Alex Bogusky decided to go with The Wall Street Journal’s CMO Today blog to clear up all the smoke and mystery regarding his newest cause-driven project (which is not directly related to his other soon-to-launch cause-driven project).
As reported earlier, the new hot thing is a collaboration with media company Fusion, and it will focus on the sort of cause-based marketing that’s all the rage among the young folks.
The Boulder venture will be known as Fearless (homepage here), and its own tagline heralds “The birth of a new agency platform.”
What does that mean? Here’s the intro film:
Bogusky says that the “social impact” promotional model is “broken” on the client side despite agencies’ best efforts. As you can see from the clip above, the key element in this newly-developed equation is Fusion, which will use the power of digital distribution to ensure that millions of young people who watch its channel and follow its various accounts will actually see the work created by Fearless.
Fusion’s branded content division, however, will remain a completely separate entity.
Bogusky will serve as a creative advisor, though his official title remains unclear; joining him as co-founders are former CP+B VP/Director of Cultural and Business Insights Dagny Scott and Leslie Freeman, veteran of both CP+B and Media Arts Lab (the two worked together at government-focused PR firm Glover Park Group before leaving to help launch Fearless).
The only clients mentioned in the WSJ report are concert series Live Earth and privately-funded healthcare advocacy group The California Endowment.
Fusion’s own press release goes further (note that it omits any mention of CP+B’s best-known clients):
“The agency will develop multi-platform content spanning video, art, text, comedy, documentaries, television, events, and sharable content, all with an eye toward raising awareness and moving millennials to action on key issues and ideas that encourage positive change in the world.”
Here’s the key selling point:
“…the added value of a built-in millennial audience through Fusion’s television, social and digital platforms.”
Bogusky elaborates on his thesis, which will sound familiar to anyone in PR, advertising, or marketing: young people want to feel like the companies whose products they buy are performing some sort of social good.
“Mashing up agency and media solves a huge problem for socially-minded clients who have incredibly compelling messages but no way to find their audience…Although millennials are more interested in doing good, they aren’t motivated by the same old dry boring, righteous approach. They have the attitude that changing the world can and needs to be fun. And I happen to agree with that.”
What will the agency’s work look like? Will it partner with brands like Burger King, Kraft, or Frito-Lay if they happen to be working on environmental advocacy/corporate social responsibility projects? This remains to be seen.
In other news, advertising by any other name is still advertising.