The Huffington Post and Leo Burnett have inked an exclusive co-operative approach that they promise will help "transform the relationship between creative agencies and publishers."Acting together, they will combine their teams, processes and platforms to help brands participate and drive cultural conversations. This collaboration will leverage the strengths of Leo Burnett and The Huffington Post to connect brands with HuffPost Partner Studio, the publisher’s in-house team of branded content experts. The aim is to create content that drives cultural conversations and participation for several of Leo Burnett’s clients."Cross-team collaboration, data sharing and most importantly, creative brand building is at the center of this model with The Huffington Post," Rich Stoddart, chief executive officer, Leo Burnett North America said. "Together, we'll purposefully infuse our brands into cultural conversations, changing the way people engage with our clients."Arianna Huffington (pictured), president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group said: “At HuffPost, we’re using all the tools at our disposal, all the time, to tell the most important and most entertaining stories. And Leo Burnett’s relationships with some of the biggest and most trusted brands makes it one of the world’s most connected and cutting-edge agencies. Working together is an amazing opportunity for us to tap into each other’s resources, insights and creativity, while preserving HuffPost’s complete editorial independence.”The benefits of this first-of-its-kind collaboration will exclusively be offered to Leo Burnett’s clients.Together, Leo Burnett and The Huffington Post will collaborate on client campaigns. HuffPost Partner Studio’s team of writers, editors and strategists will work closely with the agency’s participation team, a collaboration of specialists that build strategies to drive deeper-level consumer brand participation for its clients. Additionally, brand teams will consult with the HuffPost Partner Studio team and tap into the insights and expertise that can inspire relevant and purposeful content.Leo Burnett will be the first agency to have exclusive access to The Huffington Post’s data engines that analyze real-time trends from all of The Huffington Post’s social platforms. Additionally, the agency will have first access to the publisher’s new social dashboard that will be used for content planning, creation and dissemination at scale.The Huffington Post will have inside access to the agency’s brand planning and participation practice as well as the agency’s innovation tools used to identify the various ways people engage with different product categories.“A recent survey found that 75% of US marketers intend to increase their content marketing spend, but that 70% found content creation a key challenge," Jimmy Maymann, CEO of The Huffington Post said. "This partnership between The Huffington Post and Leo Burnett answers that clear market need. Together we will be able to offer brands a unique combination of award-winning creative talent and unparalleled expertise in developing, distributing and amplifying highly shareable brand content.”Leo Burnett will partner with a select group of clients to participate in the model, giving brands the opportunity to create and distribute content and programs with exposure on The Huffington Post, its parent AOL properties, including its social platforms.“Brands have a prime opportunity to drive cultural conversations opposed to follow them," said Mark Renshaw, CIO, Leo Burnett North America. "We can lead a new conversation or create a unique point of view and sustain it with culturally evocative content. And we can do it in a space where people participate at will.”
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