How ATTN: Is Attracting Companies Who Want to Produce Socially-Minded Branded Content

Viewers trust the issues-based media company

ATTN:'s videos can receive tens of millions of views. Facebook: ATTN:
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With the ability to reach tens of millions of people with a single video, issues-based media company ATTN: has caught the attention of production companies looking to effectively reach a wide audience.

Founded in 2014, ATTN:’s coverage can range from the daily struggles that Syrians face to how everyday people talk about the “friend zone.” Taryn Crouthers, head of sales and brand partnerships, sees no difference in how the company can offer that same kind of coverage to their branded content offerings.

“We have a fact-based and established editorial voice,” she said. “Our audience shares our videos and articles only if an issue is important to them.”

“We’re benefiting from a trust halo,” said Crouthers.

Recently, ATTN: received 42 million Facebook video views in one day, across both of its pages. One video alone got over 40 million views.

According to Crouthers, other millennial- or digital-focused publishers create general interest news and entertainment content. What makes ATTN: different is its focus on what “hits on our audience’s passion points,” she said.

According to Crouthers, ATTN:’s audience is the “mature millennial”—people between 25 to 34 years old who might be going through multiple milestones like getting married, buying a house or figuring out their finances. ATTN: knows its audience faces certain issues surrounding those stages of life: parenting styles, environmental studies and many social justice themes surrounding the current political climate.

“If we can work with a brand to create content that aligns with our sensibilities and helps our audience understand what’s really going on,” said Crouthers, “that’s the ultimate goal.”

A few entertainment production companies, such as HBO and Participant Media, have worked with ATTN: to create branded content based on fact-based research and documentaries.

“ATTN: has created a popular and provocative way to highlight themes from our programs and reach viewers where they live,” said Sabrina Caluori, svp of digital media and marketing for HBO. “Their kind of storytelling provides a great balance of emotion and information that can be very effective in driving audiences to HBO to see more.”

“Now, more than ever, people want to feel like their voices are being heard,” said Crouthers.

ATTN: creates every piece of branded content in-house based on data from the company’s audience and insights teams in order to tell the most compelling, impactful and optimized story possible.

“When you consider that we’ve entered a new era of activism and conscientious consumers, people want to make a difference,” said Christina Kounelias, the evp of worldwide marketing for Participant Media, “we’re a good match.”

Their template works and resonates with highly engaged audiences,” she said. 

As millennials are a digitally engaged audience, they’re also just as socially engaged and want to connect and learn more about the world.

“From a consumer standpoint, it’s incredible to see such passion and important conversations surrounding branded content,” said Crouthers. “People in the comments tell us we give them hope, and there’s nothing better.”


@samimain Sami Main is social editor for Adweek, where she posts Adweek content onto social platforms and looks for creative ways to communicate what's new.