Lorenzo Di Bonaventura is a busy guy. The producer of one of the biggest branded entertainment franchise in Hollywood, Transformers, named a number of upcoming projects he’s now working on, from Kidnap with Halle Berry to GI Joe 3. His next challenge: creating content specifically for a mobile screen.
“Fundamentally, you’re working against what we do when you watch on a small screen,” says Di Bonaventura. “For a movie-maker, scale is the biggest issue.”
Lorenzo relates a personal anecdote echoed through [a]list summit: Mobile Marketing: when it comes to kids, the best and most-used screen is also incidentally the smallest one.
“I look at the consumption patterns of my children’s peer group,” said Di Bonaventura, as he joked that this tendency is frustrating from a movie maker’s perspective. He works to tell stories on a big screen, although he is currently working in the digital space, “experimenting with what sticks across the board.”
When it comes to working with brand placement in films and creating branded franchises, Di Bonaventura has tremendous experience having worked closely with numerous brands and creating well-known transmedia franchises.
“If you make a movie and there’s no brand names in it, it doesn’t look real to me,” he says. To Di Bonaventura, working with brands isn’t as antithetical to creating great movies as some working in movies may believe. “Look around the room. I see a lot of brand names,” he goes on to say. “Find a way to maximize the brand form.”
Recently, Di Bonaventura worked with ride-sharing service Uber to create a promotion for Transformers. What he observed happening is that the promotion, while inherently mobile and social, worked in a way to expand into a form of traditional display advertising too.
For the near future, Di Bonaventura sees leveraging major influencer audiences as a key move for traditional movie-makers in a mutually beneficial relationship: “These YouTube stars have real audiences and we would be foolish not to include them in our movies.”