Craving some unique business insights but don’t have the time for a TED Talk? Publicis Sapient would like to introduce you to The HOW Channel.
The streaming platform features short-form business content videos under 10 minutes in length. In a statement, Publicis Sapient referred to it as “The Quibi of Business.” While we understand the rationale, given the format, we still find that a perplexing comparison to make voluntarily, given Quibi’s struggles so far.
Questionable positioning aside, The HOW Channel timing and rationale make sense.
Publicis Sapient CMO Teresa Barreira explained that the idea for The HOW Channel came about shortly after social distancing measures took effect as a result of the pandemic as a way to bring value to clients through content.
“Events quickly pivoted to digital, and we were looking for something that would bring immediate value to our clients, and frankly, it was not a webinar,” she explained. “We also wanted a platform that allows us to humanize our content and make it easily digestible.”
Within 30 days, Publicis Sapient launched a pilot, testing the idea with different shows, formats and lengths. When its video content quickly outperformed its written thought leadership content, the agency came to the conclusion that a mobile-first video platform was the way to go.
“When we found ourselves in the work-from-home world, digital saturation rapidly increased,” Barreira explained. “There are a lot of digital events, and everyone jumped on video calls, but finding the right content is not always easy—especially business content that is engaging, educational and intrigues the viewer, all while creating a great experience.”
The platform will initially feature eight series across a variety of topics, ranging from Underhyped Overhyped’s look at consumer trends to Life Is Dataful’s data deep dive. One of the first to be created, The Brave Pursuit, is an interview-format series hosted by Publicis Sapient head of content Barbara Chai, a former senior editor at The Wall Street Journal. The series’ first episode features Square co-founder Jim McKelvey. Upcoming episodes will feature Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and Radical Candor author Kim Scott.
“We chose leaders who can really speak to digital business transformation, as innovators or chief executives, as well as people in our team that are passionate about an issue,” Barreira said. “The great thing about The HOW Channel is that we are bringing a wide range of topics and guests, from different industries and different backgrounds.”