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Doug Serton's posts

Oct 4th 2012

AOL & Lionsgate Scoop Gold At IAB MIXX Awards 2012


In August, AOL's Hunger Games Premium Format ad campaign was named a finalist in the prestigious 2012 International IAB MIXX Awards. The IAB MIXX Awards are the only interactive awards competition judged by the world's advertising and media industry leaders.

We are very proud to announce that last night, at IAB's eighth annual MIXX gala in New York City, AOL and Lionsgate brought home Gold in the 'IAB Standard Rich Media Display Ad' category. Congratulations go out to the Project Devil team and our colleagues at Lionsgate.

For the full scoop on the 2012 IAB MIXX Award Winners and their executions, visit the Winners Gallery.


Oct 1st 2012

Vuguru And BermanBraun Team Up With AOL to Launch Family Comedy "Greetings From Home"


From the producers behind the hit TV-shows "Alphas" and "Junk Yard Gypsies", comes the brand new family comedy, "Greetings from Home" - a humorous take on the chaos that ensues when a military dad has to raise two unruly teens while mom is deployed overseas. Developed with hit production company BermanBraun,"Greetings from Home" comes hot on the heels of AOL and Vuguru's recent collaborations: the runaway hit comedy "Little Women Big Cars" and the romantic comedy "Fetching", both part of AOL's commitment to provide high quality content on the Web.

When career soldier Pete Griffin loses a leg in combat oversees, he is sent home to a desk job. Simultaneously, Pete's wife Patty, an Army nurse, gets deployed to Afghanistan, leaving him to raise daredevil son Chris and moody adolescent daughter Becky alone. Fortunately, helping Pete survive single fatherhood are his slacker brother-in-law, loopy grandmother Nana and the neighborhood army wives: an OCD-afflicted Sue; Emma, a sassy pregnant intellectual; Roberta, an airhead trying to lose weight before her husband returns; and Missy Wentworth, an overly provocative teenage bride. Pete loves his family, but he soon realizes that raising teenage kids is a combat situation in itself!

Meet the Cast
  • Pete Griffith (Dash Mihok, I Am Legend, The Day After Tomorrow, Ray Donovan)- A father and career soldier sent back to the States after losing his leg in combat
  • Sue Meyers (Missi Pyle, The Artist, "Two and a Half Men", Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) - Ms. Perfect Army wife and neighbor of the Griffith's
  • Nana (Estelle Harris, "Seinfeld", "Are You There, Chelsea?", "Fanboy and Chum Chum") - Patty Griffith's serial video-dating, wisecracking mother
  • Becky Griffith (Evie Thompson, Shake it Up!, "Criminal Minds", "Zoey 101") - The 15-year-old former tomboy, moody, adolescent daughter of Pete and Patty Griffith
  • Chris Griffith (Hudson Thames, Fright Night)- The 17-year-old charming and mischievous daredevil son of Pete and Patty Griffith
  • Emma Mountcastle (Nicole Randall Johnson, "Weeds"," MADtv", "Prime Suspect") - A sassy intellectual and a neighborhood Army wife who got pregnant after her husband went overseas
  • Roberta Sommer (Kristina Sexton, "Crossing Jordan", "Cold Case") -An airhead and a neighborhood Army wife who gained 50 pounds since her husband was away and wants to remove a kidney to help lose the weight
  • Missy Wentworth (Cherilyn Wilson, "True Blood", "I Heart Vampires", "90210") – A provocative young bride and neighborhood Army wife
  • Archie (Skyler Stone, "Bones", "Raising Hope") Pete's slacker brother-in-law who moved into a hammock on the lawn and never left

The 12-episode series is written by Bill Rosenthal, Bill Masters and Michael Davidoff, directed by Jared Drake and executive produced by BermanBraun's Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun.

To the Greetings from Home page now, Soldier!

Sep 28th 2012

AOL On Network and Vibe Media Form Strategic Video Partnership


Yesterday, we announced our partnership with Vibe Media, parent group of Vibe Magazine and the premier destination for youth-oriented music and urban entertainment. As part of the partnership, Vibe Media's enormous catalog of over 1,800 high-quality videos will be programmed into AOL On's 14 channels and shared across the entire AOL On Network. In turn, AOL On will power the back-end technology for Vibe Media's video player and content management system, and the advertising sales for all of its video content.

"Vibe is in a unique position to capitalize on the explosive growth of online video because we have a very strong fan base and editorial voice in the youth oriented music & urbanentertainment space," said Ari Horowitz, Chief Executive Officer of Vibe Media. "AOL will help us quickly capitalize on this trend and ensure that the content we produce is distributed to all of the relevant corners of the web, while helping to power our technology and extend our sales needs."

"Video is a new territory for many publishers who have built their business on print and don't yet have this new medium baked into their DNA," said Ran Harnevo, SVP of The AOL On Network. "Partnering with The AOL On Network provides these publishers with best-in-class video expertise and a seamless solution that gives them everything they need to get their video strategy off the ground."

Visit Vibe.com now, to find out more.

Sep 11th 2012

AOL Launches 'Idea Salon' with Tribute to Our Troops

AOL held its inaugural Idea Salon, a traveling speakers series aimed at engaging and educating our employees with new concepts and inspiring philosophies.

Today, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, we welcomed Bill White, former President of the Intrepid museum and tireless advocate for our troops whose efforts have helped raised more than $600 million for their benefit, and U.S. Army Captain Gregory Galeazzi, who received the Purple Heart for his heroism while serving America in southeastern Afghanistan as a platoon leader in the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division, to a packed house at AOL's New York headquarters.

Bill asked us to consider how the people of America responded not just to the immediate events of 9/11, but also in the aftermath, recalling how Americans responded with good and sacrifice that came out of this tragedy. From the firefighters and emergency personnel, to the men and women who put themselves forward for military service – all of whom simply raised their right hand to volunteer to help - America did respond, and in a uniquely American way.

Bill talked about how The Wounded Warrior Project has achieved so much – from successfully helping to lobby the US Government to change the law on compensating the bereaved families of service men and women killed in action, to the setting up of the Brooke Army Medical Center, built with a goal of being the finest facility for rehabilitation for returning soldiers.

But, he admitted, the project's work is never over. Of the 600,000 injured service personnel returning from action, many have lost limbs, and over half have sustained Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).

Strengthened by the resolve to protect his country in the aftermath of 9/11 and the desire to break down the preconceptions of the U.S. Army after the Abu Ghraib atrocities, Capt. Galeazzi signed up to serve his country. On May 26th, 2011, about twenty days from the end of his first tour, Capt. Galeazzi was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), while conducting a dismounted patrol in the Kandahar Province. Before he hit the ground, he had lost both of his legs and severed his right arm. In that moment, he said that he saw the truest form of human nature – that the lowest ranking soldiers ran to his aid and for the 30 minutes it took for the medevac to arrive ensured that he stayed alive.

If there was a primary thought Capt. Galeazzi wanted to share, it was that we didn't need to be 'in the action' to help. He credited the unseen hero that gave the blood he needed to survive his operations; the organizations that helped give his family somewhere to stay; and the people that gave their air miles to the Hero Miles initiative, which helped them to travel across the country to see them. While rehabilitation and readjustment to life outside of the Army is painful, Capt. Galeazzi credited the strength of his family as being his source of hope.

He then took an emotional Q&A from the floor from many AOL employees who were clearly moved by Capt Galleazzi's story. Capt. Galeazzi highlighted the importance for leaders to be open, that it is impossible for any one person to digest the vast amount of information flying about within the work environment. He suggested employees should always rely on their networks – and not to go it alone.

Bill finished by recapping Wounded Warriors' many initiatives, including the Peer-to-Peer mentoring project, which pairs newly returned Vets with those that have come through rehabilitation to act as guides helping them through the process. There will be over one million unemployed veterans returning from action and the best help we can give them is a clear path back into society.

There are many ways you can help. Here are just a few:


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