Media Lifeline: Drum PHD

Assault-course lovers owe the content arm a debt of gratitude for reviving The Krypton Factor.

February 1997: Drum was launched by Simon George and Laurence Munday in 1993 as a sponsorship and branded content specialist, with minority backing from Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO. Following AMV's purchase of PHD, Drum was acquired and merged into PHD.

November 2007: Tess Alps, who had become the executive chairman following the merger, had departed PHD in 2006 to become the chief executive of Thinkbox; and when George and Munday move on to launch a rival branded content operation for Aegis Media, PHD elevates Mark Eaves to the position of managing director. Eaves had previously been heading up Drum Screen, the agency's advertiser-funded programming operation.

October 2008: And any suspicions that branded content - once heralded as the future of TV as a commercial medium - was dropping off the advertisers' agenda are firmly laid to rest when Drum signs a deal to create the most expensive ad-funded property in ITV's history. It sees the software company Sage reviving the quirky quiz and endurance contest The Krypton Factor.

December 2009: And Drum breaks new ground with an interactive repurposing of the acclaimed "eyebrows" campaign for Cadbury's Dairy Milk, designed to run in cinemas - and it also becomes a warm-up for concerts at the O2. Concert-goers are asked to move from side to side and wave their arms to direct and control falling eyebrows on a giant screen.

May 2010: PHD now decides to roll out Drum as an international network property. First up is a US office, headed by Aimee Duell, a US director of PHD. Eaves continues to run the UK and will work with the US operation on joint thinking.

Fast forward ...

April 2012: And soon there's a real breakthrough in the US as Drum signs a deal to produce The Krypton Factor (to be renamed The Hyatt Factor), sponsored and funded by one of PHD's US travel and leisure clients. With endurance sequences shot in and around bar and pool areas of hotels in the Hyatt chain, the show is commissioned to run on the Discovery Channel - another of PHD's US clients.