This 22-Year-Old Built a Platform to Help College Creatives Land Jobs With Major Brands

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As a student at Syracuse University, Kelsey Davis was already landing video gigs with companies like Coca-Cola, Land Rover and Conde Nast. She quickly realized how difficult it was to be a creative freelancer in a high-intensity, academic environment and succeed at both. That’s when she had the idea to start Cllctve, a digital platform and multimedia agency (private beta launching Q1 2020) that connects college creatives looking for paying jobs with major brands, both at a global and local level. On this episode, we talk about Kelsey’s days as a freelancer, the inspiration to build Cllctve and how Gen Z is shaping a new wave of content creation, even from often over-looked Middle America.

Key Takeaways

Why do you think it’s so important for brands to start including Gen Z creatives in their content efforts?

“Traditional advertising agencies and in-house production teams are having trouble scaling their creative production process, while effectively maintaining quality control and authentic brand voice amongst Gen-Z consumers. By 2021 the content marketing industry will consist of agencies and brands spending over $400 billion annually, and 48% of this content will be consumed by Generation Z. Generation-Z is the generation that never knew a world without the internet and grew up learning how to make websites and videos before we were even thinking about college. We’re not only the largest growing group of content consumers but also the largest growing group of content creators in the world. If brands want to keep up with industry growth over time, they’ll need to not only start engaging more with Generation Z, but they’ll need to start hiring them.”

What type of content is resonating the most with you right now?

“I’m in love with long-form content that is strategically chopped into short-form segments depending on the viewing platform. Hasan Minhaj’s “PatriotAct” is the perfect example. When the episode airs, I usually find out about it on Instagram, watch it on Netflix, get a behind the scenes look on YouTube, and see feedback on Twitter. This enables me to engage with the same story across a variety of platforms, allowing me to dive deeper into the content show and naturally become a 360-fan.”

What’s one major misconception brands have about Gen Z when it comes to creative and content?

“Many brands presume we are nearly impossible to engage with due to our “8-second attention spans.” In reality, Generation Z consumers direct our time and energy towards content that consistently brings us value. If a brand is struggling to reach Gen Z, it’s probably because they haven’t made themselves a priority for their Gen Z consumers. Brands need to inherently become part of our lifestyle for us to consistently stay engaged.”

Nick is a video producer at Adweek and host of the Gen ZEOs podcast.