BuzzFeed’s franchises have been built unlike any other brands before them

To kick off the afternoon of the second day of OMD UK’s Innovation Week, we were joined by Brant Mclean, BuzzFeed’s SVP Brand Strategy, Europe.

Brant spoke in detail about how the world’s leading tech-powered media company has transformed the digital media landscape and how they’ve turned their global distributed publishing network into a widely successful offering for advertisers.

First on the agenda was the evolution of social and mobile and how it has allowed us to connect to our audiences.

Starting with the early digital age where the likes of Yahoo and Vimeo dominated the digital media circuit and expanded their growth by providing consumers with archives of information on demand. The next stage of the evolution is the digital landscape we see today. We can now see what is being shared across the internet and more and more companies are investing in tools and tech to see these habits. This tech is allowing us to see what people like and how they behave, ultimately moving us closer to the audience. The last stage is social, the convergence of content and communication online.

So where does BuzzFeed fit into this digital evolution?

Well as Brant described, BuzzFeed will always care about sharing and the connection between two people. This is what’s helped BuzzFeed grow and create massive brands like Tasty, Boldly and Bring Me. BuzzFeed has been constantly evolving their business. Their Entertainment and News (transparent journalism) offerings, Product Labs (creating products based on social connections) and Technology (experimenting with AI) have grown immensely. This has led this media giant to have a massive cross-platform network with 9bn views across platforms each month, posting 600 times a day with 3.6m pieces of content globally.

Brant discussed, in short, the success of Tasty- BuzzFeed’s cooking video channel which has a winning formula for making short, engaging videos served up on Facebook. From its success, BuzzFeed has gone from viral video to publishing gold with the release of the Tasty Cookbook.

Where does BuzzFeed see itself going in the future?

Brant made it clear that BuzzFeed hasn’t peaked yet, as a company they have so much more to give and with brands like ‘Bring it on’ only six months old they are only at the beginning. The company is looking to expand their News offering as well as continuing to build content with platform partners for live shows (they have just launched one with Twitter).

Their overall aim is to become the media company of the future and to be an anticipator of how people will react with technology going forward.


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Harriet is part of the New Business and Marketing Team at OMD UK.

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