Maker content boss warns brands time is running out for celebrity endorsements

Erin McPherson, chief content officer at Maker Studios

Erin McPherson, chief content officer at Maker Studios Newfronts Presentation in New York yesterday.

One of the world’s biggest YouTube content channel owners has warned brands globally celebrity endorsements will give way to “grass roots brand evangelists” in the next five years as marketing gets more personal.

During her presentation at the Digital Newfronts in New York overnight, Maker Studios chief content officer Erin McPherson warned the audience: “The rules are already blurring – think about it –  publisher, distributor, celebrity, advertiser, all are reversing roles constantly.

“Maker is a testament to this, our company is powered by 55,000 digital creators and for those of you who are the least bit sceptical – you are next. The personalisation and democratisation of brands is inevitable.

“Over the next five years marketing campaigns will no longer hinge on endorsements and traditional A-listers, rather they are will be powered by hundreds or thousands of grass roots brand evangelists who cultivated legitimacy with their different communities.”

Maker Studios creates short form online video content and claims to have 650m subscribers to its various YouTube channels, making shows including Pewdiepie and Friends, The Getup, The Moms View Show and Dino Yacht Club.

McPherson highlighted how many ways consumers can now make and share content and that this was changing how a content provide like Maker, which is one of Youtube’s biggest partners, operates.

“The world has never had more avenues and opportunities to be told, shared, liked, pinned, snapped, vined, reblogged, meerkated, periscoped am I missing anything – basically to be reinvented and reimagined in every possible format,” she said.

“This fragmentation cuts both ways. How do we get these stories heard, seen, shared, enjoyed? And what is the promise of a fragmented future?”

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 8.29.20 pmMaker, the six year old studio bought by Disney last year, argues marketing is becoming highly segmented and that brands and their agencies must stand out or be accused of hypocrisy or exploiting a situation.

“Brands will need to stand for something, to embody more than just what they are marketing,” said McPherson. “To be more than a product and actually shift from presentational to personal.

“For decades ago what you were selling was enough, but now who you are is more important.

“The shows you’re seeing today weren’t created with one destination in mind. At Maker we think of distribution as connecting the right content with the right audience across all platforms.”

“We are in the realms where a piece of content can be consumed and consumed again in linear television, AVOD, SVOD, TVOD and then be reimagined across platforms like Vine and Snapchat.

“The phrases paid, earned and owned media take on entirely new meanings.”

Ynon Kreiz, president of Maker Studios

Ynon Kreiz, president of Maker Studios

Ynon Kreiz, president of Maker Studios, was also keen to highlight last year’s deal which saw company bought by Disney.

“Being part of the Walt Disney Co. the world’s largest media organisation has given us access to some of the most beloved brands and franchises in the universe,” he said.

Kreiz claimed Maker is now the largest network on YouTube with some 10bn views per month, 650m subscribers and 55,000 channels. He also said Maker had some 200 shows in development, and 30 currently in production.

Nic Christensen in New York


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