This week in influencer marketing, McDonald’s becomes OfflineTV’s first food and beverage sponsor, digital creators rethink Hollywood, House of Highlights’ creator-led content triples revenue and more.
Bleacher Report’s House of Highlights vertical—which hosts three “Showdown” livestream competitions a year, where creators battle it out in sports challenges on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram—says its revenue from branded content and creator-led content has tripled from full-year 2021 compared to January to May 2022.
According to Drew Muller, vice president of House of Highlights, about 35 percent of its overall revenue is being driven by creator-led content, a share that’s about 25 percent higher than the percentage last year. And from April 2021 to April 2022, House of Highlights grew its total aggregated followers across platforms by 43 percent–from 35 million to over 50 million followers.
Why it matters: House of Highlights has worked with creators for years but much of its recent efforts have been focused on live appointment-viewing events to generate a fandom of young sports fans around its creator-led franchises.
Advertisers are showing interest, too. Pizza Hut, for example, is a seven-figure sponsor for three House of Highlights Showdowns, including two competitions in 2021 and an upcoming dodgeball competition that’ll be shot live from RDC World’s DreamCon Fan Festival in Texas on July 15. Plus, Netflix sponsored a “Creator League” live basketball challenge tournament on YouTube to promote the premiere of the movie Hustle.
McDonald’s has become OfflineTV’s first food and beverage sponsor in a deal that will produce sponsored streams, integrated content and in-person events with a diverse game of creators.
Last December, OfflineTV and McDonald’s teamed to launch their first pop-up store in L.A. to sell merch and meet fans. To accommodate demand from those unable to attend in person, the pop-up was adapted into an immersive metaverse experience that was accessible anywhere in the world through a connected device. That marked the fast-food chain’s first fan experience in the metaverse.
Why it matters: Founded in 2017, OfflineTV has nearly half a billion views and more than 3 million subscribers across YouTube and Twitch. McDonald’s senior director of cultural engagement, Elizabeth Campbell, says many McDonald’s fans have a passion for gaming so “we’re meeting them in the online communities that they’re spending their time in.”
The Ad Council just relaunched its talent engagement division, Creators for Good, which has already reached more than 251 million Americans with content and messages developed in partnership with influencers and celebrities.
Why it matters: Since the program first launched in 2015, Creators for Good has engaged more than 2,300 influential voices across over 50 campaign issues with more than 200 individual activations and nearly 5,000 pieces of content.
To deepen its impact, Creators for Good’s expanded strategic offerings apply key learnings from the Ad Council’s COVID-19 vaccine education initiative, which leveraged more than 1,445 influencers and reached 15 to 20 percent of vaccine-eligible Americans.
Logitech And Creators Drive Action For Diversity, Equity And Inclusion With #Creators4BIPOC Movement
For its third annual #Creators4BIPOC initiative, Logitech For Creators—a brand extension of Logitech—launched a Change Council, a diversity, equity and inclusion advisory board comprising creators. Council members will volunteer their time to work with local nonprofit organizations aligned with the movement and collaborate with creators on issues relevant to racial equality and DEI more broadly throughout 2022.
Why it matters: As part of an existing $1 million minimum fund by 2030, Logitech, in collaboration with Change Council members, will commit $250,000 this year to nonprofit organizations addressing racial inequality–an investment made through the Logitech Cares Donor Advised Fund (DAF) at Tides Foundation.
The Hollywood Reporter
Top actors have taken a page from digital creators, turning to social media to boost their fan followings and gain extra cash along the way. Similarly, more creators who got their start on social media have found success in traditional Hollywood, appearing in studio projects across film and TV. Yet the latter tell The Hollywood Reporter that they’re wary about losing creative control on projects and say they still have to explain “what it is that influencers do” to executives.
Why it matters: Kris Collins, a Canadian TikTok creator with more than 44 million followers, says she’s thought of adapting her comedy sketches into a show but was discouraged, saying networks and production companies want to “change it so much that I know the audience would be so upset with it.”
Still, the creators who spoke with THR say they expect to see more digital-native talent making the transition to the big screen as their massive fan followings continue to show interest in their content