YidLife Crisis and U by Kotex creators change branded entertainment

YidLife Crisis and U by Kotex demonstrate digital success

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Day: May 10
Time: 9:50AM - 11:05:AM

YidLife Crisis is a unique online series. In this case study, Eli Batalion describes its origins and how it has evolved over the past few years. Topics include: understanding (niche) audiences through platform analytics, going after different sets of audiences and the interplay between bridging these audiences digitally and in-person, the growth of a creative process as the series receives more audience feedback, and what it means to use a web series as the flagship content of a homegrown brand. Do vampires get their periods? Toronto-based production company Shaftesbury/Smokebomb and brand agency shift2 teamed up, with feminine care brand U by Kotex, to answer that question in their hit YouTube series Carmilla. The award-winning digital series puts a modern spin on the classic cult vampire novella by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu and has generated 50 million views and counting. In this case study, Jay Bennett explores how to build an audience from the ground up, the rules of brand engagement, and the power of branded entertainment.

Video summary

With the successes of YidLIfe Crisis and U by Kotex accomplished, their creators explain how it was done. Combining compelling branded entertainment and audience analytics, they built web series that worked brilliantly for their niche-market demographics. Starting with unconventional channels and using social media, the producers of YidLife Crisis and U by Kotex demonstrated that they could enlarge their fan base exponentially from something like five thousand to 4.3 million viewers. Both YidLife Crisis and U by Kotex have achieved their success in character and story, which capture their audiences through a serialized vlog format of branded entertainment. They show that in the nebulous area between the for-profit and not-for-profit cultural and educational worlds, there’s room for content creators and producers to develop pure Canadian content and export it internationally.

Experts in this video

Jay Bennett Headshot

Senior Vice President, Creative & Innovation, Shaftesbury/Smokebomb

EliBatalion

Co-Creator of web series YidLife Crisis and head of eMerge Enterprises Ltd.

Video transcript excerpts

“The mission [is] to build the digital media industry in Canada.”

“Broadcasting is changing…Discovery can require unconventional channels…The thing about YidLife Crisis is it’s somewhere in this nebulous world between for profit and not-for-profit cultural and educational…There’s a whole world of influences out there that are not traditional broadcasters or publishers, and probably could give a greater audience than a traditional broadcaster…it’s more about the particular niche that we’re getting into.”

“Web series can be cultural brands: …we’re going to build a web series concept. We’re going to use social media and possibly some earned media as an opportunity to build an audience.”

“Branded entertainment: …The first maverick company and individual we encountered was U by Kotex here in Canada. ..[We said] ‘Let’s make scripted storytelling about your product.’ So how do brands get people to talk about their products? You do that through story and character.”

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