It was revealed yesterday that DigitasLBi will be partnering with Buzzfeed and Epic Digital in developing digital branded content. The first step will involve DigitasLBi and Buzzfeed working together to create “Buzzfeed in Residence,” a partnership program in which members of Buzzfeed's advertising team will work alongside DigitasLBi to create brand strategies and content for the agency's clients. In what has been called a “Skill-swap alliance” by DigitasLBI's North American CEO Tony Weisman, rather than collaborating through traditional means (such as phone or email), the Buzzfeed 'residents' will be working out of DigitasLBi's 'Brand Live room (located in the agency's New York office) on a weekly basis.
The first step will involve DigitasLBi and Buzzfeed working together to create the partnership program “Buzzfeed in Residence”
The program is a concerted effort to promote face-to-face collaboration between the agency and its clients, and will be producing real-time content in the form of breaking news stories, pop culture references and fashionable trends. Multiple clients will be selected for the program, and these chosen brands will be given a consistent presence on BuzzFeed, allowing for ongoing testing on social strategies. The companies have been working together for over two years, branding notable companies such as American Express, Virgin Mobile and Taco Bell, so nobody could say they couldn't see this collaboration coming.
Adam Shlachter, head of media activation for DigitasLBi North America, said that “When you look at hoe content is spreading across the web today, it's starting to permeate every channel,” and he believes that Buzzfeed have a proven formula for connecting with people through these channels. He believes Buzzfeed connect with people through “Thing they want to read, things they want to share and things they want to talk about,” and he feels that DigitasLBi can combine that power with “How we think about the media to help brands tell really powerful stories.” Jonathan Perelman, Buzzfeed's vice president of agency strategy and general manager of video, agrees, and believes that working with DigitasLBi on the residence program will foster better work as he feels “The best work will come from face-to-face collaboration.”
Epic is a narrative non-fiction publishing company co-founded by Josuah Bearman, writer of the true story upon which 2012's best picture winner 'Argo' was based
DigitasLBi have also recently announced an exclusive partnership with non-fiction publisher Epic Digital, the digital arm of Epic Magazine, a company co-founded by Josuah Bearman, writer of the true story upon which 2012's best picture winner 'Argo' was based. As part of the partnership, for the next 2 years, DigitasLBi will get “First look” access to all Epic Digital content, and will in kind be able to determine which stories will work well for their clients. Weisman has said that the purpose of this partnership is to find “real stories worth remembering” for their clients. Bearman feels the partnership will allow his company to bring their “Adventurous narrative approach to clients, whilst providing a platform to share these gems on a grander digital scale.”
Weisman believes that both deals represent “Fearless investments in creativity,” and says that DigitasLBi have “Case a wide net to find the best content available from around the globe to tell stories that need to be told.”
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and musician from the UK who has spent many hours of his life caught in various Buzzfeed spirals.