You can't buy me love, but The New York Times just bought Fake Love.
An experiential design studio with a focus on virtual reality and augmented reality, Fake Love will help expand T Brand Studio, the Times' internal marketing arm, according to an announcement this morning. The agency, which has offices in New York and Dubai, has already worked on experiential and creative projects with the Times, along with VR and AR projects and other live experiences for notable brands including Nike, Twitter, Sonos, Google and Coca-Cola.
T Brand Studio has already become the fastest growing part of the The New York Times Co.'s advertising business, said Meredith Kopit Levien, the company's evp and chief revenue officer, in a statement announcing the acquisition. Adding Fake Love will allow the Times to further integrate VR and AR into existing and future ad products.
"We've had a thesis around being able to uniquely support marketers across the whole content marketing supply chain—strategy, creative, distribution and measurement—and this acquisition adds to our ability to deliver extremely complex creative productions," she said.
Fake Love is actually the second agency the Times has acquired in 2016. In March, it bought Hello Society, an influencer marketing agency that uses social media stars to drive engagement for branded content campaigns.
"In conjunction with T Brand Studio we will be able to bring our progressive take on advertising, content connections and brand experience to more people in a broader, more diverse way," Fake Love co-founders Layne Braunstein and Josh Horowitz said in a statement. "Contemporary brands derive success and disrupt their categories with authentic storytelling and crafting genuine connections to their audiences."