Amid the recent Upfront announcements from the major networks, Corus announced some significant moves in the digital space, including a partnership with edgy American digital brand Complex, which is behind hit web series Hot Ones and Sneaker Shopping.
Complex Networks, one of the top youth culture brands in the U.S. with the male 18-24 demo, boasts more than 750 million monthly views, and is best known for its slickly edited, au courant content featuring hip hop stars like Gucci Mane, Wiz Khalifa, and Lil Pump, in addition to celebrities ranging from Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson to actress Scarlett Johansson.
Corus will serve as the exclusive ad sales partner for Complex Networks in Canada and will license content from the networks’ library to be distributed on both linear platforms and on demand. Beginning this fall, Hot Ones – which pits celebrities against the spiciest of hot wings – will get a one-hour block on Global TV following Saturday Night Live. Corus will also bring hit digital series Sneaker Shopping to its digital and social channels.
Corus and Complex Networks are also collaborating on developing and producing new original, localized content and looking at expanding the brand’s successful event business into Canada. One of those franchises is ComplexCon, which attracted more than 60,000 attendees to its 2018 Long Beach event. ComplexCon brings together pop culture, music, art, food, sports, innovation, activism, and education, featuring speakers like actress Issa Rae (The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, Insecure), performer Jaden Smith (The Get Down), hip hop legend Nas, and comedian Chelsea Handler, among many others.
Twitter Originals, fueled with so.da
As announced at #TwitterFronts, Corus digital agency so.da is extending its partnership with the social platform with the launch of Twitter Originals, fueled with so.da. so.da is producing branded custom content for Unilever, CIBC, Philadelphia, and an upcoming series with Stella Artois on @FoodNetworkCa called #BestNightIn.
Corus is also launching so.da originals – premium, short form social series that will run across Corus’ brands and platforms. Aimed at offering advertisers high-impact storytelling in a brand safe environment, so.da originals launches with four series: makeover series #RoomForImprovement on HGTV, style series #StyleThatFits on Slice, trivia series #Quizzical on Global, as well as a localized version of Complex Networks’ Sneaker Shopping.
Kin expands with more male creators
Kin, the digital lifestyle brand acquired by Corus earlier this year, is expanding its offerings with the launch of what the network is calling “its new male vertical.” Joining the stable of Kin creators are Canadian country crooner Brett Kissel, musician SonReal, Filipino-Canadian singer and comedian Mikey Bustos, web star Gunnarolla (Andrew Gunadie), vegan pro athlete and Winnipeg Blue Bomber John Rush, Toronto stylist Harjas Singh (Styled by Harj), tattoo artist SLEESTAK, Toronto-based comic book writer and artist Cameron Stewart, and Vancouver fashion and lifestyle influencer Dejan’s Day Off.
“We continue to see explosive growth in the social and digital space – last year, our content was viewed over six billion times, with over 1.5 billion minutes watched,” said Dervla Kelly, SVP of Marketing for Corus and Head of so.da, in a release. “While you can pay for reach, you cannot pay for engagement, and we are investing deeply to ensure we bring massive scale, along with incredibly engaged audiences, to our advertisers.”
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