Gawker, Jezebel, Deadspin, io9, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Kotaku and Jalopnik are not for everyone. They attract influential millennial readers, and are best suited to those advertisers with a genuine proposition to that audience: especially entertainment, technology, automotive, digital, challenger and braver brands. Through association, the credibility of GMG editorial rubs off.
For entertainment clients, GMG offers several angles of approach. io9 is one of the leading sites covering science fiction and fantasy, the genres that underpin the Hollywood blockbuster. Kotaku covers the largest entertainment category of all, video games, from a fan’s perspective. Gawker, Jezebel and Deadspin drive discussion of popular culture.
Advertisers with Gawker brands can reach some of the heaviest and most influential consumers of video entertainment on the web. According to @Plan, Gawker Media Group visitors are between 2.3 and 3.2 times more likely than average to have a paid video streaming account with services such as Amazon Prime, HBO GO, Hulu Plus and Netflix. And they’re 90% more likely to have seen a movie in theaters in the previous month.
Many studio clients are looking for a well-designed environment in which to showcase their own trailers to their target audience. For others, Gawker’s creative team puts together native advertising programs around original video and fully integrated content programs.
For Difficult People, the Hulu show about a pair of struggling and jaded New York comedians, GMG’s Video team made a companion series of vignettes.
Netflix wanted to draw attention, not only to flagship shows such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, but to a back catalog of documentaries. Netflix Documentary Club was the presence we enabled for the video subscription service. Readers were prompted to watch a particular film, and then to come back to the documentary club the following week to discuss in depth. The exercise generated 2,000 comments and half a million views.
Apart from entertainment, Gawker Media Group’s strongest content and advertising category is technology, with Gizmodo an authority on gadgets and personal technology, Lifehacker dispensing how-to advice and recommendations of productivity apps, Kotaku reviewing videogame devices and accessories, and Jalopnik focusing on new automotive technology.
A GMG reader is 2.5 times more likely than the average web user to have purchased home electronics online in the last six months, or to have made a technology purchase through their work.
For a client such as LG, an interactive ad at the top of the page was key to reaching this influential and high-spending consumer. Others have taken advantage of the engaged readership with native advertising that sparks conversation.
For the FitBit personal health tracker, a native advertising campaign created authentic, relevant content such as this post and conversation on how to be a tourist in one’s own city. As an agency executive says, If a brand is able to be truly authentic and still talked about, that is what works.
As demonstrated by their readiness to transact straight from a product recommendation, Gawker Media Group readers are the ultimate digital consumers. It makes them natural fit for purely digital offerings such as online financial services and online retail. For instance, they’re 2.1 times more likely than the typical web user to have engaged in an online investment transaction in the previous 30 days, and 2.5 times as likely to have obtained a new credit card online. The company has sold 50,000 subscriptions to Amazon Prime.
Because Gawker writers and readers are independent and influential thinkers, challenger brands find the environment particularly compelling. Jalopnik’s writers are enthusiastic fans of the Mazda Miata and other vehicles from the innovative Japanese auto maker. Mazda — a brand which embraces defiance and adventure and the challenge of making great cars — was a natural partner for the Jalopnik Film Festival, held this year at the Barker Hangar in Los Angeles.
As part of a ride-and-drive experience, some readers were surprised to be joined by Adam Carolla as a passenger, which resulted in an amusing video that the client could use across social channels.
The festival was a huge success for the brand, the site, and the readers. Both days of the festival were well attended with 881 at the screening and party. Of the opening party attendees, 67% were in the Mazda target audience and 85% thought the sponsorship was a very good fit. Almost all guest surveyed — 97% — said they viewed Mazda more favorably after attending the event.
Says Mazda North American Operations: Mazda’s sponsorship of the Jalopnik Film Festival was a natural fit for us. To both Mazda and Jalopnik, driving matters. It quickly became apparent that Jalopnik was a good steward for Mazda’s brand message with the high-quality experience it provided to its Film Festival audience, from the car-focused films to the venues to working with us to create displays and activations that spoke as clearly to Mazda’s key audience as it did Jalopnik’s.
And the Gawker properties are obviously a match for braver brands confident enough to demonstrate personality and engage with readers. Gawker Media Group’s Deadspin was one of the launch partners for Jaguar’s Good To Be Bad campaign. In addition to a native and display advertising campaign on that theme, Deadspin co-hosted with the UK premium auto brand a Superbowl party featuring Colin Kaepernick, the star quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers.
In one of the most innovative campaigns we’ve worked on, for Ford Fusion, GMG’s creative team identified commenters both enthusiastic and critical of the new model, and flew them out to Los Angeles for a market research exercise in which their prejudices were challenged by real-life experience.
In one video of the encounter, US Top Gear host Tanner Foust took two commenters on a test drive, shutting down a two-mile stretch of the Mulholland Highway. The episodes were filmed by Tim Damon, one of the auto industry’s go-to commercial directors, posted on Ford Fusion’s YouTube page and amplified through advertising on GMG properties.
By showing the conversion of critics into fans, the campaign changed the whole tenor of the online conversation about the new model. Commenters and social media influencers may seem unpredictable to a marketer; when engaged by an authentic brand, a strong argument and a compelling experience, they are eminently persuadable.