BuzzFeed reached across the aisle for its first executive creative producer, bringing Summer Anne Burton from BuzzFeed BFF, a creative unit devoted to native content for social platforms.
"Summer helped us crack our distributed model, which has had an incredible impact on our business and the industry," wrote Frank Cooper, BuzzFeed's CMO and chief creative officer, in a memo provided to Adweek.
Burton, who will report to Cooper, will be tasked with creating content for brands that doesn't necessarily exist on BuzzFeed.com today. BuzzFeed has been looking for ways to evolve its branded content efforts, which account for all of its advertising revenue because it doesn't sell display ads.
"We're going to make sure that our clients and our teams both benefit from that R&D," said Cooper in the memo. "Content by brands can't just be 'good branded content,' but must be as good as anything out there."
Burton has been with BuzzFeed for four years. During that time, she built out the BFF team and spearheaded efforts around new content formats.
Burton's move from editorial to creative is also part of an effort to increase collaboration between the two, including sharing resources. Editorial staffers will not be creating content for brands, and BuzzFeed News will remain wholly independent.
Cooper's full memo is below:
As you know, since Q4 of last year, we have been in the process of transforming the Creative department. We have set forth an aspirational goal of becoming "the North star for how brands communicate with their audiences." As part of that transformation, we outlined an organizational structure that promised new leadership on the team.
I'm happy to share that we've landed on a hire for Executive Creative Producer from inside the walls of BuzzFeed. Summer Anne Burton will be coming over from Editorial (BFF) to help build a world-class creative team and production environment for creative work.
As some of you probably know, Summer has an amazing track record at BuzzFeed starting 4 years ago as an editor and writer. From there, Summer went on to unlock new formats and frames, leading efforts around quizzes and identity content, and had the opportunity to build out BFF where she managed a team to grow new platforms and franchises. She's worn a lot of hats, has relationships across the whole company, and has a heart for managing creative people.
Within her role as Executive Creative Producer, Summer will be focused on managing and accelerating cross-collaboration between edit and creative to further the sharing of data and insights, tools, processes and resources. Your feedback in the employee survey was clear that we needed to focus on cross-departmental efforts and this move will help unlock that. We'll be trying out new collaborative programs internally including a speaker series between Creative and Edit, classes, and more opportunities for the creative team to have independent unbranded work published on our site or social channels.
Summer helped us crack our distributed model, which has had an incredible impact on our business and the industry, and we're going to make sure that our clients and our teams both benefit from that R&D. Content by brands can't just be "good branded content," but must be as good as anything out there. It must be industry-defining work that impacts culture. Some of the best ads in the world were made by this team, and with Summer's addition, it marks an exciting time for us and the industry. And it's only just the beginning.
Join me in welcoming Summer!