The Agency-Accelerator Is Quietly Playing A Big Role At CES 2018
The creative services and media ventures company Big Block has announced that it has added former Leo Burnett EVP Tom Flanagan to its executive team. Flanagan will serve as Chief Content & Innovation Officer at Big Block.
Content Marketplace is a Global Match-Winner
At the time of this announcement, Tom Flanagan said, “I joined Big Block because of the dynamic marketplace of entrepreneurial services, entertainment capabilities and new ventures companies it possesses.”
“I look forward to leveraging Big Block’s truly unique assets to help provide valuable levels of access and connectivity to some of the world’s most ambitious brands. I view us as being more of an ‘agent’ for brands as opposed to being an ‘agency.’ This represents an important distinction and a move away from the antiquated and limiting agency of record model,” added Flanagan.
He and Big Block CEO Seven Volpone are tasked with aligning Big Block’s investments arm with its creative business services consisting of production, design, original-entertainment development, content strategy, and live-media capabilities.
Experience with Startups Would be Crucial in Leading Big Block’s Future Strategies
An industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience building startups, growing businesses and launching digital divisions of global companies, Tom Flanagan has consistently worked with many of the world’s leading brands, celebrities, athletes, and entertainers.
In music, he has worked with global artists, promoters, venues, and record labels. While at Leo Burnett he helped bring to life industry-defining campaigns for brands including Chobani, Samsung, Bacardi, Kellogg, Hallmark, P&G and more.
Big Block, which works with companies such as ESPN, Ford, and the NBA has been quietly expanding its foothold across multiple parts of the media ecosystem.
From strategic investments in TV4, the linear programming platform to Enterra, a leading AI company based in Princeton, to the establishment of an eSports practice with veteran pioneer and ESS founder, Ed Tomasi to executive production of two feature films in the last year- Big Block is reshaping what it means to use an agency.
The addition of Flanagan, an award-winning agency leader, and branded content pioneer, further strengthens Big Block’s content capabilities across eSports and multi-platform content.
“Tom is a world-class agency leader and proven entrepreneur who can bring massive projects to life,” added Volpone. “He’ll be instrumental in helping Big Block evolve beyond an agency to an accelerator of ideas, businesses and stories that capture and captivate today’s zeitgeist.”
The move comes amidst a massive transformation for the media industry with networks, platforms, agencies all converging, and the lines further blurring between traditional premium content and branded content. Just this morning, Viacom acquired the influencer marketing firm WHOSAY to help advertisers create more branded content.
Flanagan hasn’t just been talking about branded entertainment for decades, he has been driving it forward. While he has won almost every major award in advertising and marketing, he remains most interested in working with brands to help them innovate around people’s lifestyles, as opposed to innovating around products and services.
Big Block Offers Content Marketing Capabilities across Industries
Currently, Big Block offers creative services, apart from serving as a technology investor and IP accelerator that works with leading consumer, entertainment, and technology industry brands, including Under Armour, Ford Motors, ESPN, and Enterra Solutions.
The company produces all forms of visual content, original entertainment properties, live-entertainment experiences and media+tech IP. In addition, Big Block actively invests in companies and people in emerging technology, media, and lifestyle companies, including the most advanced AI.
By combining technology and active investments with creative, Big Block focuses on better activating engaged audiences around content and turning conversations into valuable experiences and transactions.