In Depth

IFC Promotes Blake Callaway to Executive Vice President, Marketing and Digital Media

Press release from IFC, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014:

IFC announced today that it has promoted its marketing head, Blake Callaway, to the newly created position of executive vice president of marketing and digital media, up from senior vice president of marketing. As part of IFC’s senior leadership team, Callaway oversees all aspects of IFC’s marketing efforts including consumer and industry campaigns, on-and-off-air creative, digital media, and integrated advertiser solutions. Callaway reports to IFC’s President and General Manager, Jennifer Caserta; he is based in the network’s NYC headquarters.

“Blake has done a tremendous job in heightening buzz around IFC and reaching comedy fans in fun and innovative ways,” said Caserta. “He has a sharp understanding of viewers’ TV habits and responds with breakthrough promotional efforts that are organic to our brand and align us with partners who ‘get’ the value of what IFC delivers. I’m thrilled to recognize his contributions with this promotion and expanded role.”

Added Callaway: “It’s great to be part of building the IFC brand. Our mission to deliver smart ‘slightly off’ original comedies gives the marketing team wide latitude to keep things interesting and on the leading edge. What other network could hire a feminist book store employee to live tweet the Super Bowl, host a roller skating party for its upfront, and tap a cool young artist for her take on Portlandia? Ratings and revenue are up and there are great things ahead.”

Since joining the network in late 2011, Callaway has helped clearly define IFC as the home for smart alternative comedy as evidenced by critically acclaimed, socially buzzed about shows and innovative advertiser partnerships which have driven both revenue and ratings, with 2013 total viewer delivery up +20% over 2012. This year is off to a solid start with the premiere of The Spoils of Babylon as one of IFC’s most-watched originals, driven by an innovative creative campaign centered on an epic novel that doesn't exist. Also on tap in 2014 is a brand refresh and an expanded presence at SXSW.

During his time at IFC, Callaway has added digital media initiatives to his portfolio of responsibilities revamping IFC.com to focus on comedy and video and integrating social media to connect with the network’s engaged audience. The efforts have grown IFC.com’s total page views by +34% and average monthly unique visitors by +22% from September 2013 to January 2014 versus the comparable months in 2012.

Led by Callaway, a hallmark tenet of IFC’s promotional strategy and success is the roster of A-level partners and alliances the network fosters. Attention grabbing partnerships with Buzzfeed and BAM have continued to keep IFC on comedy fan's radars. The upcoming fourth season of Portlandia features key art by notable photographer Alex Prager. Other effective and award winning efforts have included a Twitter inspired campaign for Maron, celebrating comedian and podcaster Marc Maron’s use of the platform to over share with his audience; and tapping into fan enthusiasm for Portlandia by launching the Portlandia Co-Op. Callaway is equally driven by smart creative advertiser solutions having spent years at NYC media agencies. Under his leadership, IFC has built a reputation for creatively and seamlessly integrating sponsors into shows like Portlandia and Comedy Bang! Bang!.

Prior to IFC, Callaway served as the senior vice president of marketing, brand and strategy at Syfy, where he was instrumental in the channel’s rebrand and led the network to experience its most watched series in Syfy history. Prior to Syfy, Callaway was at the forefront of communication planning for innovative advertising agencies such as Kirshenbaum Bond’s Media Kitchen and Merkley + Partners. Callaway also worked at leading Hispanic Communications Agency Lopez Negrete. Prior agency assignments focused on a diverse portfolio of brands including Visa, Bank of America, Jet Blue, and Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Source: Nielsen Media Research. Live+Same Day. IFC 2013 vs 2012 program based daypart average, M-Su 8p-11p Total Viewers.
Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst. IFC page views and unique visitors. Sept’ 13 – Jan ’14 vs Sept’ 12 – Jan ’13.