fbpx

Advertising and art collide with a purpose

PHOTO COURTESY OF ZEKE ZELKER STUDIOS/ ‘Billboard’ actors perform in front of green-screen billboard space, while local businesses are advertised on physical billboards beneath the action. The studio hopes to sell advertisements that will be digitally added to the green-screen billboards.

What’s that strange structure in the sky off of the 15th Street exit of Route 22 in Allentown?

What’s that strange structure in the sky off of the 15th Street exit of Route 22 in Allentown?

It’s a play, it’s a film, it’s a web series.

It’s “Billboard.”

The latest project from Lehigh Valley-based filmmaker Zeke Zelker, “Billboard” just may change the way people think about funding and promoting a film. Instead of simply luring investors, Zeke Zelker Studios of Easton is lining up sponsors and letting product placement and cross-media advertisements and marketing help pay to bring the project to life.

In tearing down the wall between art and advertising, Zelker recruited area sponsors ranging from Discover Lehigh Valley to Rothrock Motors to St. Luke’s University Health Network. The Lehigh Valley-centric mix of movie billboards and website cross-promotions even includes advertisers on an internet radio station he created just for the multiplatform, multimedia project.

“What makes the idea so cutting edge is the way we can integrate brands,” Zelker said. And while product integration in film isn’t new, the way he incorporates different media and marketing genres solves one of the biggest challenges for such a project – funding.

“Raising money for a film is never easy,” Zelker said.

One of the first sponsors was Discover Lehigh Valley, the tourist promotion agency for Lehigh and Northampton counties.

“I think we saw it as a very creative way of approaching a project,” said Michael Stershic, president of Discover Lehigh Valley.

He said that signing on as a sponsor was not only about fostering community pride, but a desire to be involved in such an innovative promotion.

Stacy Wescoe
Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

Business Journal Events

2019 Business of the Year Awards

Wednesday, December 04, 2019
2019 Business of the Year Awards

Outlook on 2020

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Outlook on 2020

2020 Real Estate & Development Symposium

Thursday, March 12, 2020
2020 Real Estate & Development Symposium

2020 Forty Under 40 Awards

Wednesday, April 22, 2020
2020 Forty Under 40 Awards