Fullscreen Wants to Satisfy Brands’ ‘Unquenchable Thirst for Video’

Web stars Jack and Jack perform for teen girls and ad execs at NewFronts

It's a good sign when the premiere trailer for your biggest show starts trending, but that's also what you'd expect when your stars are Vine celebrities. So, when Fullscreen showed off The Outfield, a digital documentary featuring Nash Grier and Cameron Dallas, the trailer quickly rose to the top of Twitter today.

Then, to cap its first-ever NewFronts presentation, Fullscreen brought out two of its other Web celebrities, Jack and Jack, for an encore in front of a throng of teens. This is what entertainment looks like today: It's about personal celebrity, it's interactive for fans, it's small enough to film and view on a phone, and brands can climb aboard.

"Don't advertise to us, create with us," Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos said about his company's philosophy on reaching kids. Fullscreen works with social media stars like Jack and Jack to weave brand messages into their popular videos on platforms like Vine.

Strompolos said Jack and Jack are savvy about marketing—they know what their fans want, and they showed it today. At one point during their performance, they asked their teen fans to come in close to the stage, but they still let the "business people" get a view. After all, that's really why they were there.

Fullscreen is part digital production company and part creative agency, and it posts videos across the Web—on YouTube, Vine, Snapchat, Instagram and now, Periscope. At today's NewFronts, the company also announced an expanded distribution partnership with Twitter.

The big message of the day was that TV is dead. One of the promotional videos featured young people breaking up with television—"It's not me, it's you."

Still, Strompolos said there is an "unquenchable thirst for video."

"There are so many options now," he said. "These platforms are willing to pay pretty big advances to get stuff, and it becomes a bit of bidding war when you have good stuff."

One of its more ambitious shows is Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, a scripted reboot of a 1970s superhero series. There's also a documentary about Our2ndLife, a group of YouTube stars that came up together then split up to find solo fame.

"This is our first time on the big stage, so we have to do a little bit of an introduction," Strompolos said. "We're telling the stories of talent, small to large."

Fullscreen is perhaps best known for a Snapchat-based series called SnapperHero and a reality show called SummerBreak, which AT&T sponsored.

"Content is created differently at Fullscreen; we're not a production company and we're not an ad agency," Strompolos said. "We're a media company that understands how to program to millennials and young adults."

Fullscreen—which signs the talent, creates the shows, sells to advertisers and finds distributors—also announced that it bought more production power and talent with the acquisition of McBeard. McBeard has a team of social media producers that churns out content for an array of platforms on behalf of brands and creators, including clients like Coca-Cola, NBCUniversal and AT&T.

They also are focused on Snapchat—in fact, the acquisition was announced in a story shared on the messaging network. 

Here's a look at Jack and Jack's performance and The Outfield's trailer: