Turner Ignite Studios gets ready for its close up

Earlier this year, Turner announced the launch of Turner Ignite Studios, a full-service brand studio that brings together entertainment creators to partner with marketers in developing custom content for fans across Adult Swim, TBS, TNT and truTV.

Together—Turner Ignite Studios, CNN’s brand studio Courageous and Turner Ignite Sports— make up Turner Ignite’s branded content arms and power the company’s continued commitment to connect brands with its passionate fans in new and compelling ways across the portfolio.

As senior vice president of Entertainment Content Partnerships for Turner Ignite, Jenn Cohen leads brand marketing partnerships across Turner’s entertainment networks and movie studio business portfolio-wide. She also oversees the new studio and has been busy shaping its vision and standing up the team over the past few months.

As we celebrate Advertising Week, a tentpole for the marketing and advertising community that brings together industry leaders in New York, Cohen gives us a sneak peek into Turner Ignite Studios and what we can expect to see down the pike.

Turner (T):  Thanks for speaking with us, Jenn. For those who don’t know, tell us what Turner Ignite Studios is all about?
Jennifer Cohen (JC): Turner Ignite Studios is an in-house branded content studio for the entertainment divisions of Turner. It’s being created to answer the evolving needs of advertisers, as more brands are looking for content and trusted partners to create custom content with.  
 
T: How is Turner Ignite Studios different from Courageous or Turner Ignite Sports? 
JC:  Courageous supports the news division of Turner – CNN, HLN and Great Big Story – and is primarily focused on docu-style, non-fiction brand storytelling, while Turner Ignite Sports is creating branded content for the sports fans and usually involves some type of ball. 

Turner Ignite Studios will focus on our entertainment divisions – Adult Swim, TBS, TNT and truTV – creating original content that complements the ethos of those brands. We’ll tackle all forms of comedy and drama, scripted and unscripted. 

T: What inspired the development of the studio? 
JC:  With the success of both Courageous and Turner Ignite Sports, there was increased demand from advertisers for a similar capability within Turner’s entertainment space. Brands wanted to explore what an entertainment partnership could look like with original content and a client-first focus. It was important that the process offer a premium experience, be affordable, nimble, but still have the ability to reach our audiences. The Turner Ignite Studio logo will be a branded unicorn (kidding…unless everyone likes this). 

T: Since the studio was first teased at Turner’s upfront in May, we realize you’ve been focused on building the team. What skillsets are you looking for in the staff? 
JC:  People that bring good snacks to meetings. Also, great storytellers that know how to incorporate brands in an entertaining way. Folks that know how to talk to clients and understand the balance between creating entertaining content vs. creating an ad. A social first skillset is also key with the ability to be resourceful and collaborative with advertisers. Oh, and the patience of a saint. 
 
T: What type of content can we expect to see coming out of Turner Ignite Studios? 
JC:  Besides amazing, award-winning, social-first branded content that everyone will be talking about? You can expect that the studio will be creating original intellectual property for marketers that leverages the voices of our entertainment brands. We will also create white label content based on the goals of our advertisers.
  
T: How do our advertisers benefit from this type of branded content? 
JC:  This type of branded content will understand the needs of advertisers and will allow clients to have a more active role in the creative process with their brands objectives at the forefront of the idea. 
 
T: Let’s wrap this up with a little industry fanfare. What is the best piece of branded content you’ve seen this year, and what made it so successful?
JC:  I have a feeling it hasn’t been created yet…