Multichannel network Studio71 prides itself on having a video for just about everyone. Are you into music, dance, beauty, pranks, stunts, fashion or gaming? If so, it’s got you covered.
In addition to managing some 600 creators—think Rhett & Link, Lilly Singh and Logan Paul—across 1,200 channels, Studio71 also created over 500 custom brand executions for the likes of McDonald’s, Amazon, Estée Lauder, Coca-Cola and more in 2016. Now the multichannel network (MCN), which sees about 6 billion views a month, is formalizing its marketing outreach with the new Brand Solutions Group.
Matt Seiler, who joined Studio71 after serving as chairman and CEO of IPG Mediabrands, will lead the group. The new group will help brands find the exact right influencers to work with, removing any guesswork in the process.
“There wasn’t enough consideration of the matches between brands and creators,” Seiler told Adweek. “We need to be understanding of what’s actually important to creators and to present things with more choicefulness,” he said, creating a word.
“There’s a cacophony of content creation,” added Studio71’s CEO Reza Izad. “What you need is someone who can identify hits, and you need people to consult you through the media buying process, whether you’re an agency or a brand.”
“The Brand Solutions Group isn’t just about sales,” said Seiler. “We’ve actually done away with commissioned sales here. Instead, we want to help brands and creators make valuable connections. We need to advocate on behalf of the creators.”
Valuable connections are taking on a new, urgent priority following the mess PewDiePie found himself in this week. The world’s biggest YouTube star has lost deals with Disney and Google after it was revealed that some of his videos used anti-Semitic language and imagery.
Studio71 intends to go to great lengths to ensure the right brand-influencer match. How? It has created “three, custom-built tools,” said Mike Haggerty, previously svp of research at NBCUniversal, who will head up research and analytics for the Brand Solutions Group.
All three tools take their names from Studio71’s logo, which was part of a 2016 rebrand of the company, when it was acquired by Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Media.
Arrow is a tool that measures social media velocity (the rate at which people are talking about all kinds of subjects, including brands or personalities) and consumer reaction. “It’s about reaching an audience that might be interested in a certain category that they aren’t even aware of yet,” said Haggerty
Upper Right is a campaign organization tool. Creators can ask their audiences for feedback, like a market research study; by answering detailed questions and collecting consumer insight, brands can more easily develop a relationship with the right creator.
The third tool, Left to Right, uses a brand’s media budget in its entirety on any particular social platform. Studio71 will reallocate assets in real-time if part of a campaign is performing better on Instagram than on Facebook.
“We’re platform agnostic with our media spend,” said Haggerty. “This way, we can hopefully save our client some money while optimizing their media as best as we can.”
“By providing context to brands about why our creators are so relevant to the cultural space,” said Izad, “we can show them how singularly unique we are, in hopes that all the content at this volume won’t get mushed together.”
“It’s our job to communicate to brands how Logan Paul can upload a video with his best friends and get over 120 million views in less than 36 hours, but that the first presidential debate had 80 million viewers,” said Seiler. “You can apply your media spend to how people are actually consuming content.”
Joining the team are three new evps: Jennifer Hohman, who will lead existing client business, was recently CMO at agency KBS; Karen Flanagan, who was most recently svp and global group director at Publicis Groupe’s MRY, will lead the business development team; and Paul Furia, who was svp and head of Labs at Disney’s Maker Studios, will connect brands with the network’s top creators.
Some current Studio71 employees are also on board. Justin Cadelago will lead short-term, transaction-based opportunities as svp of Brand Solutions; Jordan Bortolotti is evp of Studio71 Canada and leads a full-service team in Toronto.