EXCLUSIVE: As service businesses like talent agencies and management concerns steer directly into content creation, why not publicity firms? One of the oldest, Rogers & Cowan, has launched Clickable Media Group, an in-house studio content development and production arm. Its first project is Click My Closet, a digital entertainment and fashion short form series that features celebrities and their stylists, and gives online viewers the opportunity to locate and purchase the fashion content they see.
R&C reps talent like Chris Pratt, Denzel Washington, Mick Jagger, Elton John, Katy Perry and brands including Heineken and Mastercard, so there is fertile ground here to expand into celebrity and product driven content that connects talent directly to fan bases through social media. This is a brainchild of R&C CEO Mark Owens, who engaged in brand building initiatives for Bill Gates’ Corbis before taking the R&C reins. The production initiative arrived, he said, as the barriers for entry into the niche audience content game came down in the digital age. Click My Closet is geared for millennial women aged 21-44.
“We see our role as evolving with talent and brands,” Owens said. “Because we represent talent like Ashley Greene — she is the subject of an early Click My Closet episode –and we work with remarkable production and distribution partners globally supporting their content slates for public relations, it was a logical next step for our business to create and distribute our own content that is supported by brands that we and our partners across IPG can bring to the table.”
Clickable Media Group — with R&C and Greenberg Media Group — launch the webisodes May 15. They’ve shot 20 five-minute segments that will air through November, with Jaime King, Petra Nemcova and dancer/choreographer Cheryl Burke among the other subjects. Each segment takes viewers into the actual homes and wardrobes of well-known talent with their stylists, and beyond the voyeuristic look at the celebrity/stylist relationship as stars dress for anything from red carpets to dinners or Coachella, viewers can click outfits saved in their own closet. They can purchase them or share them with friends.
“As the media landscape continues to evolve and more than $200 billion is spent by marketers to support social platforms, Rogers & Cowan is capitalizing on a unique opportunity to integrate technology into content development, while coupling that with unique access to talent and the production arena,” said Rick Dudley Chairman & CEO of Octagon, R&C’s parent. “Mark’s vision, and his ability to drive change in two years at the helm has been tremendous. Rogers & Cowan has evolved into an agency that’s setting the course for integrated marketing and communications, while continuing to grow the business on which the firm was originally founded.”
Owens said all the production division launch was informed by his past experiences and realization that when it comes to celeb coverage, the driving force in consumption comes down to an intense public interest in what they wear, and how to get a version of it. He understands there will be inevitable questions about conflicted interests. This series and others in the future will be monetized by advertising that complements the subject matter, and he said the show will not charge the makers of fashion items featured in the closets of the celebs.
“We know our clients well, we are with them on planes, at junkets, and this felt like a way to help them build their brands,” he said. “We’re not competing with managers, agents or studios on big deals. This is more in line with snackable content, and native custom advertising. Everybody now has five minutes waiting for the metro or something else, a perfect moment for snackable content. That [marketplace] will be driven by talent, personalities and influencers. That was the impetus for us.”