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Traffic Cop on the Set

May 2, 2007  •  Post A Comment

With her promotion to senior VP of account services at Carat Entertainment/My Entertainment Co., Pat Jones figures she’ll be busier. “It’s more of the same, in a happy way,” she said.
My Entertainment is a production company and consultancy founded by Michael Yudin, who was brought in to Carat to head its branded-entertainment division.
“We’re television producers, and we’re also people who come from marketing and media and agency backgrounds, so we really can speak both languages,” Ms. Jones said.
She said she works with agency account teams and clients to learn their brands, then works with the production company to find programming ideas. “I look for things that are going to fit and suit our clients, and fit and suit what they’re really looking for in terms of brand messaging. It’s all about the brand.”
Once a project gets the green light from a client and a network, “I will work as the production liaison and will produce or executive produce in that capacity,” Ms. Jones explained. “So I’m the traffic cop or the mom on those projects. It’s very busy just juggling. It’s a lot of different things that I do. I wear a lot of different hats.”
One recent project put women who have lost weight using Carat client Jenny Craig’s products on the My Entertainment-produced show “Tease,” on the Oxygen cable network.
In one segment of “Tease,” a hairstylist competition show, the host would go into the audience and pick out a Jenny Craig success story. The audience see before and after pictures of the woman, then watch as her hairstyle was updated.
“The part where we concentrated on Jenny Craig was for a nice short time, but it really packed a punch,” Ms. Jones said. “You got to meet the person, you got to hear about their weight-loss story, see their before and after picture, then we went right into the point, which was with a new body you need new hair, and let’s really celebrate these women and their success.”
In two episodes of the show, women who used Jenny Craig were in the stylists’ chairs during the competition phase of the show.
“‘Tease’ was something we created, and simultaneously when we were talking to the network, we were talking to Jenny Craig,” Ms. Jones said.
She said the key to making shows like this work is to have the marketing appear seamless and organic. “I say those buzzwords a lot, but I actually mean them,” she said. “I think it’s very important in branded entertainment to just be part of the content without offending [or] interrupting the consumer or the viewer.”
Ms. Jones grew up in Detroit, but her father, who had visited England as a Fulbright Scholar, sent her to a boarding school in northern England for middle school and high school. She returned to the U.S. for college, attending Wayne State University, where she majored in theater. While in college, she started working at marketing events and took a job with Hermanoff & Associates, a Detroit public relations firm. There she worked on the McDonald’s account, looking after Ronald McDonald.
She was later hired by GM Eventworks and moved to New York. She had stints with a dot-com company and an adver-gaming company right before 9/11. Then, about five years ago, she started working with Mr. Yudin. “Then when he came to Carat, I came with him,” she said.
In her spare time, Ms. Jones has been writing. She recently had a short story published on the Internet and is shopping a novel called “Pride.” “It’s about an ensemble cast who are really struggling with the definition of pride,” she said.
Who Knew: Back in Detroit, Ms. Jones was the lead singer and lyricist in a rock band called In One Week.

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