EXCLUSIVE: Marc Gilbar has been hired to be senior vice president of newly formed Imagine Brand Entertainment. The hire was made by Justin Wilkes, who was recently appointed Imagine Documentaries president by Imagine co-chairmen Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. Gilbar will work directly with brands to develop premium storytelling, tailored to meet an evolving advertising delivery system. The group will continue to build on Imagine’s growing body of work in the space, which includes Jay Z’s Made in America, Howard’s feature documentary for Budweiser; and the television series Breakthrough for GE and National Geographic.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have Marc join our team,” said Wilkes. “As brands are searching for meaingful and impactful ways to reach an audience, Imagine couldn’t be better positioned to lead the charge. We love telling stories and Marc’s reputation in this space is stellar.”
Prior to joining Imagine, Gilbar was Executive Creative Director at Farm League, a production company/agency hybrid here he worked on creating campaigns for TV digital and theatrical platforms for such brands as Pepsi, Wilson, Spectrum and Eddie Bauer. He was also SVP, Group Creative Director at Omnicom Agency offshoot Davie Brown Entertainment for seven years, where he created Pepsi’s award-winning Uncle Drew campaign that featured hoops star Kyrie Irving in geriatric disguise. That spot was viewed over 150 million times on YouTube and Gilbar got exec producer credit on the recently released film, a partnership between Pepsi, Lionsgate and Temple Hill. It was the first branded entertainment campaign to be adapted into a major motion picture, and it has grossed over $40M at the U.S. box office since its release in June.
Gilbar has also worked in more traditional advertising mediums, creating TV campaigns for the NBA, WNBA and AT&T as well as Super Bowl spots for Dove Men+Care (2014) and Pepsi (2015). His work has won multiple awards at the Cannes Lions International Festival, American Advertising Awards, Clios and One Show. Gilbar has also developed and sold television pitches at 20th Century Fox, ABC Studios, HBO and is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for branded storytelling, and there’s no place I would rather do it than at Imagine,” Gilbar said. “The rise of commercial-free content platforms requires brands to reassess how best to reach their consumers. It’s becoming clear that the model of ‘interruption advertising’ on its own is not sustainable; brands must also create content that consumers choose to watch.”