After more than a decade providing award-winning branded entertainment and marketing campaigns for major global consumer brands, Fuel Industries Inc. has announced an evolved brand and business focus that fills a unique gap in the marketing industry by establishing itself as a global Youth Engagement company. To help accomplish the company’s enhanced mission, senior executive Andrew Wing and creative guru Mike Burns have been named co-CEOs.
“The 6–24 year old audience, or ‘Generation Play’ as we refer to them, represents a multi-billion dollar market opportunity and is sought after by the most innovative global brands. Engaging them requires tactics and technologies that are more current than the legacy methods used to market to Boomers and even Generation X when they were young,” says Wing. “Having honed our Youth Engagement expertise over twelve years, and leveraging our team’s creative and technology genius in digital experiences and entertainment properties, Fuel is perfectly positioned to assist global brands reach the next generation.”
Via its two core lines of business, Youth Agency services and branded Entertainment properties, Fuel creates compelling experiences that resonate with young audiences to drive business results. Fuel has developed a scalable, proprietary technology platform that powers millions of digital youth experiences, including Happy Studio for McDonald’s Europe and Fuel’s virtual world for girls, SparkCityWorld.com. Fuel’s youth agency clients include the most innovative consumer brands in the world, including McDonald’s, Google, Electronic Arts and Microsoft. The company’s most recent release was Sideway™: New York, a unique action platform game for PS3 and PC.
Fuel has been developing similar properties for global brands since its inception in 1999, under the leadership of co-founding partner Mike Burns as chief creative officer. Burns has been the driving creative force behind Fuel’s innovation over the past decade. Wing joined Fuel in 2011 as chairman of the Executive Committee after stints as president and CEO of Cantor Entertainment, a division of Cantor Fitzgerald, and president and CEO of Nielsen Entertainment. The combined leadership has overseen the evolution of Fuel’s business model and the elevation of Fuel’s Youth Engagement brand. Burns and Wing have been named co-CEOs, leading an executive team that includes some of the top talent in the digital creative, youth marketing and entertainment industries.
New executives at Fuel include: Chief Technology Officer Michael Plotkin, a Ph. D in computer science and previously the CTO of Electronic Arts Online and Chief Strategy Officer Jeff Roach, who guides strategic planning and youth consumer insights, having served in similar roles at youth marketing agencies Youthography and Glitteration. Gerhard Runken leads the entertainment properties business as vice president of Entertainment, coming from a role as director of Marketing at Jakks Pacific, a top five global toy company. Co-founder Jeff Doiron continues to lead business solutions and co-founder Dave Ozipko oversees creative teams while Vanessa Hambidge, formerly vice president of Integrated Solutions at MTV Networks, joins Fuel to support their client services and business development efforts.
“We have built and nurtured a dynamic team that is spearheading a new generation of Youth Engagement focused on playful and compelling digital experiences,” said Burns. “We have the insight to not only know where to find youth audiences and where they spend their time online, but also how to give them characters and stories that become pop culture icons, and that keep them coming back to the brand.”