Brand Gallery, rather than a big agency is access. “We speak directly with our clients, one on one, so it’s a very satisfying experience for the client.”

McIntyre added that The Brand Gallery understands “the zeitgeist” of the new media age. “We know how to execute a smart, cross-platform campaign, and we’re able to respond in a focused fashion in both traditional and nontraditional media, for clients both big and small.”

About The Brand Gallery:
The Brand Gallery specializes in the development and implementation of positioning, presentation and promotion strategies for some of the world’s most recognized brands. Located in NYC’s West Village, The Brand Gallery was launched by partners Phil McIntyre and Iain Greenway in early 2005 as a creative boutique focusing on all aspects of screen media. The Company’s Web address is www.thebrandgallery.com.

About Hearst-Argyle:
Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. owns 26 television stations, and manages an additional three television and two radio stations, in geographically diverse U.S. markets. The Company’s television stations reach approximately 18% of U.S. TV households, making it one of America’s largest television station groups. Hearst-Argyle owns 12 ABC-affiliated stations, and manages an additional ABC station owned by Hearst Corporation, and is the largest ABC affiliate group. The Company also owns 10 NBC affiliates, and is the second-largest NBC affiliate owner, and owns two CBS affiliates. Hearst-Argyle also is a leader in the convergence of local broadcast television and the Internet through its partnership with Internet Broadcasting, and in the application of digital broadcast spectrum for new local informational services through its Weather Plus partnership with NBC and various NBC affiliate groups. Hearst-Argyle Series A Common Stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “HTV.”

To View A Detailed Online Presentation Of The Brand Gallery’s Promo Launch Campaign for High School Playbook Click Here:

http://www.thebrandgallery.com/playbook

September 5, 2007 Streamline Content’s Peter Kagan Shoots Innovative HighSchoolPlaybook.com Ad Campaign

September 5, 2007 – The Brand Gallery, a New York-based boutique agency, recently tapped Peter Kagan of bi-coastal (NY/LA) production company, Streamline Content, to shoot a major new campaign for HighSchoolPlaybook.com.

HighSchoolPlaybook.com is an innovative new social networking site devoted to high school sports, developed by Hearst-Argyle Television. The site will combine user-generated, “mashable” content with video from Hearst-Argyle’s local sports reporters, and specially trained student “sideline reporters” outfitted with HD cameras.

The campaign includes four 30-second spots that will play around the local news programming on Hearst-Argyles’s stations, as well as a series of shorter “viral” videos for online distribution.

The spots and viral elements were all shot in high definition on a tight one-day shooting schedule at a Greenwich, Conn. high school. They generally focus on one of the “sideline reporters” trying to interview athletes. Integral to all of the storylines is an overly enthusiastic face-painted fan who insinuates himself into each situation, making life harder for the reporter.

“The affiliate stations are going to be sending out young interviewers like the one depicted in the spots so the intrepid reporter’s character is establishing a template of what is expected to happen with these affiliate stations,” explained Kagan. “In a way, this is meant to describe a certain amateurish exuberance – an unjaded energy about what it’s like to go to these events, and talk to these athletes to get the scoop.”

Kagan described how he was brought on board early, which gave him the unique opportunity to help shape the scripts in collaboration with agency Chief Creative Officer Iain Greenway. “Iain and I have a great chemistry based on a mutual respect for each other’s talents. Neither of us had to burn a lot of calories posing or working to win over the other. It was a very clean creative collaboration – the sort one wishes they all could be.”

“It was great to work from the ground up, to craft characters and storylines out of a client’s basic needs. A lot of what we did was meant to articulate the fundamental truths of youth athletics, the jocks as heroes – that Alpha-male status that high school athletes enjoy.”

“We’re speaking to kids here.” He explained that he actually found some of the vernacular for the dialog in his son’s letters home from summer camp. “One of the letters described a basketball tournament. My son spoke in terms of ‘owning’ the other team – ‘We so owned them.’ That actually gave me the idea for the copy that the reporter says to the guy in the locker room – ‘You so owned that first quarter.’”

Kagan shot the spots with his Panasonic HVX200, which records HD video on solid-state P2 memory cards.

“I think of my camera a lot like a musical instrument,” said Kagan. “There’s a connection that you make with a tool like a camera or an instrument like a guitar. With a particular piece of gear, you know you’re going to sound good, and right now, my favorite guitar is the HVX200.”

He explained that using P2 “liberated” him from the constraints of traditional film. The morning of the shoot, waiting for the actors in makeup and wardrobe, he was able to “steal” a quick shot, which is now slated to become its own spot. He had the extras – a high school lacrosse team – line up on the opposite side of the field and come charging through the early morning fog right at the camera. He over-cranked the shot at 60 fps to give it a primal slow-motion effect.

“You couldn’t see these guys in the mist and they just sort emanate out the fog,” said Kagan. “They really looked like warriors charging out of the mist. It was daunting.”

He explained that with the high cost of film, he’d have felt a need to discuss the shooting of unscripted and un-budgeted shots at sixty frames per second with production, “but with HD, I just set it up and shot it, and the P2 data cost nothing. It was just some space on a hard drive that we had anyway. So I felt liberated, cut loose to shoot what I saw. I could do so without betraying my financial responsibilities to the producers, and had it in the can before the principal actors were even out of wardrobe. It took me 7 minutes. The cost to the client – exactly zero, and it’s some of their favorite footage from the day.”

When it comes to dealing with the P2 footage on set, Kagan explained that he’s developed his own system, and that “my camera assistants are used to a very specific archival procedure on set that I use to make certain that the editors get their dailies and backup copies, and everything is checked and rechecked.”

Another key advantage of working with HD is that it cuts down on the whole dailies process.

“In this day an age, when everybody’s in a hurry, there’s one less step where dailies are being transferred the morning after a shoot. In this instance, they wanted to have it right away and start editing. And if you can generate content like that straight out of a camera, you can relinquish your dailies with confidence and not have to ride them through the final session,” he explained.

Graphics and postproduction for the spots were handled at The Brand Gallery. Laura Israel served as editor. Both The Brand Gallery and Streamline Content are represented by New York-based PGM Artists.

With the growing popularity of user-generated content and social networking sites, combined with the natural popularity of high school sports, Kagan feels HighSchoolPlaybook.com will strike a chord with students, and that the campaign hit its mark.

“There’s a new paradigm for reaching kids,” said Kagan. “For one thing, everybody’s a filmmaker. Everybody’s got a camera. Everybody’s got a cell phone that can record video. The ‘youtube-ification’ of what we do is pretty significant in the experience of every kid these days. My thirteen-year-old is taking Final Cut Pro classes at UCLA this week.”

Overall, agency Chief Creative Officer, Iain Greenway reported that, “I absolutely feel we achieved what we wanted by Peter and I being on the same page with the essence or the spirit of these spots, and really developing the writing and the characters, and giving them the personality that they needed.”

About Streamline Content:
Streamline Content is a bi-coastal production company founded by Director/Cameraman, Peter Kagan and Executive Producer, Brian Bennhoff. The company offers a lean, streamlined production model for clients, without any creative compromises. The Company’s Web address is www.streamlinecontent.com.

About PGM Artists
PGM Artists is all about making creative connections. This means connecting its exceptional roster of visual effects, animation, and live-action production companies with the people who need them – advertising agencies and media companies. PGM Artists is headed by marketing and production veteran Phil McIntyre. He sees his artists as bridges between communication companies and the resources they need to remain competitive in today’s multi-platform marketplace. The Company’s Web address is http://www.pgmartists.com.

About The Brand Gallery:
The Brand Gallery specializes in the development and implementation of positioning, presentation and promotion strategies for some of the world’s most recognized brands. Located in NYC’s West Village, The Brand Gallery was launched by partners Phil McIntyre and Iain Greenway in early 2005 as a creative boutique focusing on all aspects of screen media.

About Hearst-Argyle:
Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. owns 26 television stations, and manages an additional three television and two radio stations, in geographically diverse U.S. markets. The Company’s television stations reach approximately 18% of U.S. TV households, making it one of America’s largest television station groups. Hearst-Argyle owns 12 ABC-affiliated stations, and manages an additional ABC station owned by Hearst Corporation, and is the largest ABC affiliate group. The Company also owns 10 NBC affiliates, and is the second-largest NBC affiliate owner, and owns two CBS affiliates. Hearst-Argyle also is a leader in the convergence of local broadcast television and the Internet through its partnership with Internet Broadcasting, and in the application of digital broadcast spectrum for new local informational services through its Weather Plus partnership with NBC and various NBC affiliate groups. Hearst-Argyle Series A Common Stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “HTV.”