Digital Brand Building: Say Media Acquires Sideshow

by , Jun 21, 2011, 1:41 PM
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Troy-Young

Social-media marketer Say Media announced the acquisition of interactive ad agency Sideshow. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Sideshow's expertise in building digital experiences for some of the world's best-known brands will be integral as we develop new ways for people to create, consume and monetize content," said Troy Young, president of Say Media.

Per the deal, the Sideshow team will join Say's Media Lab, which bills itself as a "cross-discipline creative and technical group."

Say Media was formed last year with ad network VideoEgg's acquisition of blogging services company Six Apart. Since then, the combined company has sought to compete with largely lifestyle-based vertical ad networks, like Glam Media and Federated Media.

Going forward, Young said the Media Lab plans to develop new publishing "experiences" like the one it recently created for Jane Pratt's women's lifestyle destination, XoJane.com. The former editor in chief of Sassy and Jane, Pratt envisioned a new kind of site targeting independent, opinionated and passionate women.

XoJane.com is currently delivering an average of six-minute session times per user, according to Young. That's due, in large part, to the site's cross-promotion of relevant content, intuitive user experiences and faster load times.

In addition to its design and development work on xoJane.com, Say is focused on creating more engaging content and ad experiences for the recently acquired Dogster, as well as the company's network of partner sites.

Say Media also plans to introduce new functionality to its current suite of ad products, presently used by Procter & Gamble, Unilever, HP, Starbucks and Adidas.

Launched purely as a digitally focused agency back in 1999, Sideshow has helped both technology start-ups and household brands develop strategies and products for the Web, mobile and social networks. Brand partners have included Microsoft, Fox and Royal Bank of Scotland.

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