WPP CEO Martin Sorrell on Tuesday launched a digital content agency called Truffle Pig as a part of a tripartite with the Daily Mail and SnapChat, describing it as "a new way and new approach" to generate revenue.
Sorrell, the founder and chief executive of WPP, said that as the media industry continues to evolve, and amid a swathe of global clients currently reviewing their media requirements, "technology, data and content are critically important" for differentiation.
Truffle Pig will not be tied to working with WPP’s advertising clients or with the Daily Mail as the sole media partner, instead it will aim to work across the media and ad industry.
The digital content agency will specialize in content planning, development and creation, as well as amplification, and launches first in the US with plans for an international rollout to follow.
Sorrell said: "In a digital world overflowing with content, consumers crave quality. A next-generation company, Truffle Pig combines the best in media, content and user experience to satisfy people’s appetite for great storytelling – and inspire brand engagement, loyalty and sales."
Truffle Pig willl use DailyMail.com, Elite Daily and SnapChat to trial and test original concepts for brands in "story-driven marketing," but the three founders were keen to stress that the agency's content and services will extend to working with any digital properties best suited to a client's needs.
The chief executive of Truffle Pig will be Alexander Jutkowitz, currently managing partner of Group SJR. He called it an "upstream agency" and claimed that it was the kind of initiative he had wanted to do with WPP for "about five years."
He said: "I always felt the idea that we were working with them [WPP] at arm's length, while more and more content creation, creative and media planning became more integral to what we were doing. It just made sense for us to be more tightly embedded with them.
"This is an upstream agency. It sits at the intersection between client needs and platforms and it sits upstream from where the content will be deployed. At the time where everything gets done at Truffle Pig, the question is asked, 'Where will it live? How will it be chopped up? How will it be deployed?' "
Jon Steinberg, chief executive of Daily Mail North America, who will join the board of Truffle Pig, said: "Great content isn't just about making it, it's about having platforms for it, about — at least in our world — engaging Millennials, and having distribution. All of those things combined is what creates the perfect harmony and synergy."
He went on to note that while more and more content is being produced, the need is for "good to great content" adding, "video isn't video unless, actually, somebody watches it."
Explaining the decision to partner with SnapChat, the still-nascent digital and technology platform with 100 milllion daily uniques, Steinberg said it's best to "fish where the fishes are ... and SnapChat is where they are, and that's where we'll go."
Steinberg also attempted to shine some light on the reason behind the name of the agency, noting: "A truffle pig finds the rare and tasty. With the need for story-driven marketing on our sites and those of other media companies, and new ad formats like Snapchat, brands need a truffle pig."
There were no brands named as partners at the launch of Truffle Pig, but mocks up on screens featured Burger King logos.
Also at the launch, Evan Spiegel, the chief executive and co-founder of SnapChat, said the company was "obsessed with things that are obvious but haven't been done before, and this is one of those things."
This article first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk.