African-American media firm Moguldom is banking on video content to attract big brand dollars. Advertisers including General Mills, Lincoln, and Toyota have wrapped their brands around Moguldom Media Group-produced web series like "She's The Boss" and fashion entrepreneur show "How I Made It."
Moguldom's first website hit was Bossip, a gossip site frequented by black women, a "sweet spot" audience niche for Moguldom, according to founder and CEO Jamarlin Martin.
"We're planting the flag around video," said Martin. "Advertisers are looking for something more that goes beyond your traditional display medium," he said, adding "The display business is not really growing."
General Mills worked with Moguldom to integrate a campaign for its Feeding Dreams charity program on lifestyle site Madame Noire, fashion site StyleBlazer, and aggregated video site 24Wired.tv, which the media firm refers to as "the African-American Hulu."
Madame Noire series "She's The Boss," a show spotlighting successful black businesswomen, was "perfect for Feeding Dreams in that it is aspirational in nature," said Don Moore, president of the Digital Division for multicultural agency Burrell Communications, which handled the General Mills effort. The campaign ran from July 2011 to February of this year, and used display ads, advertorial content, and a game component to raise awareness about the charity program, which commends African-American community members who strive to make their neighborhoods healthier.
For its client Toyota, Burrell has worked with Moguldom to develop advertorial content profiling women in technology fields.
"She's The Boss" and another series called "Mommy In Chief" recently featured pre-roll video ads for Corona, Build.com, and Three Musketeers.
"If you look at all the reams of data and research out there...you'll see that African-Americans embrace new technologies at a greater rate than non-Hispanic Whites," suggested Moore, pointing specifically to social media and mobile platforms. According to a 2011 Nielsen study, African-Americans watch the most mobile video.
"Mobile video is something that we're just now investing in," said Martin, who expects mobile advertising to grow 300 percent this year for Moguldom. The company offers mobile video interstitials and mobile content advertorial in addition to other mobile products. According to Martin, Honda and NBC Universal have run campaigns in Moguldom mobile content.
Martin said the focus on developing video content is "allowing us to get in the door for the first time" with brands that may not have advertised on the properties in the past. In addition to Burrell, the firm works with multicultural agencies such as Footsteps and UniWorld. It began building a direct sales team in 2011 that now counts five people.
Ninety percent of Moguldom's direct sales come through culturally-focused or African-American agencies, said Martin. Around 50 percent of ad revenue is from ad networks.
"Our big bet now and over the next three to five years is going directly to smart TVs," said Martin, who is planning a subscription digital TV service featuring short-form video and documentaries. He still envisions a place for advertisers on that would-be platform, he said.
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Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.
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