[By: BI Insider] [Business Insider] [Read More]
The New York Times announced that it has bought Fake Love, a marketing agency that specializes in live experiences with a focus in branded content.
The NYT has invested heavily in branded content of lateand is now the publisher’s fastest growing ad formats. The agency has worked on creative projects with the Times in the past and has created both VR and AR for notable brands including Nike, Twitter, and Google.
The move comes at a good time for the Times, as it tries to find ways to combat its nearly 12% decline in total revenue in Q2 2016. However, during the company’s last earnings release, CEO Mark Thompson predicted that both digital ad and subscription revenue would accelerate in the second half of the year.
Here are a few ways that the acquisition of Fake Love plays into the New York Time’s digital strategy:
- Build out its marketing arm T Brand Studio. In March, the New York Times bought Hello Society, an influencer-marketing agency that utilizes social media influencers to drive engagement for specific branded content campaigns. Now, the company plans to leverage its Fake Love acquisition to work hand-in-hand with T Brand Studio — the company’s internal branded marketing department, of which has become the fastest growing part of The New York Times ad business, according to CRO Meredith Kopit Levien. Fake Love was named Ad Age's small agency of the year for the Northeast region and brings along big-name clients like American Express, Coca-Cola, and Samsung.
- Help offset digital ad declines. The NYT reported Q2 digital ad revenues of $45 million, down 7% from a year earlier, as digital display ads in Q2 wiped out gains in mobile and branded content. However, the company is predicting double-digit year-over-year (YoY) gains in digital ad revenue in Q3. This will likely be driven by more video ad and sponsored-content deals, both of which Fake Love can help with.
- Dive deeper into virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Over the last year, the NYT has deepened its commitment to delivering creative content through AR and VR. In fact, the company produced its 12th and 13th virtual reality films in Q2 2016, winning an Entertainment Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions festival for the film "The Displaced," as well as the Mobile Grand Prix prize for its VR app. With the addition of Fake Love, the company now has another weapon to better monetize its VR/AR content.