LipDub Creators Debut Status Creative
In this case, the brand was a beleaguered city -- but the three creators of the video have parlayed their savvy into a new agency, Status Creative, to bring "quick exposure and immediate engagement" to additional brands, ranging from consumer products to governmental bodies, political candidates, advocacy groups and nonprofits. "The thing we're all very good at is reimagining and re-expressing a brand -- whether that brand is a community, an individual, or a product," said co-founder Jeffrey Barrett, the former owner/founder of Barrett Media & Design.
The startup agency is seeking 10 initial clients this year. "Paramount in our decision will be the quality of the campaign," Barrett told Online Media Daily. "We are going to take the 10 that we feel will be most effective."
And the focus will not be confined to any specific region.
"The attention we have already received from international markets has left us with many opportunities for growth," Barrett said, noting that the founding trio is "confident that our proven...model will apply to any product, service and international market.... We want to be involved in campaigns that change the path you're on. Then we want to give you the map and tools to reach your destination."
The Status Creative model, Barrett said, "revolves around positioning and pairing a message with influencers. Influencers are easy to recognize locally or nationally, but the difficult part is creating relationships that make the promotion and distribution of a campaign mutually beneficial."
Barrett credited his participation, along with another agency co-founder, Rob Bliss, former owner/founder of Rob Bliss Events, in SuperFriendz -- a Michigan group that utilizes the power of influencers and social media to aid non-profit organizations -- with helping to build that expertise.
He points to a deep understanding of "the relationship between conventional and social media" that led to massive mainstream press coverage, including from ABC News and Newsweek, whose initial article degrading Grand Rapids led to LipDub in the first place.
"Gaining interviews with any of the national outlets we did was not by accident. It is about crafting a message that provokes a response, establishing your base of influencers and utilizing momentum to gain traction and leverage in conventional media," Barrett stated.
The LipDub's media -- and fan -- reaction has stretched around the world. But both the LipDub and the agency founding trip's previous experience might appear to be very Grand Rapids-ish. Bliss, for example, used social media to draw huge crowds to the world's largest water slide; the third co-founder Scott Erickson, owner/founder of SEF Video, has video concept and production for the JW Marriott Grand Rapids and participated in Grand Rapids' bid to attract Google's fiber-optic trial. Barrett spearheaded the FightHungerGR campaign "that launched the Grand Rapids metropolitan area into top contention for Walmart's Fighting Hunger Together initiative."
But Barrett stressed the national aspect of projects like Google, Wal-Mart and the 2008 Obama campaign, which started his own career of creative messaging, design and social media campaign strategy.