Olivier Gers joins SMG as Global President, LiquidThread
Olivier Gers has joined Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) as Global President, LiquidThread, SMG’s branded entertainment content unit. He will be based out of the SMG London office and will report to Brian Terkelsen, CEO of MediaVest, who will continue to have executive oversight over LiquidThread in addition to his MediaVest role.
In his new role, Gers will be responsible for building the global LiquidThread business and expanding opportunities around the world with brands, local production studios, networks and distribution organizations. He will oversee a range of content marketing offerings, including digital marketing strategies, core partnership models and the development of brand programming. Working across disciplines, Gers will develop strategies that marry ideas with platforms to drive business for SMG's roster of clients. He will partner closely with Brent Poer, who will continue to serve as President, SMG LiquidThread North America, reporting to Terkelsen. All regional leadership outside of North America will report to Olivier.
In 2012, LiquidThread produced more than 400 projects for 25 brands, resulting in 4,000+ minutes of original content and is on track to outpace this for 2013. LiquidThread won a gold Cannes Lion for its Wheat Thins/Colbert Report campaign in 2012 in the branded content category, followed by taking home a silver Cannes Lion for its Pedigree “Annie the Musical” campaign in 2013.
“At Starcom MediaVest, we are passionate about new content possibilities, new ways of telling brand stories in new places, and new platforms and emerging technologies that will change how our clients inform, engage—and even befriend—their audience,” said Terkelsen. “We believe Olivier is the right person to advance these possibilities for our company and clients around the world. He is a proven business builder and growth driver for brands and an inspiring leader.”
Most recently, Gers served as Chief Executive Officer for the Endemol Worldwide Brands division, the world’s largest independent production company, at Endemol Group in London. In this role, he led the monetization of the ancillary rights of Endemol’s key properties, including television shows Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, Wipeout and Star Academy. He managed a 50+ person global team responsible for all commercial extensions across licensing, merchandising, digital, gambling, gaming, live events, sponsorship and brand relations and music publishing.
Among his prior posts, Gers served as General Manager at FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide where he managed global ancillary activities for one of world’s leading producers and distributors of entertainment programming (American Idol, Price Is Right, X Factor). In this role he was responsible for developing product and promotional associations to enhance and extend the consumer experience of each property. He also served as Senior Vice President, Digital at IMG Worldwide and in other content development leadership roles throughout his career.
Gers was named Advertising Age Entertainment Marketer of the Year in 2007 and has served as an active industry spokesperson over the years, including engagements at MipTV, the largest market and showcase for international TV content development; NATPE; World Congress of Sports; UBS Media and Communications Conference; ForbesBreakout Conference, and more.