The Insider: On the Spot, Promotionally Speaking

Feb 24, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Jonathan Block-VerkJonathan Block-Verk is a couple of weeks away from making announcements about content and speakers at the 53rd annual Promax/BDA Conference, to be held June 17-19 at the Hilton New York in Manhattan.
It will be Mr. Block-Verk’s first as newly installed president of the nonprofit association for TV promotion and marketing professionals, and his enthusiasm sounds barely contained.
He told The Insider that this year, particularly, with the recently settled writers strike and economic factors pinching the industry, it’s less about any keynote speaker and more about the overall content.
“The content of this year’s conference is going to be absolutely crucial given the issues and business trends the industry is facing,” he said, promising “discussions and panels that will be immediately actionable and created and honed and driven to help television marketing executives and also GMs affect their bottom lines immediately. That’s really the focus of what we’re doing this year: making extremely relevant, actionable content that people can start applying right away.”
The Insider had called Mr. Block-Verk to see how he felt about the news that, starting next fall, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will bestow awards on promotional spots in the news/documentary, sports and daytime entertainment categories it honors.
He, of course, takes a “the more the merrier” approach to showing respect for his peeps. “I think it’s great any time any organization or individual recognizes a craft that we’ve been recognizing for 53 years,” he said. “We certainly are happy when anyone steps up to recognize the skills and strategy and creativity that goes into such crafts.”
Being the unreconstructed and insatiable couch potato that she is, The Insider asked Mr. Block-Verk if any promos had recently enticed him to watch a TV show in which he otherwise would not expect to be interested.
Why, he’d just been having a similar conversation, Mr. Block-Verk said. So he was prepared to confess that the promotion for “My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad” totally convinced him that he should check out the new NBC reality show.
The Insider had to agree.
“From a marketing and promotional standpoint, it absolutely delivered what I expected,” he said. “It’s just not my kind of content, but I like the promos. I don’t know that I’d watch it again.”
The Insider had to agree.
He is a big fan of the multiplatform marketing and promotional efforts for ABC’s “Lost” and Sci Fi Channel’s “Tin Man,” the hit miniseries updating and revisiting “The Wizard of Oz.”
And he’s an unabashed promoter of marketers as the folk who are “in the driver’s seat of creating the value of a piece of entertainment or information content, whether it’s a half-hour segment, a five-minute piece or a local or national or international news bit.
“I’m genuinely excited about the electricity and the enthusiasm within this industry,” he said. “There are a lot of young, innovative, creative people in this business now, more than ever, because there has to be. There has to be the people who understand the way consumers think and understand how to reach them, where to reach them and when to reach them, on the media and in the environment they are in.”
(Corrected at 12:06 PM on 02/25/08 to reflect which network “My Dad is Better Than Your Dad” plays on.)


  1. Hey Insider… you might want to check your facts. “My Dad” is an NBC show. URP! Hopefully you made that mistake and not our new Prez. of Promax. 🙁

  2. Thanks Mike – We’re correcting the story.

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