Shawn Silverman, svp-brand marketing for Comedy Central, is among the inductees into our inaugural 35 Under 35 list, a program that honors the brightest young minds in experiential marketing. In this extended version of our chat with him for this special report, Silverman discusses the future of experiential marketing, ROI and what inspires him about the industry.
Having joined the consumer marketing team at Comedy Central in 2011, Silverman immediately started working on a major experiential event for the network at Comic-Con San Diego—South Park: Year of the Fan, the show’s 15th season celebration. He began to use experiential marketing as a way to launch shows like “Broad City” and “Workaholics” and drive buzz for others. Silverman is responsible for large, multiple-day and multiple-market activations as well as smaller pop-ups, and he continues to create immersive worlds for the network’s passionate fan base.
You Might Also Like:
- 35 Under 35 Bonus Content: Extended Q&A with Marriott’s Diana Pavlov
- The 2018 It List: Recognizing the Top 100 Event Agencies
Event Marketer: What led you to this industry?
Shawn Silverman: Actually, it kind of just happened by accident. I took a job years ago with Comedy Central in the marketing department. We started to experiment more and more with experiential marketing on top of all of our advertising and we saw really terrific engagement and results from the fans, and we got great feedback. When we were doing these things on the ground for “South Park” or “The Daily Show” or “Broad City,” it made us realize that it’s a really important piece of the advertising campaign—to create things that allow fans to get up close and personal with the brands they love and step into the worlds of those IPs. Comic-Con has almost become this awesome sandbox where all these different entertainment brands bring their content to life.
EM: Where do you see experiential going?
SS: In the entertainment industry, I think it’s going to go much deeper into immersive storytelling. Our “The Daily Show” library is a great example of that, bringing to life a narrative and showcasing a lot of great content, but also telling a great story through it. There are a lot of great entertainment brands out there doing cool things, like on-the-ground experiences where you literally get to step into the worlds. I think you’ll see more brands really try to lean into that, to create those worlds and let people play in them.
EM: What do you hope to be doing in five years?
SS: My role’s a little unique in a sense because I also oversee the paid advertising for all of our shows and campaigns, beyond experiential marketing. But I think five years from now we’ll be able to utilize all the great data that we have, from a paid advertising point of view, to reach the right audience at the right …read more