Corbis Aims to Make Life Easier for Ad Agencies

Corbis CEO Gary Shenk [pictured] has pledged to make the company profitable by focusing on stock and rights services — which is why Corbis is positioning itself as a partner that can take the logistics-related pressure off advertising creatives who use rare or celebrity footage. Corbis has announced the completion of several rights-clearance projects for BBDO New York, Publicis and DDB Canada. The three ad agencies have produced TV commercials for General Electric, Bounty and BC Hydro using Corbis footage and personality-clearance services.

GE’s in-cinema and online “ecomagination” campaign, created by BBDO New York, depicted a casting call for the movie “Evan Almighty.” The spots featured real baboons and elephants, and BBDO turned to Corbis for footage of animals of the Serengeti. Regina Ebel, head of BBDO’s broadcast production, places particular emphasis on the esoteric nature of the footage, and Corbis’ ability to supply it mastered to the HD standard.

Publicis used Corbis to license clips from the 1970 British hit film “Carry on Loving” for a Bounty spot currently running in the U.K. and Ireland. The commercial featured the film’s characters using Bounty paper towels, thus requiring personality clearances for its stars, Sid James, Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams. Corbis licensed the needed film clips and obtained clearances through the actors’ estates.

DDB Canada did TV and online work for BC Hydro, one of the country’s largest electric utilities, and centered on the concept of “power of one.” Promoting energy efficiency, the campaign featured famous Canadians, including astronaut Marc Garneau, Oscar nominee Chief Dan George, paraplegic athlete Rick Hansen and NHL hockey coach Roger Neilson. Lynn Bonham, broadcast producer at DDB Canada, says Corbis was integral to the campaign in “helping to find and secure just the right people to communicate our message.” Corbis researched and negotiated the famous personalities, obtained rights clearances and sourced the needed footage.

Curtis Bowden, vice president of rights services, says that Corbis allows ad creatives to focus on great ideas and brilliant work, instead of the costs and timing of research and negotiation. He adds that the company’s experience enables it to accurately assess the costs of licensing rights and predict the timeframe of negotiations.

Bowden also highlights Corbis’ “deep relationships in Hollywood,” which include major studios, record companies, celebrities, estates and publishers. Corbis currently handles more than 5,000 clearances per year and plans on growing its rights and music clearances offering.

[tags]Corbis, Gary Shenk [/tags]

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