Obviously Caters to Its Clients With an Army of Influencers

Half a million popular people give this shop an edge

Mae Karwowski (l.), CEO, and Miriam Wakim, head of product operations The Street Sensei

It’s not obvious why full-service influencer agency Obviously got its name—unless you know a certain inside joke. The shop’s founder and CEO, Mae Karwowski, said that when she was working at lifestyle site Gilt City, co-workers finished off their summary of what other team members were doing with: “And with social, obviously, Mae is doing whatever it is she does.”

Obviously began five years ago and distinguishes itself with a technology platform that allows its team to handle all of a given client’s influencer needs, from beginning to end. It worked with Cunard and Plymouth Gin to send Leo Chan (@levitatestyle) on a four-month cruise around the world, stopping at various ports to meet up with other influencers at parties. It’s also working on its seventh campaign with Soap & Glory and helping Lyft launch a campaign in New Orleans and Toronto.

Obviously has 40 staff members and 500,000 influencers working on behalf of about 150 brands. But it’s constantly seeking new people to cater to clients’ particular goals. Sure, that’s harder than culling from an existing list, but as Karwowski says, “I’ve found that if I keep doing the harder things, ultimately, I’ll be way more successful.”

This story first appeared in the October 15, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

Janet Stilson is a freelance writer for Adweek.