Marketing vet to captain two units at Marvel

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Veteran marketing exec Geoffrey Ammer has been named president of worldwide marketing and home entertainment at Marvel Studios, the Hollywood division of Marvel Entertainment.

The appointment comes as Marvel preps for the May release of "Iron Man," its first movie completely self-financed and self-produced as it becomes an independent film studio.

Ammer will oversee theatrical and home entertainment marketing for Marvel's upcoming slate of live-action motion pictures. He will work with Marvel's studio distribution partners in guiding pre- and postrelease marketing initiatives, including creative advertising, publicity, promotions, licensing, merchandising, interactive marketing, research and media planning.

"It's fascinating to see the different facets of this company — the merchandising, the licensing, the comic book business — and to be on the ground floor as they reinvent themselves as a studio," Ammer said.

Ammer said he will be an integral part of the decision-making process, with his job involving him in "in the script stage of movies and (having) a voice when these movies are going — which one goes first, how we look at things. … It's working from within the company and then working with whoever distributes the picture and working with their teams to bring it to market."

Ammer, who will report to Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel, will immediately begin working on campaigns to support the summer's Marvel releases: "Iron Man," which Paramount opens May 2, and "The Incredible Hulk," which Universal unleashes June 13.

Marvel also is working with Lionsgate on "Punisher: War Zone," slated for Sept. 12, and with Fox on "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," which is in production and slated for release May 1, 2009. "Spider-Man 4" is in development at Columbia.

Ammer is no stranger to the Marvel universe, having served as president of worldwide marketing at the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group and working on "Spider-Man" and "Spider-Man 2." He also helped Columbia enjoy one of the most successful runs in modern times with such releases as "Hitch," "XXX," "Black Hawk Down," "Men in Black II" and "Panic Room" hitting No. 1 at the boxoffice under his oversight.

Before joining Sony, Ammer worked at Revolution Studios. He also served as co-president of marketing at Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group, working on campaigns for "The Sixth Sense," "The Insider," "Tarzan" and "Remember the Titans."

Since 2006, he has served as independent marketing consultant through his company G2 Consulting, serving such clients as Adam Sandler's Happy Madison, Revolution Studios, Steve Bing's Shangri-La Entertainment and Marvel.

Ammer was named entertainment marketer of the year in 2003 by Advertising Age and was one of Brandweek magazine's entertainment marketers of the year in 2002.
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