Brand safety is more than just a digital issue, says Hypetap founder Detch Singh

Melbourne-based Influencer marketing platform, Hypetap, has added a range of artificial intelligence-driven tools to its service hoping to address marketers’ brand safety concerns about influencer campaigns.

“I don’t think brand safety is a digital issue, I think it’s a problem across all media and the onus is on all providers to show they are addressing those concerns,” co-founder and CEO Detch Singh told Mumbrella.

Singh: “It’s up to us as providers to actually show those elements of trust”

“There’s been a lot of press about people just don’t trust social any more,” Singh said. “It’s up to us as providers to actually show those elements of trust and say, ‘Look, here are the risks you can typically face and here’s how they are being addressed’.”

The Melbourne-based startup was founded by Singh and fellow University of Melbourne student Nikhil Madhok in 2014. The company now employs 16 people including former Nuffnang Australia staffer, Chris Morfis and Nick Robson, who was previously the executive group sales director of Unruly.

Hypetap was born out of the founders’ electronics business where they found influencer marketing was effective but difficult to manage.

“We found that while it was so effective, it was really cumbersome working with so many publishers. It was an absolute nightmare,” Singh said.

“We set up a self-service platform, then a lot of brands and agencies come to us and said ‘Look you guys understand this landscape, it’s quite nuanced and it’s quite difficult to execute effective campaigns on your own so would you do it for us?’ That was our first step to becoming a full-service provider.”

The new features announced by Hypetap include a profanity check on influencers’ posts and flagging any potential conflicts for brands.

“With this new feature set, when we put together a proposal for a client, we’re able to vet an influencer on a number of factors. With the new technology suite, we’re able to vet conflicts so if you are, for example,  a major TV brand, we’re able to check against competitors and make sure this influencer hasn’t been working with another TV brand over the last 12 months for example.

“We’re able to do a complete conflict assessment and be able to do a profanity assessment and say ‘Okay, how much of this influencer’s content has been borderline?’ and ‘How much profanity takes place?’ then we are able to use the brand’s brief and see if they are still a fit.

“Some brands are comfortable with certain levels of profanity or conflict and others are more conscious of it, but we let them make that call.”

Singh was optimistic when Mumbrella suggested the influencer marketing industry is facing challenges as brands pull back campaigns following various brand safety scares, and indicated the business is looking towards international expansion.

“We’re seeing a lot of growth in agency and brands who are doubling down on influencer marketing so the focus is to consolidate here before we push overseas. We already have clients overseas, but we’re 18 or so months before putting bums on seats.

“All the different providers have a different take on the space, we’ve got our take and we act as an end-to-end campaign provider but really focused on brand safety, data transparency, automation. Our view is it’s all about the audience.”


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