Not long ago 25-year-old creative agency Pongo hired Disney veteran Ron Pomerantz. In his new role, Pomerantz is heading up Pongo’s new creative content division, where he is responsible for developing strategic content for entertainment and retail brands. The new unit will develop and produce interstitial content, PSAs, commercials and B-to-B integration.
We reached out to LA-based Pomerantz to pick his brain about the move from Disney to Pongo (@GoPongoGo) and what he sees as the future for this veteran agency, whose credits include work for CBS’ CSI: Cyber, ABC’s Shark Tank and Disney Channel’s Teen Beach 2.
How long had you been at Disney, and why was now the time to make a change?
I started at Disney as a freelancer in 2000 and was hired in 2001 to help with the logo redesign and re-launch of SoapNet. In 2006, I was asked to creative direct Playhouse Disney (now Disney Junior) and Disney Channel.
I really had a great 13-year run at Disney in five different positions. I had the privilege to rebrand several of the networks multiple times, launch Disney Junior and manage and promote some really spectacularly relevant IP. But, of late, I have been eager to stretch my wings beyond the kid space. It was time for a change and time for me to return to my creative roots — making entertaining content and great brand marketing.
Why Pongo? What excites you about this company and this segment of the industry?
I have worked with Pongo for almost 20 years. I have a great relationship with them and they are perfectly in line with what I want to do and explore next. Both Pongo and I want to make more pro-social, storytelling pieces in addition to great promotion and marketing… the time was right for both parties.
What changes have you seen in this industry over your career?
Well, the industry has changed quite a bit as we all have seen. Viewing habits have changed drastically as social media has risen. I think we are all aware of what is happening, but one of the strongest effects I have seen is the lack of channel branding in breaks.
Networks are increasingly promoting other entities rather than their own IP in their breaks. There is an increased franticness in the pace of promotion, and the need for ratings is driving many decisions, so brand building has taken a back seat. All this is not necessarily bad as content has become multi-platform and the content needs to be branded as much, if not more so, than the brand that made it.
How will you use your skills, honed and perfected, at Disney to help Pongo?
Disney gave me global experience with beloved brands that had to be interpreted locally. Finding emotional connections to brands and their content is at the core of what I did at Disney and that is exactly what Pongo does as well.
What do you see for Pongo’s new creative content division?
Pongo has hired me to oversee the development of strategic branded content for entertainment and retails brands. Together we are going to develop and produce interstitial content, PSAs, commercials and philanthropic presentations, but we will also delve into branding and global brand identity strategy as well. Our goal is to help clients uncover their brand essence and translate that into multi-platform content and different brand expression.
How much will you be involved in the other parts of Pongo’s business?
As much as they will let me!