Mediabrands content studio invests in CONVICTS

The creative studio will offer clients edgy, risk-taking work.

The world has changed, and marketers are looking for more authentic, purposeful and edgier ways to reach their consumers. 

To deliver on that, IPG Mediabrands Content Studio said Monday it has invested in CONVICTS, an independent global creative studio that does editorial culturally relevant work for brands. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

“The stuff they make has this disruptive edge that’s really exciting and interesting,” said Brendan Gaul, global chief content officer at Mediabrands. 

CONVICTS, which also produces its own editorial content, will work with Mediabrands clients depending on a brief. Provocative ideas in the realm of brand purpose, culture or campaigns looking to reach younger audiences are natural fits, Gaul said. 

“Every time you go into a room, you want to bring the idea you know they will buy, and the idea that's a little scary that they might buy,” he said. “This stuff is going to be even further outside — and clients are open to and looking for that different kind of work.”

The studio works with clients including The Surf Lodge in the Hamptons, The Dance Theater of Harlem and The Apollo Theater, as well as corporate brands including Nike, Patagonia and Mount Sinai. CONVICTS will continue to work on its own projects independently, and will also be able to pull in media support from Mediabrands when needed. 

Mediabrands was also attracted to CONVICTS because of its expertise as a publisher with its own editorial following. The group has writers, directors and filmmakers in-house.

“Having the eye of a publisher that's attracting an audience is a great asset when we're looking to create content for our clients,” Gaul said.

When CONVICTS is a fit, Mediabrands will bring the group in early on in the process so its thinking can permeate throughout a project. While not every client will be for CONVICTS, the group will be helpful as clients try to break through traditional ad formats to connect with consumers in new places. 

“This is really around established brands that are looking to future proof,” Gaul said. “They've got to know how to talk to these more discerning audiences.”

Mediabrands content studio launched in November to pull together creative and content expertise from across the media agency network as clients seek ideas that fit the platforms consumers experience them in. In April, the group brought on McCann Worldgroup Japan CCO Alejandro Lopez to head up the studio in the U.S.

The studio produces a range of content for clients, from long-form documentaries, to social media content to assets for performance media buys.

“It's about planning media and content together off the same experiences vs. building content at the end to fill holes in a media plan,” Gaul said. “You need to be as close to the media data and intelligence as possible to make that work."

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