Here’s 23,000 Ways That Branded Content Is a S**t Show (Guest Column) – Variety

My company, Studio71, received a request for proposal not too long ago from a major Hollywood studio looking to hire an influencer to promote one of its upcoming projects. We were one of four shops competing for the work and we felt confident, given that we worked with the perfect talent for the project, that we could win the business.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out … for any of us.

Just days after submitting our proposal, I received a call informing me that every shop had pitched the same talent — our talent — for the project. The exec on the phone said that she had never seen anything like it. “Out-of-body experience” is how she described seeing four different proposals for the same talent, because such a scenario is unheard of in traditional entertainment.

Can you imagine if someone from CBS tried to sell “The Tonight Show?” Someone would be shot.

What made our story even worse was that while we all agreed on who the talent should be, we had four completely different visions for the product and (more importantly) the pricing associated with that talent. At the end of the day, we all looked stupid, the talent’s reputation took a hit, and nobody won the business.

Everyone who works in the branded content space has experienced a version of this nightmare. Although it’s been more than a decade since pioneering YouTube creators signed the first branded content deals, the branded content marketplace remains the Wild Wild West to this day.
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