Michael B. Jordan Directs Bacardi Short Film For ‘Angel’s Share’ Campaign

Bacardi has released a short film called “The Angel’s Share” that highlights the sunny, Caribbean home of its new premium rum collection. This marks the first digital ad campaign for Bacardi Reservo Ocho. The spot was co-directed by actor/filmmaker Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) and Emmy award-winning music video director Paul Hunter.

In the alcoholic beverage business, there is a saying that any alcohol that evaporates during the distillery process is referred to as “the angel’s share.” Bacardi’s new campaign of the same name tells the myth of sun angels—heavenly beings that help themselves to the rum evaporating inside barrels. Because the Caribbean is so sunny, and Bacardi rum is aged outdoors, it evaporates more than other spirits, the film claims.

Bacardi first connected with Jordan during No Commission, the brand’s art event last year. When it came time to produce “The Angel’s Share,” they invited him to take part.

“Watching Michael on set during the shoot was amazing,” said Roberto Ramirez Laverde, vice president of Bacardi for North America. “He has an eye for storytelling and was extremely adept at bringing the story to life.”

“Angel’s Share” consists of one main film called “Myth of the Sun Angels” which has been cut into three shorter chapters: Taste, Provenance and Heritage. Each chapter follows a different character: a Maestro de Ron, a bartender and a Bacardi family member – who each tell their own version of the angel’s share story.

The campaign will run through connected TV channels like NFL, DirecTV, Turner, Sling and ESPN), YouTube channels Vevo, Condé Nast and Complex as well as OTT via Hulu, ABC, CBS, NBC and Univision. Bacardi will also promote the campaign on its owned channels alongside Jordan’s personal Instagram.

In addition to digital channels, Bacardi will run out-of-home (OOH) in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington D.C. and Atlanta markets.

Bacardi is hoping to garner attention for its premium portfolio with the new campaign. Earlier this year, the brand added Añejo Cuatro and Gran Reserva Diez to its pre-existing Gran Reserva Limitada series and redesigned the packaging for Reserva Ocho.

Now is a good time to bolster Bacardi’s premium offerings, as spirits experience a surge in revenue. In 2017, supplier sales of whiskeys, rums, vodkas, and other spirits rose four percent to a new high of $26.2 billion. This growth is fueled in part by millennials’ taste for premium spirits, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).

Alcoholic “leftovers” have become a common topic of marketing lately. While evaporated alcohol goes to the angels, whatever soaks into the barrels becomes the “devil’s cut,” according to Jim Beam. The bourbon brand began extracting and bottling the wood-soaked liquid in 2011 and marketed it with the help of actress Mila Kunis.

Why Brand Collaboration Will Always Be In Fashion

Originally published at AW360.

Collaboration marketing is on the rise. Take a look at the fashion industry and you’ll quickly understand why.

The new media landscape that marketers are facing is extremely complex. As a result, brands have been forced to think creatively in order to stand out. Today, it takes more than just a good product to succeed—marketers need to leverage the advantages of digital and social media and use these platforms to genuinely connect with consumers in order to build narrative around their brand’s values. This has been a guiding principle for years, yet many companies have done relatively little to change their approach to brand development. Fearful of risk, they make do with the same approach that they’ve employed for years – and in turn, they see profits dwindle.

On the other hand, those who embrace new media and are not afraid to take a few risks will ultimately see the most success. Engagement and customer experience need to be prioritized, and must be catered to in a way that feels authentic. Collaboration is an ideal solution: a smart marketer’s Swiss Army Knife, brand collaborations both engage and excite consumers, and when executed well, will generate long-term loyalty.

Look around and I’m sure you’ll begin to notice examples of collaboration in your daily life. Perhaps you have a bag of Doritos by Taco Bell chips in your cabinet. A Disney x Dooney and Bourke handbag in your closet? Or perhaps the Beats by Dre wireless headphones (now owned by Apple) and a SoulCycle x lululemon tee in your gym bag? These are just a few mainstream examples, but brand collaborations can also be more nuanced, situational or contextual as our world becomes increasingly connected by technology. With this in mind, companies across all stages of development, from startup to corporate, can utilize a collaborative strategy to grow an audience and enhance their position within their specific niche of the market.

But not just any collaboration will do – brands that partner with one another must also fit.

When there’s fit (shared values, goals and target audiences), brand collaborations not only shape perception, expand awareness and excite existing believers – they give everyone something to talk about. And in today’s media world, if you’re not being talked about, you’re irrelevant. Put another way, brand collaborations provide a simple heuristic link to an overwhelmed consumer: I have an affinity for X, so Y must be worth checking out too. While subtle, this sort of link has incredible filtering power.

In fact, co-branding and collaboration are no longer optional for a brand’s success: they’re a strategic imperative. When executed thoughtfully, with a clear line of communication and well-established mutual goal between both parties involved, these partnerships have enormous impact on a brand’s long-term outlook and profitability.

We can learn quite a bit about collaboration by looking at the fashion industry, a pioneer in new marketing strategy for decades. Leaders in this space understand the power that lies in creatively connecting the dots between various brands, including products, services, individuals, media and technology. Apparel is something tangible and lasting; buying clothing or shoes is an emotional decision and, when worn, becomes an extension of a consumer’s personal brand. Thus, a thoughtfully-executed collaboration of two or more brands, styles or designs can greatly enhance brand recognition and build an audience of like-minded individuals who become loyal to both labels involved.

Brand ‘collabos’ that are produced in limited quantities can be even more powerful. Take for example the much-talked-about Off-White x Nike sneakers. Virgil Abloh’s influence brought the classic Air Jordan style to new heights, and the limited-edition styles have flown off Nike’s shelves. When only small quantities are produced, these collaborative products are seen as ‘iconic’ and rapidly increase in value, even turning into collector’s items.

Kanye West’s partnership with Adidas is another good example in footwear. The “Yeezy Effect” brought in $2 billion more in sales for Adidas in 2015 than the company had averaged prior to the partnership, and has boosted the brand with a halo effect that is likely to stick around for at least a few more years. In April 2018, Kanye took to Twitter announcing that the Yeezy brand on its own will hit $1 billion this year.

Here in my backyard of Boston, MA, I’ve watched a number of leaders masterfully apply the collaboration playbook, including Mark Bollman, founder of sportswear brand Ball and Buck. Mark and his team have embraced collaboration as a core strategy when it comes to building authenticity and maintaining cultural relevance. The company is still growing and evolving, and Bollman credits collaboration as a key ingredient to his success—both that with other brands, and that which has taken place directly with the customer as a sort of co-creation process (yet another form of brand collaboration).

Ball and Buck’s very first product was a simple t-shirt that buyers could customize by selecting their own fabric, pattern, or color for the breast pocket. By allowing purchasers to influence the look of the product and take part in the design process, Bollman established an emotional connection and began building up the narrative of values behind his product: Specifically, that all Ball and Buck items are constructed thoughtfully, made by hand, and produced in the USA.

Co-creation with customers rooted the concept of collaboration deep into the company’s values, and eventually led to partnerships with other brands. One of Ball and Buck’s best-known products was a sneaker produced in collaboration with New Balance. The sneaker was a variation on the well-known 585 model, incorporating the New Balance silhouette with a Ball and Buck signature plaid, a design representative of the traditional New England hunting estate heritage. This resonated with the local audience and beyond, and the shoe (again, offered in limited quantities) sold out within hours of its launch.

Whether you’re developing a collaborative product or service, a unique experience, or a piece of content, you can significantly increase the likelihood of success by ensuring two things are in place:

  1. Your partnership is based on clear fit
  2. You’re developing something – whether product, service, experience, or content – that delivers value for your collective target audience

Off-White x Nike, Kanye x Adidas and New Balance x Ball and Buck collaborations all adopted this approach. As Mark Bollman explained in a recent interview, “We should only collaborate on a product if the result of the collaboration is better than the product we could have made independently. […] We don’t make shoes, we’re not good at making them and we don’t plan to make them. There’s a technical expertise that we’re not set up to do, and if we tried it wouldn’t be as good as what is currently on the market. Instead, we offer shoes through collaborations with those who do it really well like Danner Boots, New Balance, and PF Flyers.” Like any art form, brand collaborations don’t have to be complicated, but they do have to make sense.

Now it’s your turn. And if you need inspiration, just think about your favorite fashion collaboration and try to reverse engineer the fit and value proposition. I bet you’ll find these two elements clearly on display.

‘Spider-Man’ Brand Partners Swing Into Action To The Tune Of $115M

Brand partnership revenue for Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse is poised to become one of the largest for Sony Animation as names like Nike, Tencent and McDonald’s join the holiday marketing blitz.

The film will receive $115 million from global brands ahead of its December 14 release, Deadline Hollywood reports, outpacing the $80 million brand partnerships for The Grinch. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is expected to earn upwards of $30M at the domestic box office.

“The message of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is that anyone can wear the mask—it’s who you are that makes you a hero. That’s a message that resonates with these incredible global brands and sets a tone that this film will go beyond the box office to become a true worldwide event,” said Sony president of worldwide marketing and distribution Josh Greenstein.

That same tone will be integrated into each brand campaign as brands bridge the gap between product placement and real-world application.

One of the first brands that fans noticed in the Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse is Nike. The film’s main protagonist, a boy named Miles Morales, is seen wearing classic Nike Jordans. Nike is collaborating with Marvel and Sony to release the hero’s shoes into the real world for purchase.

Tencent QQ is launching a campaign to reach its 800 million users in China that will include augmented reality, digital stickers and traditional display advertising for Into the Spider-Verse. The app will also make an appearance in the film.

Synchrony Bank is hosting an experiential pop-up in Brooklyn that recreates locations from the movie and will adapt its “Save Like a Hero” campaign to include Spider-man themes.

Holiday travelers may catch a glimpse of Spider-man and his friends from the movie, as well. Genting Cruise Lines is hosting a Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse experience that include interactive activities and themed meals.

Of course, no superhero film would be complete with a toy line in time for holiday gift-giving. Special toys can be found inside McDonald’s Happy Meals and in stores with a series from Hasbro. There’s no toy inside, but General Mills Cereal launched a campaign for the film and printed Spider-Verse characters on 12 million boxes of breakfast cereal.

Other brand partnerships include Vodafone, Garmin, Wacom, Adobe and The Ad Council, which will launch an anti-bullying campaign starring the film’s characters.

National TV Ad Revenue Flattened By NFL Losses; Digital Growth Continues

The national advertising marketing experienced modest growth for the month of October, according to data provided by Standard Media Index (SMI). While digital continues to lead in terms of ad spend, TV ad revenue was dragged down by the NFL.

SMI reports that national advertising grew seven percent YoY in October. Unsurprisingly, digital was the strongest performer with growth of 17 percent, followed by out-of-home at 10 percent. Marketers invested in radio ads in October at a growth rate of seven percent while print continued its downward slope in terms of popularity, dropping 27 percent YoY.

NFL Losses Drag TV Ad Growth

National Television ad revenue was flat in October despite single-digit increases in cable and primetime spots and a drop in make-goods.

The reason? Live sporting events experienced a decline in television revenue last month. The NFL had 27 games in October compared to 31 games in October 2017, which didn’t help matters, either. NFL revenue fell 19 percent and the number of 30-second commercial spots fell six percent.

“The effects of the lower audiences last year are spilling into this season, as NFL revenue is down,” said James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index. “Nevertheless, as the market reports improving viewership, we will see how these trends change over the remaining months of the season.”

Where the NFL fumbled, the 2018 World Series hit a Home Run and earned FOX $121.6 million in ad revenue. Even with fewer games—five compared to seven last year—the average revenue per game was up 27 percent.

Upfront On The (Slow) Upswing

The upfront market grew a modest two percent in October. Meanwhile, the scatter market fell four percent YoY. This drop was attributed to more upfront buys as marketers tried to avoid scatter premiums, SMI reports.

“The linear television season has started sluggishly as expectations of robust demand haven’t yet materialized in the market,” said Fennessy. “Demand from marketers continues to outpace audience erosion even if that is due to more limited digital video advertising options due to ad-free delivery.”

Primetime Remains Premium

The 2018-2019 season is upon us, resulting in a three percent revenue increase for primetime original programming. (SMI notes that primetime, by their definition, is on-syndicated, new episodes for comedy, drama, and reality subgenres.)

Average prices for a 30-second commercial remained flat during primetime. Still, advertisers paid an average premium of 158 percent to advertise during a season premiere. Among the highest grossing shows were ABC’s A Million Little Things, FOX’s 9-1-1, and NBC’s Manifest and New Amsterdam.

SMI observed a highly consolidated market where the top eight media owners account for 86 percent of Entertainment ad revenue. In fact, the top 12 media owners account for 94 percent of ad revenue. Comcast Corp. was the largest TV network group by Entertainment revenue in October at 18 percent.

HBO, Netflix, 20th Century Fox Among Top Honors At Clio Entertainment Awards

Creative marketing efforts for brands like 20th Century Fox, HBO and Netflix were honored at The Clio Entertainment Awards Thursday night. From Blu-ray package takeovers to experiential activations, these campaigns stood out for creativity, innovation and for capturing the public’s attention in entertaining ways.

20th Century Fox: Deadpool 2

Twentieth Century Fox was named Studio of the Year due in no small part to their ongoing (and unusual) Deadpool 2 marketing efforts.

“The Ultimate Anti-Marketing Campaign” was honored for the studio’s theatrical partnerships to help launch Deadpool 2 into the public conscious. The studio took home Clio Grand awards for its Bob Ross parody, “Paintings,” Blu-ray package takeover “Photobomb” and a San Diego Comic-Con toilet seat cover that said, “This is all Fox could afford!” Twentieth Century Fox and its agency partners also received a Clio Grand honor for its 30-second trailer called “Holy $#itballs.”

Astonishingly, the studio was presented with a Clio Grand award for every Deadpool 2 campaign entered.

If garnering audience and media attention is a reason for winning, it’s no wonder that 20th Century Fox took home the top honors. Marketing for its Deadpool sequel has including everything from coloring pages to a Blockbuster store, and they’re not done yet. The studio will release Once Upon a Deadpool for a limited theater engagement this holiday, providing teenagers and their families with a PG-13 cut starring Fred Savage.

HBO: Westworld

HBO took home a Clio Grand for its SXSW experiential marketing campaign that dropped guests into a 90,000 square-foot ‘wild west’ town. The experience was littered with Easter eggs designed to promote Westworld‘s second season.

Decorated, detailed and staffed by 66 actors, the secluded Westworld SXSW activation gained so much attention that the campaign earned 1.9 billion impressions in social media and news coverage. Tickets sold out in just two minutes.

Westworld easily became the most talked-about activation at the show. AList was in attendance and caught up with HBO’s director of program marketing and strategy.

“There is a lot of fertile ground with Westworld,” Steven Cardwell told AList. “The universe of the show makes it a marketer’s dream to further build it out and engage fans. We’re going beyond the impression of a traditional advertisement at SXSW. It’s about creating a true experience that brings impact and buzz for us.”

Netflix: Netflix is a Joke, Stranger Things

The popular streaming platform took home three Clio Grands in 2018.

When Netflix wanted to tease its new comedy line-up, it used cryptic billboards that said simply, “Netflix is a Joke.” The guerrilla marketing campaign had consumers wondering whether it was an ad or an attack. The truth was revealed at the Emmy Awards when Netflix debuted a series of ads in which stand-up comedians were inserted into popular shows like House of Cards, Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black. Both campaign elements—the billboards and subsequent TV spots—took home Clio Grands.

Another campaign winner was for the second season of Stranger Things. Netflix wanted to reach audiences in Brazil, who still hadn’t caught on to the show’s phenomenon. The company transformed its channel into one hour of free, ’80s-themed TV that included a free episode of Stranger Things and faux commercials that told viewers how to sign up on devices of the era.

Dubbed “Stranger Broadcast,” the TV takeover was a partnership with Brazil’s second-largest network, SBT. Additional commercials promoted fake products related to the series, such as bicycles and a “Walko Talko” and a documentary that mashed real news footage to imply chupacabra sightings were, in fact, the Demogorgon from Stranger Things.

See the full list of winners here.

Hotels.com Presents 10-Part Docuseries Featuring Jonathan Van Ness

Hotels.com helped Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness fulfill his dream of performing stand-up comedy in its first docuseries, “Hotels.comedy.” The 10-part series is a subtle reminder to consumers that booking 10 nights earns one free.

The first episode, “10 Nights with Jonathan Van Ness” debuted at a Reward Night Premiere Party on November 5, where Van Ness presented a screening at 1 Hotels Brooklyn Bridge. Hotels.com presented the show to the rest of us “beautiful people” on its YouTube channel Monday.

Van Ness earned a reputation on Queer Eye for his positive attitude and bubbly personality, which ties into Hotel.com’s “You do you and get rewarded” brand message. The brand sponsored his debut into stand-up comedy, documenting the journey both on-stage and in his hotel room after each show.

Hotel.com’s “You do you and get rewarded” campaign launched five months ago with a series of spots starring Captain Obvious. The campaign likens earning a free night to activities like dancing with teddy bears, goat yoga or snuggling in bed with a bunch of pugs.

With its new docuseries, Hotels.com has the potential to appeal to a number of audiences, not the least of which being fans of Van Ness and Queer Eye. The Netflix series is a reboot of the Emmy Award-winning reality show and debuted with a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes (it currently sits at 93 percent.)

According to a recent study by Community Marketing and Insights, 45 percent of US respondents said that being LGBTQ-friendly is a top concern for picking a travel destination. Seeing Van Ness welcomed and cheered by Hotels.com and its attendees may convince audiences that the company and by extension, the hotels it books, are safe for the high-spending LGBTQ demographic.

The US hotel industry experienced growth last year in occupancy and average daily rate (ADR), according to Nasdaq. Modest demand growth led to a three percent jump for revenue per available room (RevPAR) over 2016—good news for an industry being disrupted by Airbnb.

‘Deadpool 2’ Recut As ‘Once Upon A Deadpool’ Holiday Film Starring Fred Savage

Deadpool 2 will be released again in theaters this holiday as Once Upon a Deadpool—a PG-13 cut more suitable for family viewing. The limited engagement raises money for charity and features new scenes with Fred Savage that were shot in the style of The Princess Bride.

From December 12 to 24, Once Upon a Deadpool will play in select theaters and donate $1 for every ticket sold to “Fudge Cancer,” a charity whose name was also been cleaned up for the occasion.

In the new version, Deadpool kidnaps Fred Savage and forces him to recreate scenes from The Princess Bride. With no other choice, Savage sits in bed while listening to Deadpool relay the events of Deadpool 2.

Savage kept the gag going outside of filming, as well, telling Deadline: “While my participation in this film was anything but voluntary. I am happy to learn that Fudge Cancer will be the beneficiary of this shameless cash grab.”

The film, for all intents and purposes, will serve as a branded, gonzo version of the original Deadpool 2, serving to promote the franchise with a standalone holiday release. The only example in recent memory that could be compared to Once Upon a Deadpool is the Uncle Drew feature film that began as a Pepsi ad.

The new scenes between Ryan Reynolds and Savage will compensate for any R-rated missing material, which is probably substantial. Even with the new scenes, the running time of Once Upon a Deadpool is about three minutes shorter than Deadpool 2.

Superhero movies are traditionally rated PG-13 as to appeal to that coveted four-quadrant model—males and females both over and under the age of 25. However, when Deadpool was greenlit for production, Reynolds refused to compromise on the namesake character’s trademark vulgarity. In fact, a PG-13 announcement was made as an April Fool’s Day joke to hit that point home.

The gamble paid off, making Deadpool the best-performing R-rated film in history. The sequel was another financial success, bringing in over $734 million globally. Ever since the anti-hero’s blockbuster, foul-mouthed debut, however, parents and studio executives alike have requested a cleaner version that appeals to a wider audience.

Now that Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, Once Upon a Deadpool may serve as a test to see if families will put their money where their mouth is—after all, the character is, by nature, a vulgar superhero that can get away with things you can’t put in a family film. Anything else may be seen as a compromise for the sake of money.

Red Bull’s Latest Campaign Goes Retro With Pac-Man Partnership

Red Bull and Bandai Namco launched a joint Pac-Man campaign on Thursday that is fueled by nostalgia and caffeine. The partnership includes limited-edition cans, branded mazes and other collaborations designed for cross-promotion.

From now until May 1, 2019, consumers can buy specially-marked Pac-Man cans of Red Bull. Fans can then “pop to unlock” one of three Red Bull-themed mazes inside the Pac-Man mobile game. The codes are hidden under the pop tab of the cans, with three codes to collect in all.

Unlocking the Red Bull Pac-Man levels also teaches our yellow friend a new trick for the first time in 40 years. After eating Red Bull cans, Pac-Man can shoot lightning at the ghosts, allowing players to defeat them from a distance for the first time in franchise history. Cherries have been replaced with Red Bull letters on each branded level.

“After nearly 40 consecutive years of chasing ghosts, even Pac-Man sometimes needs a Red Bull,” said Toshihiko Naoe, director of mobile at Bandai Namco Entertainment America in a press release.

Red Bull created a dedicated micro-site that features a digital Pac-Man soundboard. For a limited time, visitors can mix and play with all the iconic sound effects from the game, from ghosts to sirens and the 8-bit melody fans will recognize instantly.

The Red Bull Air Force—a dedicated team of skydivers—created a YouTube video to commemorate the partnership called “Real-Life Pac-Man Goes Skydiving.” Professional skydiver Jon Devore, dressed as Pac-Man, plummets through the air and is pursued by “ghosts.” One by one he defeats them by pulling their shoots before pulling his own, landing safely to chomp another day.

Both Pac-Man and Red Bull made their debuts in the 1980s. Aside from that, the brands did not indicate a particular reason for this partnership—other than it was fun, of course.

Pandora’s New VP Of Brand Marketing Discusses Latest Campaign

Pandora launched a new campaign called “Sound On” that connects with holiday travelers along each point of their journey. The slogan was chosen as a kind of battle cry, declaring that sound—whether that be music or podcasts—can help make a stressful situation better.

“Sound On” will be featured in high-traffic airports, buses and railroad stations across the country as well as a 250 foot LED billboard at the Oculus transportation hub in NYC. “Sound On” features approximately 1,200 different iterations, developed to coincide with specific travel moments and destinations. Signs are strategically placed to coincide with a particular travel experience such as waiting at baggage claim or dealing with a canceled flight. For example, one sign says,” Lost Luggage? Grin and bear BLARE it.”

“We wanted to make sure that we’re reaching and engaging users in a way that feels very specific to that exact moment that they’re in,” Pandora’s newly appointed VP of brand marketing and communications Brad Minor told AList.

“We took a very focused approach on how we tell a macro story about holiday travel, but then made every single touch point feel like it was very personalized for that moment.”

Users will experience different playlist suggestions depending on where they are located when they open the app. A traveler in Nashville, for example, would find country Christmas music while someone landing in Oakland would be greeted with hip-hop.

Pandora is, by nature, a personalized experience, but it lives exclusively in a digital environment. Rather than meet consumers on its home turf, the in-house creative team devised a campaign that focuses on a common human experience.

“We looked at the landscape and what our competitors are doing across the board,” Lauren Nagel, VP and executive creative director for Pandora. “So many [competitors] are focused on content but we wanted to focus on context.”

Nagel led Pandora’s in-house team on the project and once hired, Minor stepped in to help oversee its launch.

“I think what I really love about the approach that we have here is that we don’t view the creative team as our internal agency,” said Minor. “It’s not an agency-client relationship, it’s a true partnership in every since of the word.”

“Lauren and I, even this short time have an unnaturally warm and friendly relationship and we view both sides of the equation and understand that we are successful together and that we need to figure out these challenges quickly in real-time, we need to be able to iterate on the fly.”

Considering the rising popularity of podcasts—and brands marketing on/with them—Nagel explained that “Sound On,” rather than “Music On” was a more inclusive choice of slogan.

When you have over 71 million listeners, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to a marketing strategy. Nagel and Minor explained that Pandora avoided the “creepiness factor” by telling a universal holiday travel story while gearing messages toward specific moments.

Minor joined Pandora just two weeks ago, but he’s excited about the future of the brand. The key, he says, will be to resonate with consumers in a unique way. Chances are very good that “Sound On” will become the rallying cry of many a future Pandora campaign.

“We’re really focused on changing the conversation to less about the content we have but the context in which you’re receiving that content and how we’re delivering it,” said Minor.

“If you think about this notion of ‘life is better with sound on,’ it literally opens up endless opportunities for us to build campaigns around that. It could be seasonal, a cultural moment in the news, key events like Grammys, etc—all those moments are really fertile ground for us to build campaigns and creative to support and show how those moments are made better with sound on.”

MTV, Ad Council Launch Female-Focused IGTV Series For National STEM Day

MTV, Facebook and The Ad Council have launched a weekly video series on IGTV that encourages girls to pursue their interests in STEM.

A new, five-part series called #wcwSTEM (Women Crush Wednesday STEM) debuted on IGTV Wednesday just in time for National STEM Day on November 8. MTV’s weekly program stars Holland Roden (Teen Wolf) as she interviews five female role models in science, technology, engineering and math.

MTV’s cause marketing initiative was created exclusively for Instagram through a Facebook Anthology partnership. The IGTV show will be promoted through donated support from Facebook. #wcwSTEM coincides with The Ad Council’s She Can STEM campaign, which began in September.

The first episode features sound engineer and music producer Alana Da Fonseca as she talks about her role in the music industry. Subsequent episodes will have Roden interviewing Crystal Lee, an environmental civic engineer, Dr. Dijanna Figueroa, a marine biologist and teacher, Amber Hardin, a model and effects designer at Nickelodeon and Diana Trujillo, Robotics Surface Mission Lead for NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission.

#wcwSTEM was produced by an entirely female production crew. It will run on MTV’s IGTV channel throughout November and December.

MTV is no stranger to cause marketing, partnering with Rock the Vote since 1990. When students staged a nationwide walkout to protest school shootouts, MTV turned its broadcast off for 17 minutes to show support.

The Viacom network is appealing to its 12-34-year-old audience with a message of support, especially among young girls. This is especially pertinent on Instagram, where the appearance of perfection is central to its users. Girls may fear that looking like a model is more important than their STEM-related passions—so MTV is assuring them that being smart is cool, too.

MTV is among several brands testing the long-form, vertical video waters of IGTV and female empowerment is definitely on the schedule.

Stella Artois made its debut in September with “The Art of Living,” a series that highlights five artisans—two of which are female—who share their definitions of a life well-lived. Gillette partnered with female directors the same month for an IGTV campaign called “Her Shot” and Mercedes-Benz used the platform to tell its story of how Bertha Benz and the first road trip.